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  • [Other] New Article in TIME Very Relevant to WDW's Woes

    ...companies, shareholders and consumers are best served by product-driven executives... In the first half of the 20th century, industrial giants like Ford, General Electric, AT&T and many others were extremely consumer-focused. They spent most of their time and money using new technologies to create the best possible products and services, regardless of development cost. The idea was, if you build it better, the customers will come. And they did... ultimately, moving numbers around can do only so much. Over the long haul, you've got to invent or improve real products and services to grow.
    Why a Rise in M.B.A.s Coincided with the Fall of American Industry - TIME
    Last edited by PSUMark; 07-13-2011, 10:48 AM. Reason: fixed link
    I knew if this business was ever to get anywhere, if this business was ever to grow, it could never do it by having to answer to someone unsympathetic to its possibilities, by having to answer to someone with only one thought or interest, namely profits. For my idea of how to make profits has differed greatly from those who generally control businesses such as ours. I have blind faith in the policy that quality, tempered with good judgment and showmanship, will win against all odds.
    -Walt Disney

    sigpic

  • #2
    Re: New Article in TIME Very Relevant to WDW's Woes

    Spot on. Just spot on!

    btw the link was broken, here it is fixed

    Why a Rise in M.B.A.s Coincided with the Fall of American Industry - TIME
    Get the latest and greatest theme park news by

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    • #3
      Re: New Article in TIME Very Relevant to WDW's Woes

      Awesome article, I think it really speaks to what's wrong with many industries, especially the theme park industry.
      In view, a humble vaudevillian veteran, cast vicariously as both victim and villain by the vicissitudes of fate.

      DoppelV

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      • #4
        Re: New Article in TIME Very Relevant to WDW's Woes

        Thanks PSUMark!

        Another great quote from that TIME article...

        In the U.S., the growth of the financial industry has only exacerbated the trend toward balance-sheet-driven management. Companies everywhere, but particularly in the U.S., where the banking sector wields the most power, are under tremendous short-term pressure to make their quarterly numbers. This often leads to planning that's reactive rather than smart...

        ...It's interesting to note that the one area of the U.S. economy that's adding jobs and increasing productivity and wealth is also the one that is the most relentlessly product- and consumer-focused: Silicon Valley. The company off Highway 101 that best illustrates this point is, of course, Apple. The only time Apple ever lost the plot was when it put the M.B.A.s in charge. As long as college dropout Steve Jobs is in the driver's seat, customers (and shareholders) are happy. The reason is clearly the one Lutz puts forward in his book: "Shoemakers should be run by shoe guys, and software firms by software guys."
        Remind anyone of any famous, formerly-innovative corporation that's now run by beancounters...?
        "With the acquisition of Marvel and now of Lucasfilm,
        Disney may have finally found the grail. You don't need
        imagination or art. All you need is a brand."

        - Neil Gabler

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        • #5
          Re: New Article in TIME Very Relevant to WDW's Woes

          Originally posted by Mr Wiggins View Post
          Thanks PSUMark!

          Another great quote from that TIME article...

          Remind anyone of any famous, formerly-innovative corporation that's now run by beancounters...?
          I know, I know...

          Ooooo, Ooooo, Ooooo, Mr Wiggins. Pick me, Mr Wiggins.
          Waiting for Godot Micechat.com

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          • #6
            Re: New Article in TIME Very Relevant to WDW's Woes

            Thank you, Jeff, but you correctly answered the last question. Let's try someone who never raises their hand. How abouuuut... Meg, there in the back row.

            Meg?

            ...Where's Meg?
            "With the acquisition of Marvel and now of Lucasfilm,
            Disney may have finally found the grail. You don't need
            imagination or art. All you need is a brand."

            - Neil Gabler

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: New Article in TIME Very Relevant to WDW's Woes

              It's because many MBA's in the time period focused on bean counting only. One cannot lump all MBA's together- you need to look at the main area of their focus..if it was accounting - finance based then that will be the focus of their goals/targets..and IMHO not as good a fit for line management. My major was Organizational Behavior and Development- which meshes people and business.

              At the very least the mix of MBA's needs to include those who majored in management/accounting and those majoring in marketing/employee based genre's.

              And IMHO - especially in customer focused industries - upper management needs to include some people who worked their way up through the business and understand all the interactions along the way. I have seen McDonald's for instance change many times over the past 25 years depending on the mix of executives running the corporation. At present I don't think DIsney is represented well enough at the upper management ranks with people who had some level of CM experience.
              " Disney Parks- far from perfect- but still a great shelter from the storm "

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              • #8
                Re: New Article in TIME Very Relevant to WDW's Woes

                Originally posted by Time
                Meanwhile, despite all the post-financial-crisis soul searching within the business community about the value of an M.B.A., schools are still churning them out. There are, and will be for the foreseeable future, a lot more bean counters than engineers in this country. But the same may soon be true in China, where the state plans to open 40 new graduate schools of business in the next few years. As Lutz puts it, "That's the best news I've heard in years."



