Bringing Disney’s management secrets to Grand County |

Bringing Disney’s management secrets to Grand County

DiAnn Butler
Grand County Economic Development

Did you ever pick up a book and after you read it you knew it would remain with you for the rest of your life? That is what happened to me in the early 2000s.

Reading “The Disney Way, Harnessing the Management Secrets of Disney in your Company,” started a journey that was invaluable for my previous business team. Fifteen years later, working as Grand County Economic Development coordinator, “The Disney Way” became an invaluable contact once again. This has led to a workshop that will be held on May 15 in Grand Lake with Bill Capodagli, one of the authors of that life-changing book, and one of the most recognizable international keynote speakers on the business cultures and guest services of Disney.

I am excited for Grand County, because this means one of the experts on the success formula at Walt Disney, a consultant to world leaders in industry and entertainment, will be in our county. Here, he will teach local businessmen and residents about the legendary customer service that has helped Disney provide some of the most magical and amazing guest experiences in the world.

In the early 2000s, as an owner of Destinations West, I was launching a new program, Distinctive Homes. While researching ways to identify our brand and embrace a clear vision with our team, I picked up a copy of “The Disney Way,” by Bill Capodagli & Lynn Jackson. Looking back, I remember reading it cover to cover and thinking how it resonated with me and our company. I also knew they worked with Fortune 100 companies and that I didn’t match the typical client profile.

However, I decided to reach out and call them, if for no other reason than to tell them how much I enjoyed the book. To make a long story short, I convinced them to come to our amazing part of the Colorado Rockies and work with our team of 15 on a two-day Dream Retreat. Jeannie Mace, our office manager at the time, had this to say about that retreat, “The retreat helped our team understand our core values and vision and aligned our team moving forward.”

Fast forward to 2015 and, after receiving a request from Samantha Miller, executive director of the Grand Lake Chamber of Commerce, I was researching customer service training programs. I thought, it worked before, why not reach out again, the worst they could do is say no.

But that isn’t the “Disney Way.” Lynn Jackson, co-author and co-creator of Capodagli Jackson Consulting, Creators of Dreamovations, practices the “Disney Way” that she and Bill have so embraced. Lynn remembered our small company, treated me like a very special “guest” and immediately came up with a plan for Grand Lake and Grand County.

On Friday, May 15, Bill Capodagli will come to Grand Lake and lead a one-day workshop called “If Walt Ran Your Organization!” During the morning session, from 9-11 a.m., Capodagli will be giving a keynote presentation at the Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre that is open to the public. The rest of the day will be devoted to addressing specific guest-service issues with all Grand Lake business and citizens, along with key stakeholders from each of the other communities in Grand County. Lunch and the afternoon session will be hosted at the Western Riviera Event Center.

I love the spirit of entrepreneurship in Grand County and I cannot express how excited I am to share what I hope will be a “magical day” with fellow Grand County business leaders! Come “Dream, Believe, Dare, Do” and learn effective, easy to learn tools such as telling the Story and Storyboarding.

With over three decades of management consulting and corporate research expertise, Bill Capodagli co-authored “The Disney Way: Harnessing the Management Secrets of Disney in Your Company.” Fortune magazine cited “The Disney Way” as a “best business book” and “so useful, you may whistle while you work.”

Capodagli’s expertise in leadership, innovation and customer service has been the catalyst for transforming the cultures of numerous organizations.

I would like to thank Samantha Miller and the Grand Lake Chamber of Commerce, the Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre, the Western Riviera Event Center and the Gateway Inn, which is providing the lodging for Bill Capodagli. They have exhibited the type of collaboration that has helped this amazing event come to life.

For more information about the May 15 keynote address and to register, visit or call DiAnn Butler at (970) 531-1343.

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