Flip the Switch

135: Driving Change through AR, VR and Human-Centered Design w/ Steven King

Augmented reality and virtual reality are transforming both the in-venue and at-home viewing experience. To understand how to incorporate these emerging technologies, we sat down with Steven King, director of University of North Carolina’s Blue Sky Innovation lab.  King’s work is rooted in human-centered design and this episode hits on some of the latest projects coming out of the lab and how to effectively use human-centered design for brainstorming and change management. 


2:42    “Time Space” Storytelling at The Washington Post

4:32     Human-Centered Design Methodology

10:54   Testing Before Investing 

12:25   Change Has to Be Exponentially Better

17:40   Bridging In-Venue and At-Home Viewing

21:36   HoloLens Headsets

25:35   The NBA is Missing the Mark on VR Viewing

30:37   Change Management and Defining Success

35:53   Leadership’s Impact on Creativity

42:14   Key Organizational Players in Driving Change

46:53   Misconceptions 

48:13   Learning About New Trends


For more information on topics covered in this episode, check out: 

UNC’s Blue Sky Innovation lab: Website | LinkedIn 

Connect with Steven on LinkedIn

Steven’s Go To Sources

Fortune Brainstorm Tech

Tech Crunch

On Steven’s bookshelf

The Ride of a Lifetime by Bob Iger

Shoe Dog by Phil Knight

Free to Focus by Michael Hyatt

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134: Measuring Burnout and Workaholism in College Athletics w/ Matt Huml

It used to be fun to work in sports. But like so many other industries, responsibilities have increased, often demanding employees to achieve more with less. The result, according to Matt Huml, can be burnout, workaholism, disengagement, and resentment. In this episode, we dive deep into Matt’s two most recent research projects: “The Effect of Remote Work on Family and Work Dynamics Within the Sport Industry;” and “From engaged worker to workaholic: a mediated model of athletic department employees”. 


2:43    Behind the Research

5:45    The Razor’s Edge Between Engaged Worker vs. Workaholic

9:02    What’s Wrong with a Team of Workaholics?

13:01  The Full Financial Impact of Turnover

20:03  Improving the Recruiting Pitch for Staff 

27:45  The Extreme Sacrifices

32:05  Evaluating Extreme Sacrifices on Your Team

41:09  The Radioactive Ring Around Coaches 


For more info on topics referenced in this episode:

Read the Full Versions of Matt’s research – 

The Effect of Remote Work on Family and Work Dynamics in the Sports Industry

From engaged worker to workaholic: a mediated model of athletic department employees

Books highlighted – 

Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World by Cal Newport

Hear more about the outcomes from our workshop with Penn State 

Episode 96: How to Curb the Great Resignation in Your Organization

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133: How Mentor Managers Inspire Employees to “Love it Here” w/ Clint Pulver

After more than 220 undercover interviews with 12,000 employees, Clint Pulver is known as the leading authority on employee retention.  In this episode, David and Clint discuss the key attributes of mentor managing and the 5 Cs of leadership that result in employees saying, “I Love it Here.”


2:24     The Undercover Millennial Program

5:49     Behind the Book “I Love It Here”

9:24     The 4 Types of Managers

17:36   Assessing Your Leadership – The 5 Cs

21:43   Leading Through Transitions – Status Interviews

25:43   Finding Purpose

27:56   Advocating vs. Developing

32:06   The Power of Purpose

34:46   Individual Needs vs. Organizational Needs

42:28   To Don’t Lists

44:23   Be A Mr. Jensen


To connect with Clint Pulver, check out his website or follow him on social: 

ClintPulver.com | Twitter | LinkedIn | YouTube

Read Clint’s book I Love It Here 

For more leadership resources, check out Clint’s masterclass

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132: Influencing the Guest Experience from the Frontlines w/ Vanessa Ward

In this episode, David Millay sits down with Vanessa Ward, Vice President of Event Service for the Phoenix Suns. Before joining the Suns, Vanessa spent time at Disney, launching the Guest Experience Center, and the Chicago Cubs, overseeing the Guest and Associate Experience.  Understanding that the employee experience directly impacts the guest experience, Vanessa shares tactics on communicating significant changes from event to event, making events unique for the staff and how to develop niche service programs.


