Doug Lipp Profile

Disney University training veteran, Doug Lipp is sought after for his expertise in helping organizations build adaptive, world-class service cultures that fuel growth and long-term success. Since 1995, he has delivered over 2,000 presentations, connecting with more than 1 million attendees on how to develop loyal, engaged, and customer-focused employees; propel change and creativity; and grow brands into global competitors.

Having gained fluency in Japanese studying in Tokyo, Doug started out his career at Disneyland as an interpreter. His commitment and superb customer service was quickly noticed and he was fast-tracked into a management training program. Shortly afterwards, he was hand-picked to join the start-up team for Tokyo Disneyland, where he helped navigate cultural differences and recruit and train over 4000 new hires for Disney’s first international theme park before returning to California to head training at Disneyland U.

After leaving Disney, Doug was a start-up member of the Intercultural Relations Institute (IRI), a consulting firm in Palo Alto. With founder, C. Clarke of Stanford University, Doug and the IRI team helped Asian, European and American multinational corporations overcome the intercultural challenges that derail many international mergers.

After being invited to provide service and leadership training for several major companies, Doug started up his own company DOUGLIPP.COM in 1993. Since then, he has delivered keynotes in Latin America, Canada, Asia, Europe, South America and Africa. Additionally he is the author of the bestselling book Disney U, which has been translated into Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Spanish, and Portuguese.

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    Doug enjoyed a unique career with Disney, beginning in 1978. He achieved recognition as a college intern in the Disneyland Marketing Department in Anaheim, where his natural speaking and leadership skills caught the eye of Disney’s executive leadership. After graduate school, he was fast-tracked into an exclusive Disney management-training program, where he was quickly promoted to a leadership role in the prestigious Disney University.

    During this time,Tokyo Disneyland (TDL) was in its initial stages of development. It was vital that the “Disney Way” be implemented in its first theme park overseas. Doug was selected to help train visiting Japanese executives in this philosophy before TDL opened. His success and acute sensitivity to intercultural management issues earned Doug a position on the team of American executives assigned to build and open TDL. For two years, Doug helped manage both the construction and operations phases of TDL, including hiring and training more than 4,000 Japanese employees. Doug later penned the first of eight books titled The Success of Tokyo Disneyland. This highly acclaimed book is one of the first to address the effects of culture on business.

    After completion of TDL in 1983, Doug returned to Disney’s headquarters to lead corporate training initiatives. At the time, Disney was undergoing tumultuous change. Not only was the company preparing to release its first-ever PG-rated movie, but it was also experiencing change in leadership, away from a family-led business. Disney was threatened by hostile corporate raiders and the leadership team was under constant attack. Eventually, Michael Eisner stepped in as CEO, joined by COO Frank Wells. A modern era of a Walt and Roy Disney-like partnership was ushered in.

    Doug continued to work at Disney’s corporate office during this period of new leadership and strategic growth. The new Disney strove to cater to a broader audience, developing a product line to appeal to both youngsters and adults—from The Little Mermaid and Toy Story to Pretty Woman and ESPN. Eisner and Wells demonstrated an ability to respect the company legacy and brand, while also creating new markets. Doug worked alongside Disney’s leadership team,meet5 where he witnessed these strategic developments first-hand. When Doug is hired to speak about “Disney,” “customer service,” and “change,” he brings an intimate perspective from a time of historical significance at Disney.

    After heartfelt soul-searching, Doug decided to leave the Walt Disney Company to pursue his passion for researching and analyzing successful global corporations. Doug’s fluency in Japanese, combined with his recent experience at Tokyo Disneyland, fueled his decision to go independent. After experiencing first-hand the successes and frustrations faced by international teams with the TDL project, Doug wanted to help other multinational organizations struggling with issues related to international teamwork.

    With a professor from Stanford University (and co-author of Doug’s second book), Doug helped lead a private, Palo Alto-based, consulting firm and think-tank called the Intercultural Relations Institute (IRI). Through IRI, Doug worked with international corporations based in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and the U.S. Doug taught IRI’s clients, such as Procter & Gamble and Intel, how to develop and implement strategies for better leadership and management of diverse teams of professionals in the growing global business arena.

    After years of consulting Fortune 500 clients, Doug joined NEC, a major Japanese corporation. For the next seven years, Doug consulted NEC’s multinational executives at their newly constructed semiconductor plant in Northern California.

    During this time, Doug also worked extensively with a local economic development group called SACTO (Sacramento Area Commerce and Trade Organization). As Chair of SACTO’s Pacific Rim Committee, Doug served as an ambassador for the Sacramento region and helped the organization fulfill its mission of recruiting international companies to the Sacramento area. Doug travelled to Japan a dozen times on this mission, often accompanied by city mayors and university presidents. Doug and the SACTO teams helped attract such companies as Kikkoman Soy Sauce, Gekkeikan Sake and Mitsubishi Rayon to Sacramento, resulting in millions of direct-investment dollars and hundreds of jobs for the region’s economy.

