When the Mouse speaks, people tend to listen. Especially when you are in the town the Mouse built, otherwise known as Orlando, Fla.
Such was the case for me last week, when I attended the LIMRA Distribution Conference within the confines of Disney World. Jeff Noel of the Disney Institute was a main platform speaker on Thursday with a presentation titled, “Leading Through Turbulent Times.” The premise was that while a tough economy can be a time for caution, it can also be an opportunity to outpace your competition.
Disney knows something about dealing with turbulent times, as the company has prospered through a wide variety of them, ranging from a pair of high-profile takeover attempts to the severe effect 9/11 had on tourism to three consecutive hurricanes hitting central Florida during 2004′s devastating hurricane season. When that happened, 4,000 “cast members” couldn’t live in their homes due to hurricane damage. Disney World’s Orlando operation is the largest single-site employer in the nation (currently at about 62,000), but how do you plan for 4,000 displaced employees?