03 December 2013

Jack's experiments

It’s 1997 and you have over three hundred Imagineers and various consultants working on the construction of a park, in this case Disney’s Animal Kingdom, what’s the best thing to do? According to vice president of Project Management, Jack Blitch, you make them stop working and take filed trips!
During the height of construction, when tempers are hot, sleep is non-existent, and the potential for burn-out is high, Blitch decided to try something new in order to maintain team composure. He created mandatory field trips to central Florida destinations. In particular he had the teams visit, in groups of around 50 at a time, animal exhibits throughout Florida. Included in the destinations were Busch Gardens, Silver Springs, Lowery Park Zoo, and Gatorland. As a native of the area, these are some of the first places I got glimpses of wild animals myself!
These trips were so crucial to the success of Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and keeping staff mentally healthy and happy, that anyone not wanting to go on the field trips because they were too busy had to actually call Blitch personally to request not going so they could keep working. It should go without saying not many of these requests were filled when these trips kept spirits so high!

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