Shape the Future Series: Innovating – Walt Disney | Allan Gray Orbis Foundation
Shape the Future Series: Innovating – Walt Disney

Shape the Future Series: Innovating – Walt Disney

disney-walt-09-gWe have reached the final post for our Shape the Future series.

In our previous post we outlined the attitude of market investigating and profiled Arthur Charles Nielsen.  This week, we look at the attitude of innovating which forms part of the creating mindset under the pillar of Intellectual Imagination.

The creating mindset centres on dreaming up, thinking up and bringing into being an idea, concept or process that is innovative, fresh or new.   We define the attitude of innovating as coming up with something new or fresh particularly when present approaches are failing or inadequate. 

Dropping out of high school at the age of 16 and getting fired from the Kansas City Star newspaper for lack of creativity could easily have set him up for failure, but Walt Disney’s passion for animation and innovation is a tale as magical as those he brought to the silver screen.

Walt Disney was an entertainment innovator, introducing groundbreaking cartoons, feature films, theme parks and more.  His signature creation, Mickey Mouse, is one of the most recognised icons in the world.  Less well known is that Disney developed a systematic innovation process at his studio, which has survived and evolved into a whole culture for fostering innovation.  Through training and experimentation, new techniques were developed to fulfil Disney’s extremely high expectations of quality.

Not only did he encourage innovation at Walt Disney Studios, he also continually reinvented himself according to the changing demands of his ever expanding empire.

walt-disney-fun-facts-460578038-jul-17-2012-600x499From cartoonist, to animator, then voice actor, screenwriter, director and film producer, Walt Disney became a business owner and the process of reinvention began all over again.  He became an entrepreneur, theme park designer and music publisher.  Right up until his death in 1966, Walt Disney continued to dream, inspire and innovate.

Today, The Walt Disney Company is an iconic stable of innovative and creative companies.  It is the world’s 2nd largest listed broadcasting and cable company. From Pixar to Silly Symphonies and the Disney channel, to characters such as Mickey Mouse and Maleficent, one man has left a legacy of innovation which is today, over 90 years old and continues to endure.

That one man accomplished so much is simply extraordinary and teaches us the importance of dreaming big and to keep pursuing those dreams!

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1 Comment

  • Michael Cole 09/12/2014 at 8:51 pm

    Agreed! Walt Disney is a great example of an entrepreneur whose work has left an enduring legacy. An incredible inspiration!

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