Thursday, June 04, 2009

#ASTD09 Inspiring Creativity, Disney Style

Presentation: Inspiring Creativity – Disney Style
Presenter: Lisa Spahn, Disney Institute

OK – I’ll admit to being a little nervous about this one. I get scared of perky people. She’s mighty perky.

Thankfully, an unexpected level of snark appeared 10 minutes into the session.
Love it when unexpected people get real.


What talking about
- Strategies – why we do what we do
- What do that costs little to nothing
- How to adopt and adapt to organization

Organizational Creativity
- Why important
- What is it
- How is it achieved
- Where applied

Talking about baseline creativity
- Fixing things with tape and bubble gum
- Recipe substitution
- The day to day problem solving

Imagination trained out of us.

Gotta exercise creativity muscle.

We believe:
- Everyone is creative (doesn’t matter what level or role)
- Creativity brings competitive advantage
- You can organize to maximize creativity

Defining creativity
Audience definition
- Doing more with less
- Thinking outside the box
- Making things better than what it was – can be different
- artistic expression –
- Focus on solution. “Opportunities – no problems” [at least she was a tad snarky here]

Disney definition
- problem-solving
- not assuming same answer is the right answer
- recognize strengthened by bouncing ideas
- let the ideas incubate
- System in place – rewarded for passion
- If push it, doesn’t work. Respected because you tried – more so than if you just sat back.

If you want people to give you ideas / take a chance
- Will you reward them for the mistake? Punish? Limitations to your tolerance for mistake-making?

Organizational creativity is the collective expression, analysis and implementation of ideas.
Team activity

Ideas from team (Kim, Maurice, Haauni)
- What can you use hat for - 13
Bottle cooler
Tree decoration
Table decoration
Wall ornament

Creativity model
- Expression – collaborative culture
- Analysis – organizational identity
- Implementation – structural systems

Organizational identity
- Think inside the box (organizational identity)
- Customer – for whom are you in business
- Vision – where do you see yourself, your sphere of influence
- Mission – what you do every day to achieve vision. Daily activities.
+remember, focus on vision too
- Essence – how do you want people to FEEL. (What separates Disney)

Epcot (1988) – not seen as part of Disney World.
- Seen as “educational park”
- No established organizational identity
- Once established – could get right-fit attractions
- Customer – people of all ages anywhere
- Vision – recognizing the commonalities that unify is and celebrate our differences
- Mission – Create engaging experiences
- Essence – Discovery
- Knowing organziational identity
+ With organizational identity – can make choices and prioritize
+ All rides must showcase new technologies at Epcot. Big priority.

Do you HAVE an organizational identity (all 4 sides)?
How do you communicate it? Get other people’s input – because that helps with buy in because they are involved.

Collaborative Culture
- Everyone is creative!
- Your ideas are separate from your identity
+ Many are very wedded to ideas.
+ To separate person from idea.

Team exercise – Yes and / Yes but
- Yes but – immediate shutdown. Not allowed at Disney Institute
- Yes and – more positive

Rock with stars and color and eyes in a pretty box with talking in different languages and hats and accessories.

Way to get everyone involved “plus up an idea” – start with yes and.
- Build up the idea.
- Do yes, and when you have a good idea.
- Have person who came up with idea start the yes and – “plus up the idea” and they end it. Gives them ownership.
- Have them practice with selling rocks. When practice with a different idea – they understand.
- Have it go around.

Does the idea fit the Organizational Identity FIRST, then go through the plus it up exercise.

Disney had to change culture to be more collaborative.
- Expect passion for the purpose
- If give them avenue to express ideas – start to build

Shared values – if someone not quite understanding values
- Instead of confronting – 8x11 award

Communication – sometimes if get a no, there may be an easier solution

Trust – ask “What would you do?”
- Get the easily implemented ideas first
- Then knew could get others implemented

Variety of Perspectives – listen to other ideas

Whatever we accomplish should belong to the entire group.

Structural Systems – Team activity
- Parameters – objectives, time limit, budget, also check in dates. Baby steps.
- Expertise – make sure they don’t need help. Let them know its OK to need help.
- Accountability – meeting at 30 days cancelled. We are 100% accountable. If something is important - make sure you behave that way.
- Processes

Continuous Improvement Cycle at Disney
- Listen, learn

- Measure – what is actually happening. Counted using paper as people would drag strollers through turnstiles. 800 ticks in 1 week.

- Act – got together cross-functional team. Resorts, maintenance, attractions etc.
+ Solution – piece of paper during rental

- Remeasure – after solution implemented, only 6

- Recognize and Celebrate!!!!
+ Sincere thank you from direct leader. Specific and individual
+ Food
+ Movie tickets (because of the environment) – the GOLD ONES that never expire

- Share the idea!!!!!

Leader wears the hat

You are leader , supports the cast members who give great satisfaction to guest which gives repeat business

Scope of influence – if can’t change the company, but can change your section of the world.
- If you start doing great things in your area, everyone starts asking.

Leader role – commit to identity

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