For many years Disneyland had Disneyland University. It was the place where new cast members got indoctrinated into a system of customer service (and all of business is customer service, just different customers depending on your job) that became the envy of all business worldwide. Van Arsdale France was the principle architect of the DU as it was then. His book ‘Window on Main Street‘ is a must read for all Disney fans. The DU cast members go through today is but a pitiful echo of its former self designed more to keep turnover low than to keep customer service skills high.
Everyone has been saying, and I agree, that Pixar is today what The Walt Disney Company was at its peak of feature animation savvy (oh, around Sleeping Beauty, I’d say). So it comes as no suprise to me that there is Pixar University.
"The problem with the Hollywood model is that it’s generally the day you wrap production that you realize you’ve finally figured out how to work together," Mr. Nelson said. "We’ve made the leap from an idea-centered business to a people-centered business. Instead of developing ideas, we develop people. Instead of investing in ideas, we invest in people. We’re trying to create a culture of learning, filled with lifelong learners. It’s no trick for talented people to be interesting, but it’s a gift to be interested. We want an organization filled with interested people."
Words to live by. Can’t wait to see them used meaningfully around the hallowed halls of Burbank again.