Bill Carl “BC” Johnson, Chief Listening Officer of the BCJ Group, will keynote speak at the Amphitheaters & Fairgrounds sector meeting at VenueConnect in Chicago on “Creating the RIGHT Culture for Your Organization.”
As one who worked in the hospitality and tourism industry for 20 years at The Walt Disney World Resort and led major client engagements for the world-renowned Disney Institute, consider Johnson way beyond qualified to speak on the topic of culture.
In addition to his stellar work with Disney, Johnson has worked with the NFL on five Super Bowls, launched a league wide customer service initiative for the NBA, shaped the cultures of multiple franchises, and crafted strategic plans for major college athletic departments.
With that impressive background, it was time to catch up with BC before VC.
You will speak on Creating the RIGHT Culture for Your Organization. Does that right culture vary from organization to organization?
Whether they realize it or not, every organization has a culture that drives behaviors. Cultures are either carefully designed or happen by default. In order to optimize success, the culture needs to support the values and mission of the organization. So yes, cultures can and should vary from organization to organization. For example, the culture of a cruise ship is going to be very different than the culture of a government agency.
How do you best get customers and employees to love you, which is obviously more preferable than tolerating you?
Very simply, you have to ask for a heart before you can ask for a hand. When employees feel cared for, valued, and appreciated, they will more likely be committed and not just compliant. Employees, like customers, have options on where they work. Committed employees demonstrate the culture and behaviors of the organization which helps to drive customer loyalty. Customer love is tricky. Customers will say they are loyal and love you but it only takes a few service failures that aren’t handled properly and then they are gone. That’s why it is so important for employees to be committed and aim to do the right thing on a consistent basis.
What are some of the vaunted Disney best practices you can share that will enable literally any organization to be successful?
Intuitively, organizations know that in order to drive business results, they need to have happy customers, motivated employees, and inspiring leadership. Disney understands that you need to have equal investment in the leadership experience, employee experience, and customer experience to drive exceptional business results.
You have worked successfully with the NFL and NBA. We have members who obviously are involved with those leagues. How would you describe those cultures?
The NFL and NBA both clearly understand that their customers have two very valuable assets … their time and their money. The cultures of both leagues are carefully designed to promote creativity and innovation. Expectations of fans are influenced by companies like Netflix, Amazon, Uber, etc., and they bring these expectations to the stadium/arena. This means their experience expectations are going up fast and continuously.
You will have folks in your session from all of our sector types. Are there lessons and takeaways that regardless of sector type they can learn and take back to their respective venues?
The sun rises and sets on leadership. When an area is underperforming, there is a high probability that the root cause can be traced back to things leaders are or aren’t doing. If you want to immediately improve your organization, focus on leaders and how you develop them.