Saturday, March 17, 2012

Solved Case Study of Disney's Design

The Walt Disney Company is heralded as the world's largest entertainment company.   It has earned this astounding reputation through tight control over the entire operation: control over the open – ended brainstorming that takes place 24 hours a day; control over the engineers who construct the fabulous theme – park rides; control over the animators who create and design beloved characters and adventurous scenarios; and control over the talent that brings the many concepts and characters to life. Although control pervades the company, it is not too strong a grip.   Employees in each department are well aware of their objectives and the parameters established to meet those objectives.  But in conjunction with the pre-determined responsibilities, managers at Disney encourage independent and innovative thinking.

People at the company have adopted the phrase "Dream as a Team" as a reminder that whimsical thoughts, adventurous ideas, and all – out dreaming are at the core of the company philosophy.   The over all control over each department is tempered by this concept.  Disney managers strive to empower their employees by leaving room for their creative juices to flow.   In fact, managers at Disney do more than encourage innovation.  They demand it.  Projects assigned to the staff "imaginers" seem impossible at first glance.    At Disney, doing the seemingly impossible is part of what innovation means.  Teams of imaginers gather together in a brainstorming session known as the "Blue Sky" phase.   Under the "Blue Sky", an uninhibited exchange of wild, ludicrous, outrageous ideas, both " good" and " bad", continues until solutions are found and the impossible is done.   By demanding so much of their employees, Disney managers effectively drive their employees to be creative. 

Current Disney leader Michael Eisner has established the "Dream as a Team" concept.   Eisner realized that managers at Disney needed to let their employees brainstorm and create with support.  As Disney president Frank Weds says, "If a good idea is there, you know it, you feel it, you do it, no matter where it comes from." 

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