    In 1993, Doug’s life-long, entrepreneurial spirit took hold yet again! At the time, the Pebble Beach Company had recruited Doug to lead a 30-day “Disney-esque” customer service training initiative. After successfully completing this assignment, Doug established his own training and consulting firm, and within one day (okay, less!), he was off and running with his usual gusto! G. Douglas Lipp & Associates was born.

    Doug and his wife, Pam, have been actively growing the Company for more than 20 years. Pam oversees marketing and administration, while Doug hits the road on consulting and speaking engagements.

    In the early years, G. Douglas Lipp & Associates primarily provided corporate training programs for long-term service and leadership projects for several large U.S., Canadian and Japanese clients. It was during these early years that Doug became intrigued by how many “experts” spoke and wrote about Disney and its culture … many of whom had never worked for the company, nor could match Doug’s professional background and intimate, first-hand working experience at Disney. In 1994 and 1995, Doug tested the public’s interest in his wealth of Disney and Corporate knowledge by conducting a series of public customer service and leadership seminars. This success, along with two books on service excellence and leadership, led to large-scale demand for keynote speeches driven by his unique stage-presence and compelling message.

    Since 1995, Doug has delivered many thousands of keynote presentations to well over one million attendees around the world. He is a passionate champion for building great and enduring organizations through the development of loyal, engaged and customer-focused employees. He feels fortunate to be represented by the most prestigious speaking bureaus in the world, as well as the opportunity to share his message with an impressive client list in countries around the globe. Doug is also a prolific author, penning eight books. His most recent is the best-selling, Disney U: How Disney University Develops the World’s Most Engaged, Loyal, and Customer-Centric Employees. And the world has taken a keen interest in its message … Disney U has been translated into Chinese, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese and Korean!

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Doug Lipp's Speech Descriptions

Doug Lipp is on a mission to help organizations strengthen their corporate culture, boost performance, amplify employee morale, and unapologetically, have fun while doing it. In every presentation he candidly and passionately unpacks key ingredients for creating cultures of significance – the preeminent factor driving business success. Winning audience hearts and minds with numerous anecdotes from the world’s most iconic brand, Doug maps out paths to strengthening communication, customer service, innovation, and diversity.

By age 29, Doug was the head of Disney’s world famous Disney University at their Corporate Headquarters. With over 30 years of combined experience working at Disney and in his private practice, Doug has helped increase human and corporate potential. He teaches organizations and individuals real-life skills to redefine service and leadership excellence, embrace change, and compete in the global marketplace.

Doug provides every client with a thorough pre-event needs assessment by conducting interviews with their leaders, employees and even their customers. He then weaves the organization’s history, challenges and goals into his presentation message. Join Doug as he takes you on an entertaining and insightful journey “behind the scenes” to discover both the secret of Disney’s success and how it and other organizations have overcome spectacular challenges.

    Branding / Values / Loyalty / Culture / Corporate Culture

    Disney stands the test of time as the ultimate icon of applied imagination. How did Walt Disney create “The Happiest Place on Earth?” What are the secrets behind its employee development dynasty? And how does it reinforce its organizational values, culture and brand on a day-to-day basis? During this animated and high-energy program, you’ll learn how Disney continues to capture and inspire the hearts and minds of thousands of employees around the globe through an unwavering devotion to the core values established by Walt himself. Learn how Disney University Founder Van France has brought to life — for generations of employees — Walt’s timeless values of Innovate, Support, Educate and Entertain.

    Leadership / Management / Teamwork / Managing Teams

    Leaders build the culture, live the culture, and reinforce the culture every single day. Leadership has always set the tone within an organization, but today there’s growing consensus that a winning, sustainable culture is only achieved when it is ‘actively’ steeped throughout the entire organization. In this program, Doug persuasively demonstrates that organizational culture is much more than a coat of paint daubed on the walls of a building. Culture is the cornerstone of success and supports your business performance and all operations. As such, it’s uniquely yours and almost impossible for competitors to copy.

    Customer Service / CommunicatIon / Motivation / Inspiration

    How has Disney managed to keep its employees and customers so fiercely devoted to the brand? How has it managed to continually top the charts as one of the world’s most loved brands? How can you learn from its practices to catapult your organization’s service strategies to even higher levels? Learn the four components that are at the heart of Disney University: Innovate. Support. Educate. Entertain. Discover how legendary service is a delicate balance between art and science. “Doing the ordinary in an extraordinary fashion” isn’t rocket science; customer service excellence must be ingrained throughout your culture. In this ever-changing economy, more companies than ever are realizing the strategic importance of transforming their service culture to differentiate themselves from competitors.

    Change / Managing Change / Creativity / Innovation

    The best and the brightest make mistakes. However, the ability to learn from setbacks, then bounce back even stronger is the hallmark of market leaders. Join Doug as he discusses Walt Disney’s unrivaled focus on creating one of the strongest teams of dreamers and doers in the world. “Change or perish” defines the innovative Disney culture. Doug takes you behind-the-scenes to discover how Disney pushed through obstacles by relentlessly challenging the status quo in literally every corner of the company.

