Finding your inner Walt Disney
Part of the reason why we also struggle with innovation is that we tend to censor our ideas too much. We are worried about our ideas getting rejected and looking stupid in front of our colleagues so we play it safe and go for ideas that aren’t too radical or out there. But this is the opposite of what we should be doing.
So I wanted to take you through Disney’s creative process. The master of creativity himself used a 3-step process to come up with new ideas, something that is still used at Disney today.
Each process takes on a different personality. Process one is led by the Dreamer. The dreamer operates in the Writers room. This is the point where we want to come up with new ideas and write everything down, without censoring ourselves. The ideas can be unrealistic or completely whacky but we want to try and write them all down anyway. Remember at this point, we’re looking to be a dreamer, so let yourself dream. When we’re doing this remove all distractions if you can. Close down your emails, turn off notifications and ideally put your phone out of reach. You may find when trying to do this, your brain looks for easy ways out so you might find yourself reaching for your phone when you get stuck for ideas – we really want to avoid doing this.
The next step is led by the realist and they operate in the editing suite. The realist starts to work through the ideas written down by the dreamer and starts to group them into categories, discarding the things they know definitely won’t work, and generally being a bit more realistic about some of the more whacky ideas.
The last and final stage is led by the Spoiler and they operate in the critic's room. This is the point where we can start to really critique our work and polish the ideas to mould them into something workable. This is where we can create a plan from the ideas and start to be realistic about how it can be implemented.
The problem many of us face is that we often start the process of coming up with good ideas at the final stage in the critic's room. We think small and think of the reasons why our ideas won’t work, being overcritical, before we’ve given ourselves free reign to think like a dreamer and think outside the box. The first stage is vital and not one that should be missed.
So if we’re still struggling with that first stage of the dreamer and coming up with new ideas, don’t worry. We’ll give you some more tools to be able to operate there.