What can Walt Disney teach you?

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Being creative can also be messy. That’s why it’s a good idea to have a plan or a process to rely upon. Here’s how Walt Disney approached creative thinking…

I’ve written before about the six thinking hats of Edward de Bono. But did you know that Walt Disney developed another approach to creative problem-solving?

A blog by author and design lecturer at the American University in Cairo, Rafiq Elmansy, explores the logistics of Walt Disney’s creative process. He begins by spelling out Disney’s four-step strategy: dreaming, being realistic, being critical and getting the mind outside of the thinking flow.

Then Elmansy goes on to specify the types of questions each of the steps should raise. These include:

The dreamer:

  • What do we want?
  • What is the solution?
  • How do we imagine the solution?
  • What are the benefits of applying this solution?

The realist:

  • How can we apply this idea in reality?
  • What is the action plan to apply the idea?
  • What is the timeline to apply this idea?
  • How to evaluate the idea?

The critic:

  • What could be wrong with the idea?
  • What is missing?
  • Why cannot we apply it?
  • What are the weaknesses in the plan

After answering all these questions the team is then able to map out an action plan. I like the way this strategy acknowledges the the value of dreaming but then gets hard-nosed by asking realistic and critical questions.

Thanks to reader Julie Lancaster for sending me this fascinating link.

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