Walt Disney's Creative Strategy: the easy way from idea to realization


Disney creative strategy

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With the Walt Disney’s Creative Strategy template, capitalize on your team's full range of skills, bring all your ideas to life and create the conditions to make them happen! As the team takes turns to be the Dreamer, the Realist and the Critic, you can all express your ideas, challenge them and create an action plan to make them happen, all to make your projects a success.

Walt Disney's creative strategy, an original creativity technique to make your projects a success

Creativity doesn't always just happen. Fortunately, there are ways to stimulate it such as the Walt Disney’s strategy.

"There were actually three Walts: the Dreamer, the Realist and the Spoiler", wrote Robert B. Dilts. This Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) specialist was inspired by the legendary animator’s working methods to create the Walt Disney’s creative strategy.

This strategy uses these three personalities for an effective team brainstorming session, to take a step back from your ideas, get a different perspective and find the best way to make them happen. Creatively and visually, everyone's ideas are expressed, reviewed and validated until they come to life.

Once the dream has been fine-tuned, all that remains is to create an action plan to make it a reality!

How can these three complementary perspectives help you to come up with new ideas and turn them into reality as a team?

Use the Walt Disney’s Creative Strategy template in a brainstorming session, to capitalize on your team's full range of skills.

Without a dose of reality, it would be hard for the dreamers to make their ideas come true. In the same way, the critic and the realist personalities would struggle to be creative and innovative without the dreamer. And without the realist, the critic and the dreamer would just fight all the time. The dreamer and the realist can accomplish things together, but quality would suffer without a critic on board.

For an original and effective ideation session, slip into the shoes of these three personality traits that exist in all of us, to create strategies that will guarantee successful teamwork. They may seem surprising to you, but they will prove to be highly effective because they are what we know how to do naturally, based on our personal history, our feelings and our own skills.

How do you run a brainstorming session using the Walt Disney strategy?

Prepare your whiteboard by entering the purpose of the ideation workshop, the name of the team and the date, and invite your colleagues to join it.

Next, turn off board view and list view before launching three phases of individual reflection. Participants will then be able to focus on their own ideas without influencing each other.

Use the timer to give your participants 5 minutes to take on the role of the dreamer and put their ideas on the board. Tell them to imagine what they would do if they had a magic wand; no holds barred!

Then, do the same exercise adopting the role of the realist, which should add a dose of reality to the project. Now, is the time to think about organization, budget, resources etc.

Finally, invite the team to take on the role of the critic, who will highlight all the weaknesses. Time to act like the Devil’s advocate!

Once this individual reflection has been completed, it’s time for a debriefing. Turn the board view and list view back on to reveal the ideas, sorted by color for each character. This is when collective creativity really starts to work. You discuss ideas, clarify them using the Question tool, link those that are interconnected, and like your favorites. Move the most successful ones to the saved ideas box.

End your workshop by creating your action plan. Based on the saved ideas, the group suggests the actions to be taken in green, and collectively assigns each action to a team member. Don't forget to add the expected realization date in Dimensions, and admire the end result of this creative, fun and truly collaborative brainstorming session!

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