Disney, Creativity & Teamwork

Table of Content

The brand of Disney displays many forms of creativity in their everyday business processes. Disney displays their success in creativity and teamwork everyday through theme parks and resorts, media and entertainment, and merchandise. Before achievements are made, there is a creative process to be explored. Creativity and teamwork are strongly correlated in business and in order for those concepts to be jointly successful, three steps should be addressed.

Using Disney as a parallel, this paper explores the beginning stages of creativity and teams through individual contribution, investigates the roadblocks associated with teamwork and creativity, and finally, presents the success of the creative process within teams. The very beginnings of a team and the creative process start with the establishment of individual goals, skills, and knowledge. It is important for the individuals of a team to share knowledge inventory to establish everyone’s goals, experiences, abilities, and style.

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It is beneficial to identify differences to help decide roles in the team and also the right people to best fit a particular section in the project. For example, Disney employs hundreds of people called “Imagineers” based on their skills and experiences whose sole purpose is to develop creative ideas (McGinn-Cardwell, 2003). The dual nature of creativity should also be addressed to know when it is appropriate to use divergent and convergent thinking during the creative process.

Divergent thinking helps develop fresh ideas (used by the “imagineers”), and convergent thinking is used to apply those ideas and make them valuable. Knowledge inventories along with divergent and convergent thinking allows for idea generation, analyzing alternative solutions, and for all to be receptive of new thoughts. Disney has a specific and successful creative process that showcases these ideas and has also become famous as a benchmark for many businesses and managers.

Robert Dilts developed the ‘Disney Creative Strategy’ model after observing Disney’s creative process in three separate approaches identified as dreamer, realist, and critic (Kotelnikov, 2011). Each of these roles has a distinct relation to the creative process. The dreamer is the place of unbound thinking and brainstorming. The realist is the place of action and application of ideas and fantasies. And the critic stage tests and checks ideas to see what will work (Dilts, 1996).

These types of roles are essential in any team to allow effective cross checking of seemingly impossible ideas with reality and also critiques of the suggestions to promote healthy conflict and solutions. As Disney has displayed, the creative process and teamwork go hand in hand and are necessary to accomplish goals and become successful. Establishing and discussing individual knowledge inventories and finding “imagineers” in each group while also developing a type of dreamer, realist and critic role for members are beneficial for healthy communication and productive teamwork.

No team is without its problems and disagreements; therefore dealing with those factors is another important step in the creative process. Roadblocks to creativity, whether for a group or for the individual, can occur with social inhibitors, when members have mental sets, and distractions. When members, or the group as a whole, have social inhibitors such as being evaluated or reviewed in some form, it can suppress creativity due to a lack of self-confidence. This occurs in Disney’s creative process in the critic stage.

The dreamers and realists of the team may feel reserved when presenting thoughts in fear of their ideas being shot down. Social inhibitors could lead to social loafing and anxiety for team members. Mental sets, such as functional fixedness, can also limit creativity in groups if one or more individuals are not open to new forms of thoughts or ideas. For example, Disney theme plates and glasses not only hold liquids and food, but can also be a collectable item or gift/toy. Distractions in groups are bound to happen.

Team members need to be fully engaged in team meetings to ensure productivity and respect. Being in the presence of others while generating ideas can cause some team members to hold back so it is necessary to address and correct roadblocks while in the creative process. Despite minor challenges while working in teams, success can transpire. Success from teamwork and the creative process develops from the strengths of brainstorming, diversity and Disney’s principle of “All for one and one for all. Brainstorming, used by imagineers and dreamers in Disney’s creative strategy, encourages freethinking, a plethora of ideas, and combination of thoughts, plans and suggestions. Anonymity in some form may help in this stage to prevent any of the roadblocks mentioned, if appropriate. Accomplishment comes from diversity as well. Diverse ideas, personal backgrounds and experiences all contribute to the creative process in teamwork. Problems with diversity are important to address if issues such as stereotypes or social categorization are made within a group in order to discourage imitations of creativity.

Teamwork, according to Disney, is explained by their “all for one and one for all” motto, which highlights the importance of teamwork and empowerment of team members through loyalty, enthusiasm and commitment (McGinn-Cardwell, 2003). This mentality has contributed to their success of being the ideal foundation for creativity and teamwork. Establishing abilities and individual contribution, addressing roadblocks, and reviewing the steps to successes are all essential for creativity in teams and groups.

Disney is the perfect example to showcase the creative process and the necessary aspects in order to become successful. Teams should discuss everyone’s knowledge inventories to appoint the roles of dreamers, realists, and critics. Challenges such as mental sets, distractions, and social inhibitors should all be alleviated to prevent limiting creativity. Brainstorming and diversity can be extremely advantageous for success along with loyal, enthusiastic, and committed team members.

Teamwork is beneficial to creativity and creativity is inspired by teamwork. This parallel, as demonstrated by Disney, is the foundation of success. Citations Dilts, R. (1996). Walt Disney: Strategies of Genius. NLPU. com (website article) Handel, S. (2010). NLP and Creativity. The Emotion Machine. (website article) Kotelnikov, V. (2011). Disney Creativity Strategy. 1000 Ventures. (website) McGinn-Cardwell, C. (2003). The Disney Way: Harnessing the Management Secrets of Disney in Your Company. Management and Accounting Web. (website article)

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Disney, Creativity & Teamwork. (2016, Nov 11). Retrieved from


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