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Storyboards: A Shift in Perspective

May 01, 2012 by Jeff James, Vice President & General Manager, Disney Institute


Storyboards originated at Disney Studios in the 1930’s and were, according to Walt Disney, invented by Animator, Webb Smith. As the story goes, Smith would draw sequential scenes for a new cartoon and pin them to the walls of his office instead of describing the plot with words.

Walt, none too happy about the now blemished walls of his recently redecorated office, recognized the value in Smith’s design and ordered corkboards on which the sketches could be placed. Storyboarding soon became the standard for mapping out new cartoons and quickly translated into other areas of Walt’s business.

Today, Disney Imagineers constantly use this technique when designing a new show or attraction, and believe it or not, it can be applied to any step-by-step process involving designing or implementing your customer experience. The goal is to recreate the experience through the eyes of the customer, but that’s not to say that creativity should fall to the wayside.

Use this opportunity to pin color swatches and photos, write out text, brainstorm thoughts and anything else that may be beneficial in improving customer interactions. The final product is a valuable insight into how an idea might, or might not, work. Remember, innovation is possible when individual creativity and organizational processes are successfully integrated. 

What opportunities do you have in your business or organization to utilize the storyboarding process to communicate your vision to inspire and engage employees?


We’d love to hear from you! 
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For nearly three decades, Disney Institute has provided engaging and insightful learning opportunities for business professionals and organizations, teaching them the Disney approach to business….focusing on Service, Leadership, Culture, Brand Loyalty, Creativity and Innovation. To learn more about how you can attend an upcoming course, see our full Course Calendar. Not sure which course is best for you? Try our Course Recommender


Disney Institute is ready to help you apply strategic rigor to your customer experience efforts - call us at 321.939.4600 or complete our contact form




Posted in Business Excellence | Tagged Storytelling, Storyboarding, Collaborative Culture, Cross-Functional Collaboration, Customer Service, Customer Service Techniques, Customer Experience, Creativity, Business Creativity, Storytelling Techniques, Business Strategy | 0 Comments


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