Making “Magic’ Happen in Your Organization


Making “Magic’ Happen in Your Organization

 PIE 2016 Presentation The Walt Disney saying, “It’s not the magic that makes it work; it’s the way we work that makes it magic,” still rings true today as much as it did during my 22-year tenure with the Disney organization.
One of Disney’s secrets to success is its ability to achieve leadership excellence. Many organizations can articulate their business strategies in great detail, but they have little to say about their leadership strategies. Not so at Disney. Leadership excellence there helps ensure quality service, customer satisfaction, and real, bottom-line results throughout the organization. 
Disney’s Great Leadership Strategies 
1- Design your organizational structure for success — “Break the mold.”
2- Make sure you have the right people in the right jobs.
3- Ensure that cast members (employees) are knowledgeable about their jobs.
4- Make dramatic leaps in guest
(customer) services.
5- Implement effective structured processes for getting work done.
6- Explore, probe and know what is going
on in your organization and act upon
that information.
7- Actively observe and react to the performance of your “direct reports” – take time for recognition, coaching
and counseling.
8- Expand and act upon knowledge and experience of the best service available anywhere.
9- Partner effectively and successfully with staff and other cross-functional partners.
10- Demonstrate a passionate, professional commitment to your job.
The Disney organization takes a no-nonsense approach when it comes to integrating its strategy with daily front-line performance. It develops tactics for each strategy, discusses with “direct reports,” and then repeats through the organization to ensure that everyone knows what is expected. 
That simple, common-sense approach is not common practice in the parking industry. “SMART” measures also are tied into each initiative to evaluate and ensure desired results. 
Implementing these strategies into parking operations can have a monumental impact. We applied these simple strategies, within our framework in the Parking & Transportation Department at Florida International University (FIU) in Miami, to help us take our services to the next level and to enhance our competitive position. 
As a large commuter school, ease-of-access and parking remain at the apex of our priorities. Following the Great Leadership Strategies model I learned at Disney, we developed specific tactics around our strategies, then launched the “right-fit” technologies to place transformational services at the fingertips of our FIU community. 
For example, by changing to virtual permits, we eliminated lines at our door, which allowed our customers to focus on what matters most to them. We launched departmental portals and event portals that eliminated the need for visitors, faculty and staff to visit the parking office for decals, temporary dash-passes or scratch-off permits. 
E-notices and e-citations have enhanced the ease of traffic flow by eliminating the need for our parking enforcement vehicles to stop in drive lanes and ramps to check dashboards or to issue warnings or citations. 
We transformed our former “parking decal issuance” clerical area into a customer care-centric center. Actively monitoring our campus, parking area utilization, and shuttle bus tracking system affords us the opportunity to adjust operations and to direct drivers to available parking, while actively observing and measuring the performance of our team.
Among other transitions within FIU Parking & Transportation, we transitioned our parking software system to NuPark. This allows us to make processes easier and more efficient by shifting resources to other customer-centric areas. 
We can send text messages and emails to specific customers associated with the vehicle when we need to clear a lot for football or a special event on campus. Or, rather than issuing a citation during an event, we can issue a permit for those attending the event and then charge the department hosting the event. 
We also have enhanced our safety and branding efforts with better lighting and decor to ensure that we take an active role in making a great first and last impression for our university. 
We are launching innovative solutions to maximize asset utilization beyond enforcement and compliance, by adding fixed LPR/LPI cameras at the entrances of our parking locations to create predictive analytics and forecast models for the parking demand around campus. 
Plus, correlating parking utilization with class schedules will allow us to predict demand and make better recommendations to senior FIU management. 
We hope you can join us at PIE 2016 to learn about making magic happen in your organization.
Thomas Hartley is Executive Director FIU Parking and Transportation. He can be reached at
Article contributed by:
Thomas Hartley
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