Perfecting the Customer Experience is a unique, three day benchmarking program held twice a year in Anaheim California. The workshop provides open enrollment participants serious business lessons in a fun, immersive environment.

Your facilitators, Jeff Kober and Ted Topping are your hosts in this intense, small group program that allows participants to see the business behind the wonder of Disney.

Participants walk away with new ideas for taking their organization, whether in the public, private, or non-profit sector, to new heights.

Jeff Kober views business from a Disney background. Ted Topping views Disney from a business background. Together they will help you experience both from the crucial perspective of your customer.

Formerly a leader with the Disney Institute, Jeff Kober, president of Performance Journeys, has authored several books and apps on building strong brands and developing high performing cultures.

Ted Topping is president of Creative Insights, a service-design consulting firm in Vancouver. Known globally for his work in retail, he is author of the best-selling book Start and Run a Retail Business and numerous magazine articles.

As authors, speakers, and consultants, both Jeff and Ted work with organizations to create sustained results in a consumer-facing business.

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FROM: Perfecting the Customer Experience A Disney Dispatch Feature

Mind Thy Head

Lessons from Tarzan's Treehouse.


Tarzan's Treehouse

As you scale the heights of Tarzan’s Treehouse, you will hopefully see a sign, “Mind Thy Head.” This serves as a warning to duck before you hit your head on the tree.

Mind Thy Head


This statement has a bit of British formality to it. It’s reminiscent of what you’ll see when you’re waiting for the trains in London. Standing on the train platform, you have to look down, not up, to see a sign that says, “Mind the Gap.”


Both messages are a courteous reminder to “watch out.” In Disney’s Tarzan this message plays out several times. Based upon his own previous experiences with humans, Kerchak, the patriarch of the gorilla group, warns Tarzan and others of invaders. His concern and caution is a contrast to Jane and her father, who naively trust and accept the other members on board the ship.

I think “Mind Thy Head” is also sage advice for those of us who think we “know it all.” Recently I heard a great term I had not heard before: “Humbition.” This is the subtle blend of humility and ambition that drives the most successful leaders.

According to William C. Taylor, co-founder of Fast Company magazine, companies are constantly looking for the very best talent possible. The challenge, however, is finding individuals who are not “me first” workers with an entitlement mentality.

Taylor learned of humbition from Jane Harper, a nearly 30-year veteran of IBM. She started Extreme Blue, a group of smart, energetic young men and women working closely together and focused on IBM projects with major potential.

When you’re hired as an Extreme Bluer at IBM, you are taught on Day One that group cohesion is more important than individual success. Jane says, “I always urge new people not to worry about ‘getting credit or taking credit’ for great work. If they’re making bold moves, and developing good relationships, they will get more opportunities to grow and succeed. Don’t waste energy on worrying about whether everything you do gets noticed. It does.”

That’s humbition. It’s a great way to “Mind Thy Head.” And it’s good advice for anyone trying to move up the corporate ladder – or tree house, depending on your situation.

Ask yourself:

  • Where do we need to “Mind Thy Head?”
  • Where do we need to “Mind the Gap?”
  • What would humbition look like in our own day-to-day work?

For more information about Perfecting the Customer Experience, please contact Jeff Kober or Ted Topping. The next public programs are September 27 to 29, 2011 and February 21 to 23, 2012. Companies may prefer a private, tailored experience. Neither the program nor its facilitators are associated in any way with The Walt Disney Company.

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