The Disney Creativity Strategy

The Disney Creativity Strategy is a technique developed by Robert Dilts, a pioneer in Neuro-Linguistic Programming. He looked at the way Walt Disney was so successful at turning fantasies into reality. Walt Disney was chosen because he possessed incredible creativity and inventiveness in the film world.

The three vital roles in Disney’s creative process were dreamer, realist and critic and he used different rooms in order to keep his staff coordinated in their thinking on a particular project.

1. Dreamer

In this ‘no limits’ room ideas are spun out and you let your mind wander freely. This is the visionary big picture where you imagine any possibilities that may exist. Don’t impose any boundaries or limitations but allow your thoughts to flow no matter how outrageous the idea may seem. This is daydreaming or brainstorming time.

Ask yourself: “In an ideal world, what do I really want?”

2. Realist

This is the pragmatic stage where you begin to consider whether the dream can work ‘in reality’. Think constructively and devise an action plan whereby you establish time frames and milestones for progress.

In this space dreams are co-ordinated and the story board created as events and characters fitted into sequence.

Ask Yourself “What will I do to make these plans a reality?”

3. Critic

This is the ‘sweat box’ devil-s advocate room where you judge whether or not the idea will satisfy what you want to achieve – look at it from the perspective of what could go wrong. Here you will need to test the plan, look for problems, difficulties and unintended consequences. Evaluate whether you need to refine your ideas or abort.

Ask yourself “What could go wrong? What is missing?”

By separating the thinking process into 3 clear stages, you are encouraged to unlock your capability to dream and produce ideas more freely knowing that there will be an opportunity for thorough analysis and development of a solid action plan to make it happen.

What do you think?

Could you use the Walt Disney Method or do you favour another technique?

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