    Global Competitiveness / Diversity / Global Marketplace / Managing Global Teams

    Walt Disney had it right all those years ago … “it is a small world.” And guess what? It’s getting even smaller! Mobility and greater access to multicultural markets is heralding in exciting, new opportunities for organizations willing to raise their diversity IQ. In this powerful and cutting-edge presentation, Doug Lipp shows that regardless of whether your organization is selling globally, the face of the customer is changing. Gone are the days of managing or marketing to a homogenous group. Customer groups, employees, channel partners, and shareholders now represent different cultures, generations, and ways of thinking. Organizations must adjust— or be willing to lose—in their global battle for market share.

    Event Moderator / Emcee / Facilitator / Host
    Audiences and guest speakers immediately connect with Doug’s relaxed,-yet informed style and ability to think on his feet. His many years of business experience and consulting gives Doug the ability to engage with people from all business backgrounds. Doug’s skill as a professional speaker, humorous story-teller, interviewer and facilitator ensures your conference objectives are met with just the right amount of humor and interaction to keep the message fresh and memorable.

What People are Saying about Seeing Doug Speak

Rating Entries

    Scudder Investments
    “Our clients were not only entertained by your energetic and entertaining presentation but they learned something they could take back and apply within their organization. I also wanted to thank you Doug for all your pre-event reserarch.”

    “Your engaging style and personal experience supported your key topics of communication, leaerhip and the need for constant change. We are in a hugely competitive market and your stories of how Disney differentiated itself from the competition were inspiring to all.”

    Remedy Intelligent Staffing
    “You gave what was without a doubt the best presentation we have ever had. I would like to commend you on your pre-event research. Anyone hearing you would assume that you are a long term Remedy employee due to the skillful way you meshed our company culture, vocabulary, and methods into your presentation.”

    Regions Bank
    “Your presentation on how to maintain excellent customer relations during change, in this case a merger, was superb. By spending a significant amount of your time learning about our bank, the acquiring bank, and the specifics of the merger before the event, you were able to deliver a detailed presentation that was meaningful.”

    LaSalle Advisors
    “You have a unique ability to captivate an audience with your delivery and humor while also communicating pertinent and relevant information. Your keynote presentation was the highlight of our conference.”

    “The key to your successful presentation was your ability to blend an important message with an approach which is effective to an international audience. The examples you shared from your days with Disney in Japan and the U.S. made your message all the more enjoyable.”

    Sandia National Laboratories
    “Our Management Team Leadership Conference was a success and your keynote presentation set the tone for the entire day. Your willingness to take time before the conference to understand our needs in terms of the change process was very appreciated and recognized as a key factor for success!” 

    KPMG Peat Marwich
    Your reputation as an excellent and well-prepared motivational speaker proceeded yourself and you proved that your recognition is well-deserved. Rather than speak about generalities, you communicated your message through the use of relevant information and topics that the audience was knowledgeable and comfortable with.”

    Soft Network Users Group
    “I was absolutely swamped with an overwhelming number of responses from the members…all positive. Your keynote set a tone that we managed to carry through to the close of the conference.  You were so highly regarded, I have been ′required′ to work on the selection of next year′s speaker!”

    United States Air Force
    “Your presentation was top notch and extremely well received. I would heartily and without reservation recommend Doug to any organization interested in giving its employees a peek at the dividends of investing in exceptional customer service.”

    “I found your presentation to be right on target regarding the need for cultural diversity and sensitivity. I felt that your diligence and research was well founded and helped to tailor the presentation for our specific needs.”

    Merrill Lynch
    “Thank you for a wonderful learning experience. Your witty Disney experiences offer invaluable lessons in client service.Your references to our personal challenges made for a seamless presentation. You left the participants enlightened and energized”.

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Books by Doug Lipp:

The Changing Face of Today′s Customer
by Doug Lipp
Customers and employees from around the world are changing the way business is done at home. The Changing Face teaches you vital strategies to attract and retain this rapidly-growing customer and employee base and expand your business, large, or small. Readers will develop “Cultural Sense,” learning how to overcome obstacles to a global service and leadership approach. Includes a foreword by Peter Ueberroth and testimonials from prestigious business leaders such as Ken Blanchard, co-author of The One Minute Manager”

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Even Monkeys Fall from Trees: The Key to Maintaining Your Balance and Recovering from Inevitable Mistakes
by Doug Lipp
This book is designed to be a practical tool to help you analyze the service and products you or your organization provide from the standpoint of being in balance. How well are you attending to both the “art” and “science” needs of your employees and customers? With these 11 exercises that have been adopted by world class organizations, you can determine: your individual and organizational strengths, where you need to make improvements, specific action steps to maximize your strengths and minimize your weaknesses, and a blueprint to attain and maintain your balance!

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