Talking Point: The Disney Institute Blog

The Future of the Workplace: How to Become a Stronger Innovator

February 27, 2014 by Bruce Jones, Senior Programming Director, Disney Institute

In times of significant change, stronger innovators inevitably outperform weaker innovators. Well, times are changing! Check out Fast Company’s predictions for the future of the workplace.

How do we become stronger innovators? We become stronger at collaboration and teamwork. 

Thankfully, collaboration, teamwork, and innovation have always been values of The Walt Disney Company. Consider this story Walt Disney once relayed: "You know, I was stumped one day when a little boy asked, do you draw Mickey Mouse? And I had to admit that I do not draw anymore. Well, then you think up all the jokes and ideas? No, I said I dont do that. Finally he looked at me and said, Mr. Disney, just what do you do? Well, I said sometimes I think of myself as a little bee. I go from one area of the studio to another and gather pollen – sort of stimulate everybody. I guess thats the job I do."

Walt understood that opportunity favors the prepared, and he was preparing his organization for the future by stimulating ideas and entrusting his team to bring those ideas to life. He probably knew already that top-down, command-and-control methods were not sustainable and that companies and people who embrace collaboration and teamwork will thrive in any future workplace.

Fast forward to tomorrows digital workplace, where collaboration and teamwork will consist of networked individuals and communities – both inside and outside the organization. With the proliferation of social media, an organization can tap the collective creativity of employees, partners, etc. located anywhere.

Because the Disney organization is a bit larger today than in Walts day, we use a combination of web sites and social media to "gather pollen – sort of stimulate everybody." Heres one example, known as Creative Lab, that is helping to lay the foundation for continued future collaboration: 

In the future, an organization that becomes known for valuing collaboration will attract a vast community of collaborators with whom they can innovate and create new value. 

Does this opportunity favor your organization? 

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 Creativity & Innovation, Creativity, Innovation, Collaboration, Collaborative Culture, Teamwork, Bruce Jones

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