3:17    Takeaways and Key Learnings from Disney

6:09    The Service Recovery Toolkit

10:42  Building a New Service Recovery Toolkit 

13:25  Disney’s Guest Experience Center and Proactively Resolving Issues

20:17  Customer Satisfaction Surveys 

25:50  Newsletters and Themes to Drive the Seasonal Employee Experience

39:17  “Know Before You Go” Communications

43:12   Building a Niche Service Operation

49:15   Training Throughout the Season

52:21   Taking Risks


Other podcasts referenced in this episode: 

Episode 35: Personalizing the Guest Experience w/ Brian Betts (Disney’s Guest Experience Center) 

Connect with Vanessa on LinkedIn or email

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128: Discovering the STORY Behind Superfandom w/ Brittany Hodak

Previously on Flip the Switch, Brittany Hodak shared her ‘SUPER’ framework that brands can leverage to increase loyalty and fandom. With her new book, Creating Superfans coming out today (January 10), David Millay welcomes Brittany back to the show to discuss new frameworks and models that small businesses and global brands everywhere can implement to convert customers and employees into superfans.


2:29     Creating Superfans Podcast

6:53     SUPER Framework Overview

9:57     Ladder to Superfandom (Customer Apathy)

19:57   STORY framework

25:04   Getting to Know Your Customer’s Story

28:13   Digging into Customer Struggles

30:42   Pitching the Transformation

33:41   Simplifying Journey Maps

41:05   Measuring the Customer Experience (CSAT and EgR)

45:18   Prioritizing the Employee Experience

48:20   The Platinum Rule


For more from Brittany on Creating Superfans, check out:


Purchase Creating Superfans: How To Turn Your Customers Into Lifelong Advocates

Listen to the Creating Superfans Podcast

Subscribe to the Creating Superfans newsletter

Brittany’s Twitter | LinkedIn


Listen to Brittany’s previous appearance:

Episode 66: Cultivating SUPER Fans

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126: Secrets to Success in Customer Service and Company Culture w/ Dennis Snow

Following a 20-year career at Disney, Dennis Snow identified 10 key lessons that all organizations could follow to achieve the same success in customer service and company culture.  Since leaving the magic, Dennis has spent the last 23 years inspiring organizations on how to adapt those 10 lessons and apply the core service principles to their operation.  

In this episode, we unpack the lessons from his two books, “Lessons from the Mouse: A Guide for Applying Disney World’s Secrets of Success to Your Organization, Your Career, and Your Life” and “Unleashing Excellence: The Complete Guide to Ultimate Customer Service”.

Show Notes

3:40     More Than a Summer Job

6:56     Empowering the Magic

10:33   Lessons from the Mouse

12:40   Everyone Has a Customer

13:35   Don’t Be a Customer Service Robot

19:14   Figure Out What Ticks Off Your Customers

28:01   Language Matters

35:04   Hiring vs. Coaching Empathy

37:41   Unleashing Excellence and the Service Improvement Team

41:29   Internal Improvements vs. External Training

44:38   Accountability

48:03   Drafting Job Descriptions

50:58   Onboarding and “Brag worthy” First Days

59:11   Define What the Experience Should Be


For more information on topics covered in this episode:

Connect with Dennis

Snow Associates | Email 

Dennis’ books

Lessons From the Mouse: A Guide for Applying Disney World’s Secrets of Success to Your Organization, Your Career, and Your Life

Unleashing Excellence: The Complete Guide to Ultimate Customer Service

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125: Bringing Greater Hospitality to the Ballpark w/ Eric Weisberg

The baseball business is a relationship business and has the same core values as any other hospitality industry.  It’s a practice that Eric Weisberg preaches as the Vice President of Fan Experience.  In this episode, Eric discusses the influences roles with Disney and the Kansas City Zoo has on his career in baseball, his “Fan Host for a Day” program and how to show up for a job in the sports industry.  

