Thursday, May 22, 2014

Disney is revolutionizing Audio-Animatronics, Again!

Some people may have been fortunate enough to see the first animatronics ever created when Walt Disney himself was at the 1964 world's fair in New York City. I was very little, but I remember my parents talking about visiting and enjoying it. And what an impact it had in the future of many different aspects, not only in animatronics but also in park attractions, robotics, electronics and many other areas.

I have been able to read about the innovative part of the Walt Disney Company and in one of my trips to EPCOT Center in 2011, I was invited to a behind the scenes tour at the American Pavilion at the very same moment when one of the shows depicting important people in US history brought them alive. It was audio-animatronics seen from below the surface, looking at their every movement, motion and facial expression. For me, it was another wonderful experience during my visit to a Disney Park. Over the years we have seen the many improvements at the many attractions such as It's A Small World, The Hall of the Presidents or The Pirates of the Caribbean. We even saw Jack Sparrow having a better positioning after the hit movies Pirates of the Caribbean. It is a kind of a Celebrity audio-animatronics Branding for Jack Sparrow, as my friends at the DNA agency would refer to it.

Well, Disney is doing it again. It is not just the more real leg or better facial expressions; it is making the whole attraction look more real. A recent article about the new ride at the Magic Kingdom, the Seven Dwarf's Mine Train attraction, mentioned that it will feature the original seven Snow White dwarfs, and showing them in a more realistic and better way. Disney "imagineers" as they are known, constantly use new ideas and improvements in the key components that make each individual part of the animatronic figure. The article by Sarah Sekula (Heigh-ho, heigh-ho! It's off to Orlando they go!, USA Today, May 2, 2014, LIFE section, page 3D), indicated that "... it features toe-tapping new music, a first of its kind ride system and audio-animatronics that would make Walt proud." Year after year these audio-animatronic figures show improvements, such as better facial expressions, new movements and in this case they are using "the best and most advanced animatronics ever created by imagineers."

Walt Disney was always taking care of the details and we should all be doing the same in both, our personal and professional lives. We lead by what we do, we motivate our team with our example, and we inspire others while doing an excellent job every single day. And we all need to innovate. This is what I want you to take out of this article: you and I, we all need to innovate constantly and continuously. It is the only way by which we make ourselves and our companies competitive in an ever more complex business environment, in every corner of the world. As consumers become more demanding, with little time and many more options to choose from, we need to remind them that we are here for them. It does not matter which product we sell or which service we provide, as long as we keep innovating and improving.

This new ride will open next spring; but please realize that we are all open for business today and our businesses and companies need to grow and get better. So I urge you to take action, innovate, improve, grow, plan and set your strategies to always keep the details working in order to surprise your customers and clients in new and more innovative ways.

Luis Vicente Garcia is a Business Consultant, a Business Performance Coach with FocalPoint Coaching, and a Trainer with Brian Tracy International, who helps entrepreneurs reach their goals faster and improve their performance.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Understanding Business Coaching

For centuries, people have sought some kind of help or advice from others who may know more on certain subjects, understand different some important issues or that may have a different perspective. Since the Renaissance, to the French monarchy, to the English literary scholars, to the inventors in new world, they all sought the advice and guidance of monks, cardinals, other scholars, philosophers, or scientists, when they wanted to learn about new topics or find out new ways of doing and learning things.

Today we see many people who use the figure of a "coach" when they want to improve in some area or aspect of their physical, mental, or spiritual side, or need to obtain knowledge on issues related to wellness, wealth or financial management, new knowledge, learn about management issues or embark in a process of personal development and continuous improvement. Great leaders, athletes, business owners and other people seek advice and support from a coach in each of the areas in which they need or believe that they need to improve. The coaching field is very wide, and it goes from subjects such as physical or spiritual well-being, to general consulting, to today’s business coaching. As you may know, there are different methods and different specialties where the theme of “coaching" is being used and has been used for many years. In 2003, in an article published by the Washington Post, the coaching process was defined as “a process that does not look back, but it is for those who want high performance enhance your life in some way" (The Washington Post, June 2003).

Not everyone needs a coach and not all people can become one; it requires - as most things do – work and dedication on both sides, the coach and the person that is being coached. To achieve growth in an effective way, we all have to focus on the needs of the potential client and what the coach can offer at a certain time. Business Coaching is a new and growing industry, it is evolving; as such, it is continuing to develop and in most cases it will focus in areas that are really of interest to the potential client and where we are always looking to a relationship between a coach and client that add value.

Just 10 or 15 years ago, companies hired the services of a coach to correct behavioral issues at the senior levels of organizations. That has changed and coaching has been guiding the development of the skills and capabilities of people and individuals who have a high development potential. So as coaches, we need to look to develop the potential of all the clients (athletes, authors, speakers, business owners and entrepreneurs) that we have. The process of choosing a coach should not be a complicated one, but it must be done with care and caution; and needs always to be focused on the real needs of the company or person that is looking to be guided.

Coaching sometimes has been confused with the work of a consultant, a practice that has been working for many years. However, a coach’s work is different from what a consultant does, as the coach guides the person and usually will work to improve productivity and efficiency. A saying about coaches mentions: ‘a manager manages, a leader inspires, a coach walks on the side of the leader, accompanying him’.  You see it very commonly in athletes who have coaches for a variety of needs. For example, top athletes or actors have a nutrition coach, as well as coaches on performance, improving techniques and sometimes even one that keeps them motivated and with a positive attitude; athletes, teams, business, and many other losses from time to time. And we learn from those experiences, not only when we gain or do things the planned and the correct way. So it is a constant learning process.

Coaching has worked for many people. Do not wait until it is late in the game, or in the life of your business or in your personal development. Work with a coach: a coach will guide you at the moment you need them most, even without realizing it. Top performers have their own professional coaches to keep improving. Are you next?

Luis Vicente Garcia
Business Coach and entrepreneur, Best-selling Author and International Speaker.