Creativity Tips
Begin with the end in mind


The Disney Strategy

What follows is a general creative strategy which can be used for any type of problem, and which is named after Walt Disney who devised it.

Disney would first create a dream or vision of the whole film he wanted to create. He got the feelings of every character in the film by imagining how the story appeared through their eyes.

He then looked at his plan realistically. He balanced money, time, resources, and gathered all the necessary information to make sure that the film could be successfully made: that the dream could become reality.

When he had created the dream of the film, he took another look at it from the point of view of a critical member of the audience. He asked himself, "Was it interesting? Was it entertaining? Was there any dead wood, regardless of his attachment to it?"

Below is an abbreviated form of the strategy that you can use which involves the three different points of view of Dreamer, Realist and Critic.

1 - Select the problem you are going to deal with, it can be as difficult as you like. Do not think about it yet. Choose three places in front of you that you can physically step into. One for your Dreamer, one for your Critic and one for your Realist.

2 - Take the problem or outcome you want to work with. Step into the Dreamer location and let your mind be free. The Dreamer does not have to be realistic….Do not let reality dampen your thoughts. Brainstorm. What would you do if you could not fail? The Dreamer can be summed up in the phrase "I wonder if…." When you have finished, step back to the uninvolved position

3 - Step into the Realist position and think about the plan you have dreamed about. Organise your ideas. How could it be put into practice? What would have to change to make it realistic? When you are satisfied, step back to the uninvolved position again. The phrase for the Realist is "How can I do this…..?"

4 - Step into the Critic position and check and evaluate the plan. The Critic asks: Is there anything missing? If the plan needs other people’s co-operation, what is in it for them? What do you get out of it? Is it interesting? Where is the payoff? What’s in it for me? At the end of this, return to the uninvolved position.

5 - Step back into the Dreamer position and change the plan creatively to take in what you have learned from the Realist and the Critic. Continue to go through the three positions until the plan fits each one.

NOTE - It is essential to actually move your body into a different physical location for each of these roles. You will have a different physiology and neurology in each of the positions and they need to be kept separate. Move from one to the other via the uninvolved position.

This abbreviated account of the Disney Strategy has been taken from the book "Introducing NLP" by Joseph O’Connor and John Seymour. ISBN 1-85538-344-6

Lateral Thinking
Plagiarize Style
Mind Maps
Assumption Smashing 
Six Thinking Hats
Story Boarding
Problem Reversal

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