I recently went to an imaginary place... and I didn't want to leave. It was a place where anything is possible – just about.
They bring animals to life. They make people fly. They create things that are fun and beautiful and tell a story. And everything is wonderfully well done. My little girl wants to live there.
But the bigger question is – how is Disney World able to be imaginative and fun and innovative – and the rest of the business world can't seem to do it?
What does Disney know and value that others don't?
Who do so many businesses simply do the same things year after year – oblivious of the changing world around them? Why do they have so little idea that people today want more than just what they've been getting? Don't they see businesses thriving who offer the expected – along with something wonderful and unexpected?
Perhaps being imaginative isn't fun. Perhaps it's very hard work. Maybe it takes a lot of thought and homework and planning. Maybe it isn't valued and rewarded. Maybe clients don't want it – or won't pay for it. Perhaps it's all of these. But I'm not convinced any of these reasons are deal-killers.
Maybe the real problem is that imagination requires learning new skills and new ways of thinking. And may it takes being allowed to look at things in new ways (some call this vision) – and perhaps even to fail once in a while.
To paraphrase Bobby Kennedy, "why not?" What's so hard about asking questions like: "What could we do that is really remarkable? That would amaze people? That would be so much better than what they have now?"
That seems to be how they think at Apple – and they've revolutionized computing, music, and a few other things.
Disney clearly sees enormous payoffs in being creative – and always has. Disney World attracts millions of visitors who spend millions of dollars a day – on resort rooms, meals, park tickets, souvenirs, transportation – and lots and lots and lots more. Trust me on this.
Yet all of us in the rest of the business world have all kinds of reasons and excuses for not working harder at being creative. For not offering clients much of anything new year after year. And for not challenging some of the old ways of doing things.
Is it time we worked on rebuilding our creative skills – so we can start thinking great NEW thoughts – and incorporating more magic into the world of business?
Re-posted from our archives