3:43     Eric’s Career Journey to Tampa

11:09   Hiring for Skill Sets over Industry Experience

13:44   Fan Host for a Day

21:02   From Negative Experience to Brand Ambassador

26:45   Reviewing the Savannah Bananas

32:12   The Tech Driving the Future MLB Fan Experience

34:27   The Effect of Promotions and Theme Days

43:07   Influencing the Fan Experience Vision Across Departments

45:45   The Best Fan Experience: Naturalization Ceremony

48:46   Breaking Into the Industry

55:46   Parting Advice: Place Emphasis on the Staff


Connect with Eric via email
Join Sports Learning Online –  a cross-functional community of sports business professionals coming together to share best practices and foster professional development.

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124: How to Intentionally Serve Your Premium Clients w/ Lisa Holladay

In today’s episode, we’re joined by Lisa Holladay, Chief Experience Officer at Tiger 21, a high wealth membership organization.  Lisa has spent her career in service hospitality, with stops at Mercedes-Benz and Ritz-Carlton.  By viewing customers as owners, guests or members, each of these brands have created more personal relationships, resulting in more memorable experiences.  

We break down the principles that make these brands synonymous with guest experience, from their customer framework to the strategies that empower staff, encourage trust and enable transparency within the memberships.  


Show Notes

3:12    Lisa’s Career “Homes”

6:00    Guests vs. Owners vs. Members

8:09    From Rational to Emotional Purchases

9:47    What is Tiger 21?

15:18  It’s the Little Things That Matter 

20:38  Curating Trust and Transparency in Community

26:28  KPIs to Building a Successful Community

29:30  Recognizing Loyalty

34:16  Joshie the Giraffe and Empowering Staff

40:00  The Value of Kudos

41:28  Linking Experience to Brand Promise

46:35  Hot Take: Fake It ‘til You Make It


For more on topics covered in this episode:


Ritz-Carlton and Joshie the Giraffe

Connect with Lisa on LinkedIn or Instagram

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119: Reframing Retreats & Resetting Your Operation w/ David Millay and Katie Rudy

In the daily grind, it’s hard to find time to work on the business when you are working in the business.   

Staff retreats offer teams the opportunity to reset, reframe the operation and define goals for a new chapter.  

In this episode, David Millay and Katie Rudy break down approaches to team retreats and key activities to include to break the cycle and improve your operation.

We cover:

  • Defining goals of the retreats
  • Establishing success metrics
  • Evaluating realities of your industry
  • The role of a facilitator


To find out how we can help you reframe your staff retreat and set a new path for the year, email David or Katie for a free strategy call.

Other topics referenced in this episode:
Greg McKeown: Where You Learned to Handle Conflict

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116: The 5 Key Elements Impacting Powerful Customer Experiences w/ Elizabeth Dixon

To design a first-class customer experience, it starts with the mindset, the stories we’re telling ourselves internally and the framework for how we’re viewing the world and aligning it with what we want to create for people around us.

In this episode, David sits down with Elizabeth Dixon, entrepreneur and business leader at Elizabeth Dixon Speaks.  Elizabeth has worked for or alongside several customer-centric organizations, including her current role of Principal Lead of Strategy, Hospitality and Service Design at Chick-fil-A corporate.  Combining best practices and insights from her career, Elizabeth shares the 5 key elements of a great customer experience. 

From mindset, we discuss the differences between service and hospitality, customer clarity, defining what makes your organization unique and innovating to meet customer needs.


Show Notes

3:27    Applying Strategy and Design to CX

5:03    5 Key Elements of Great Customer Experience

6:52    Elizabeth’s Career Path through Chick-fil-A

7:53    The Difference Between Service and Hospitality

15:09  Choosing Your Mindset

22:15  Recovery Situations and Broken Processes

26:15  Disney and Ritz-Carlton’s Service Recovery systems

29:55  Create Your Culture

35:19  Know Your Customer

40:24  Define Your Differentiator

43:20  Pursue Innovation


For more info on the topics covered in this episode, check out:


Connect with Elizabeth on Instagram or LinkedIn

The Power of Customer Experience: 5 Elements to Make an Impact

A More Beautiful Question by Warren Berger

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