                This should speak volumes on every industry...Great Find Mark!!!

                The test of success is not what you do when you are on top. Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom.
                -George S. Patton

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                • #9
                  Re: New Article in TIME Very Relevant to WDW's Woes

                  Absolutely "spot on" article, and so very true when it comes to the current group managing the Mouse.

                  The NextGen project is a perfect example. It may be a PowerPoint afficianado's ultimate dream for maximizing efficiency, but no one seems to be asking, "will the guests actually like this?"

                  Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't old-school Disney do extensive research into guest psychology? Modern-day Disney might profit (literally) from taking a new look at WHY guests have fun at the parks and resorts... instead of treating guests more and more like line items on a balance sheet.

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                  • #10
                    Re: New Article in TIME Very Relevant to WDW's Woes

                    Originally posted by Virtual Toad View Post
                    Absolutely "spot on" article, and so very true when it comes to the current group managing the Mouse.

                    The NextGen project is a perfect example. It may be a PowerPoint afficianado's ultimate dream for maximizing efficiency, but no one seems to be asking, "will the guests actually like this?"

                    Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't old-school Disney do extensive research into guest psychology? Modern-day Disney might profit (literally) from taking a new look at WHY guests have fun at the parks and resorts... instead of treating guests more and more like line items on a balance sheet.
                    Old-school (pre-c.1985) Disneyland was built by filmmakers, artists and storytellers who had 30 years of firsthand experience interacting with their audiences. Their psychology studies were their guts, trained by decades of sitting with audiences and experiencing their reactions to their films. Those people became the first-generation WED Imagineers who, along with the first generation of Disneyland CMs and management that Walt and his colleagues trained, continued the tradition of being in touch with -- literally, a part of -- their audience.

                    Eisner and Iger cut their teeth as network TV programming executives, where the audience is an abstraction of ratings points, focus group tests, demographic charts and marketing trends. Their tradition of audience-as-numbers has colored most of Disney's theme park offerings ever since.
                    "With the acquisition of Marvel and now of Lucasfilm,
                    Disney may have finally found the grail. You don't need
                    imagination or art. All you need is a brand."

                    - Neil Gabler

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: New Article in TIME Very Relevant to WDW's Woes

                      x
                      Last edited by ilovemegs; 07-13-2011, 07:26 PM.

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                      • #12
                        Re: New Article in TIME Very Relevant to WDW's Woes

                        Originally posted by ilovemegs View Post
                        Walt Disney World is doing better than ever, with the new Fantasyland and the NextGen queues and new Value resort as well as XPass, tourists are going to flock to WDW even more than ever
                        Initially yes the numbers will show that, as well as the article states the numbers will be bumped slightly initially, but the strategy that WDW as a whole has been following is NOT the best long term strategy...

                        Quality ALWAYS wins over quantity...Quality makes repeatability possible, and that repeatability ensures that a HEALTHY bottom line remains so for years to come...
                        The test of success is not what you do when you are on top. Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom.
                        -George S. Patton

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: New Article in TIME Very Relevant to WDW's Woes

                          Originally posted by ORD84 View Post
                          Initially yes the numbers will show that, as well as the article states the numbers will be bumped slightly initially, but the strategy that WDW as a whole has been following is NOT the best long term strategy...

                          Quality ALWAYS wins over quantity...Quality makes repeatability possible, and that repeatability ensures that a HEALTHY bottom line remains so for years to come...
                          I'm pretty sure ilovemegs is just engaging in some satire
                          I knew if this business was ever to get anywhere, if this business was ever to grow, it could never do it by having to answer to someone unsympathetic to its possibilities, by having to answer to someone with only one thought or interest, namely profits. For my idea of how to make profits has differed greatly from those who generally control businesses such as ours. I have blind faith in the policy that quality, tempered with good judgment and showmanship, will win against all odds.
                          -Walt Disney

                          sigpic

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: New Article in TIME Very Relevant to WDW's Woes

                            Can go to Disney HQ and whack some bean-counters on the nose with rolled-up copies of <i>Time?</i>

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                            • #15
                              Re: New Article in TIME Very Relevant to WDW's Woes

                              I read this article a few days ago and immediately thought of Disney. Of course this is a malaise plagueing American industry in general. I didn't have the online link so I'm glad someone posted it. This article should be highlighted in the weekly roundup.
                              Down with the Hat

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