Talking Point: The Disney Institute Blog

Looking for Your Company’s Next Big Idea or Improvement? Four Things You Must Consider

October 23, 2014 by Bruce Jones, Senior Programming Director, Disney Institute

Recently, Fast Company published an article that asks: Can You Really Learn to be More Creative? At Disney Institute, we believe the answer is “yes!” But, how? Over the years, we’ve offered many tips in this regard, including two recent posts: Think You’re Not Creative? and See A Bigger Picture.

So, how are you taking your creative learning to the next level? What should you consider when looking for ways to improve business results by building personal creativity and fostering organizational innovation? As the Fast Company author points out, any creativity or innovation training program you consider should include these four components: 

  1. Relevant Stretching
  2. Experiential Learning
  3. Interaction
  4. On-going Practice

At Disney Institute, we agree that these four components are critical to creating a relevant and useful learning experience, and our programs do include all of these aspects. In fact, we so strongly believe in the concept of experiential learning that each of our professional development training courses offered at Disneyland Resort in California and Walt Disney World Resort in Florida features field experiences that take program attendees out of the traditional classroom setting to see Disney business philosophies and best practices in action.

We utilize our theme parks, resorts and other behind-the-scenes areas as a “living laboratory.” It creates a unique learning opportunity that enables program attendees to experience time-tested principles in a real-world operational setting so they can more readily adapt them to their own businesses and personal careers.

Some people may not think of a maintenance shop as the place to find a treasure trove of business innovation ideas. But, that’s exactly what our program attendees discover when they visit Disney’s Central Shops as part of our professional development courses here at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.

Measuring more than 300,000 square feet—larger than nine football fields—the Central Shops building is home to hundreds of Disney artists and master craftsmen representing virtually every different craft and trade: including metal workers, machinists, electricians, plumbers, wood workers, painters and fiberglass artists. The Cast Members at Central Shops create and maintain many of the show elements you see in our parks and resorts around the world.

The learning experience at Disney’s Central Shops is co-facilitated by our Disney Institute team and a facility leader, who shares specific opportunities and challenges to harnessing individual creativity and fostering organizational innovation. Attendees also learn how trust impacts the idea-generation process and how environment affects innovation. By the end of the afternoon, program attendees depart the facility having seen a different side of Disney – one that hopefully serves as the inspiration to ignite their own inherent creativity and sparks ideas about how to develop a collaborative culture within their own organization.

Tell us – In what new or unexpected places, businesses or industries do you look for sources of creative inspiration and innovation?

We would love to hear from you!
Post your response below, or respond to us on Facebook or Twitter using hashtag #DThinkBlog.

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, and Culture. 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 Creativity, Innovation, Business Innovation, Organizational Innovation, Workplace Innovation, Inspiration, Central Shops, Bruce Jones

Get In Touch

Phone: 321.939.4600
(M-F 9:00 am – 5:30 pm ET)

Email: You can also reach us through our Contact Form.
(No solicitors)