Business Lessons from The Rose Parade

15 Jan 2020

Business Lessons from The Rose Parade

I had the very fortunate opportunity to attend the 131st Annual Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena this year! The Parade theme this year was “2020 The Power of Hope.” Not only was it a fantastic way to celebrate New Years Day with dear friends, it was also impressive to see the history and innovation that have kept The Rose Parade relevant and thriving as an iconic New Year’s tradition.

Tradition Plus Innovation – The Rose Parade continues to WOW us year after year with innovation, showcasing state-of-the-art technology, and a commitment to continuous improvement.

We could all take some business lessons from The Rose Parade.

A Clear Vision – The Tournament of Roses focuses only on three entry categories for the Rose Parade: floral floats, equestrian units, and marching bands. They know what they do best and their commitment to excellence allows them to select only the highest caliber entries and float designs. With a new theme announced each January, they build upon the experience and tradition year after year.

Utilize Good People & Systems – The Rose Parade and Tournament of Roses are extremely organized and have a formal process for engaging the community, the sponsors, and the volunteer membership that executes this incredible event. These tried and true systems are the basis for recruiting and training the almost 1,000 volunteer members of The Tournament of Roses. The volunteers that we talked with were extremely welcoming and knowledgeable, even when they had to change plans for previewing the floats due to some mechanical issues. They were very friendly and honored the tickets for the following day with no questions asked.

The pride that the Rose Parade staff and volunteers feel about The Rose Parade is inspirational. One gentleman I spoke with has volunteered on the same sponsor’s float for 14 years. He explained all the ins and outs about the float, the materials, the timeline – they begin working on next year’s parade as soon as this one concludes! Once the new theme is decided toward the end of January, designers submit their float ideas to the committee for approval in February and then construction begins. The live flowers go in at the end of December, three days before the Parade. Fun fact: each flower has its own individual water reservoir!

Excellent Customer Experience – The Rose Parade integrates all of the aspects of a truly wonderful customer experience. The craftsmanship on the floats was breathtaking. It was a very different experience to see them up close and in-person than simply on the TV screen. The mechanics and moving parts integrated with music were magical. The detail that was created with each black bean, lentil, and seed individually placed in just the right spot to create a character’s hair, or the beak of a phoenix was truly a work of art. The care that each Rose Parade staffer took to ensure a memorable and joyful event for everyone speaks volumes to the overall leadership, commitment, and engagement of the Tournament of Roses Organization.

I share all of this with you because I challenge you to make 2020 a year to take your company to the next level. How can you apply some of these lessons with your own business, staff, and customers? Start with a clear vision. Create impeccable systems and train and empower your people to treat your customers to an inspirational and memorable experience. What will it take for you to harness The Power of Hope and celebrate the influence of optimism this year?

by Kim Ellet, CPC, The Growth Coach of Metro Atlanta

Kim Ellet is a certified professional coach and owner of The Growth Coach of Metro Atlanta. She finds joy in helping successful leaders committed to continuous improvement, be more of who they are, dream bigger dreams, and accomplish more than they realized was possible. www.TheGrowthCoach/Atlanta.com

One thought on “Business Lessons from The Rose Parade”

  1. What a fantastic experience! Thanks for sharing it!
    Your insights are spot on. Being a process and systems maven, I especially appreciate the attention to defining and refining the way everything is done so such high quality results can be repeatedly achieved while scaling in every dimension over the years! 131 years – WOW!

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