Thursday, April 27, 2006

Walt Disney Talks His Business Philosophy


The following interview with Walt Disney was conducted by NBC in 1966. On the surface, in his highly informal, friendly way, Walt's business philosophy seems relatively simplistic. Translated, however, it provides an understanding as to why he was so highly rated by the business world.

NBC: Walt, why did you pick Anaheim as the site for Disneyland?

WALT: The Disneyland concept kept growing and growing and it finally ended up where I felt I needed two-three hundred acres. So, I wanted it in the Southern California area, there were certain things that I felt that I needed, such as flat land, because I wanted to make my own hills. I didn't want it near the ocean, I wanted it sort of inland, so I had a survey group go out and hunt for areas that might be useful. And they finally came back with several different areas and we settled on Anaheim because the price of the acreage was right. But there was more to it than that. And that is that Anaheim was sort of a growing area. The freeway projection was such that we could see that the freeway would set Anaheim as sort of a hub. Well, that's how we selected Anaheim.

NBC: Do you feel Anaheim has lived up to expectations?

WALT: In every way, the city fathers have been wonderful. They've given us wonderful cooperation right from the start and they are still cooperating.

NBC: What has been your biggest problem?

WALT: Well, I'd say it's been my biggest problem all my life - it's money. It takes a lot of money to make these dreams come true. From the very start it was a problem of getting the money to open Disneyland. About 17 million dollars it took. We had everything mortgaged, including my family. We were able to get it open and for ten or eleven years now we've been pouring more money back in. In other words, like the old farmer, you've got to pour it back into the ground if you want to get it out. That's been my brother's philosophy and mine too.

NBC: What plans for the future do you have at Disneyland?

WALT: There's a little plaque out there that says, "As long as there is imagination left in the world, Disneyland will never be complete." We have big plans. This year, we finished over $20 million in new things. Next June, I hope, we'll have a new Tomorrowland; and starting from the ground up, building a whole new Tomorrowland. And it's going to run about $20 million bucks.

NBC: What steps have you taken to see that Disneyland will always be good, family entertainment?

WALT: Well, by this time, my staff, my young group of executives are convinced that Walt is right, that quality will win out, and so I think they will stay with this policy because it's proven it's a good business policy. Give the public everything you can give them, keep the place as clean as you can keep it, keep it friendly - I think they're convinced and I think they'll hang on after - as you say, "after Disney."


Thus, in the space of a brief, four-minute interview, Walt Disney covered no less than eight business considerations which went into the decision making process affecting Disneyland. Masterplanning... analyzing alternatives... evaluating costs... growth potential... working with government... taking risks... looking at investments and re-investment... up-grading, continually improving the product.

There is an old adage in the film industry... "You're only as good as your last picture." Actually, in business anywhere today, the standard is even tougher: "you're only as good as next year's results." Success today is not a vaccine for future economic ills. Many great businesses at one time or another, practically institutions and permanent fixtures on the American scene, have fallen by the wayside. Ironically, among the publishing giants on hand in 1955 as Disneyland struggled through its "Black Sunday" press opening were Look magazine, Collier's, The Saturday Evening Post, and Life. And among the cars in the parking lot were new Hudsons, Studebakers, Packards, and DeSotos. In 1955, they all had a vital, thriving part in the American scene. By 1975 they were all gone... along with dozens of other companies with long histories and great traditions.

Realistically speaking, what guarantee does the Disney organization have that some competition, perhaps not even in existence as we know it today, doesn't surpass us or worse yet... gain control of our organization? Walt Disney developed his own guarantee. He always said that we could never stand still. He had to explore, innovate and experiment and he was never satisfied with his work.

"If any of you starts to rest on your laurels, forget it," he told his staff. That was his guarantee for the future.

(The above was an archival article originally published in the mid-1970's).

41 comments:

Charles G said...

And among the cars in the parking lot were new Hudsons, Studebakers, Packards, and DeSotos. In 1955, they all had a vital, thriving part in the American scene. By 1975 they were all gone... along with dozens of other companies with long histories and great traditions.

Yikes! This looks too familar...too much like recent headlines.

garth bruner said...

Brilliant man, that Walt.

Will Robison said...

As a philosophy for just about anything in life, this is a good one. Never rest on your laurels. At my company, we have an informal motto, "We ain't done Sh** yet!" No matter how good we get, how much success we have, the best thing is still to come. I remember when Disney used to operate the same way. In fact, that's probably where I got the idea.

mnmears said...

Few CEOs today live on the razor's edge in the way the Disneys did.

How many top executives would risk everything they own, sell a family car, hawk the insurance policy to fund some grand dream -- often some venture that the press or the distractors would label "Disney's folly" as they did with "Snow White" and Disneyland?

During Walt and Roy's time, most profits were funneled back into the company to fuel growth and new ventures. Walt and Roy grew up on a farm -- maybe that's where their understanding of reinvestment came from. Shareholders didn't demand double-digit growth each and every quarter.

I know the annual salaries for Walt and Roy weren't hundreds or thousands times what other full-time Disney employees made. Wealth meant little to Walt. Money wasn't the end-all, be-all -- it was simply a needed commodity to fund dreams and future projects.

The Disneys knew what it was like to grow up poor. Walt talked proudly even when discussing the lessons he learned through his failures as a young adult. How many of today's CEOs have any understanding of what it's like to grow up poor? How many would discuss their failings? How dare they risk exposing a weakness.

What's the compensation gap in today's world with multimillion dollar salaries, stock options and retirement packages for CEOs like Michael Eisner? How much did it cost the shareholders for the golden parachute given to Michael Ovitz?

Do you think today's CEOs will ever have to worry about losing health benefits or pension in retirement? How many middleclass people are facing those concerns today?


Today's CEOs are still living in the Gordon Gecko "Wall Street" mode of greed is good. They make decisions -- some good, some bad -- but how many can be considered "CREATIVE" forces? Maybe a half-dozen individuals in entertainment and Internet companies? How many have any true entrepreneurial spirit?

Few CEOs have loyalty to ONE company for a lifetime. They often don't think beyond 5-year strategic planning and short-term WEALTH over long-term corporate HEALTH. It's not the annual report they're worried about. Their report card is quarterly ... so they do everything they can to boost their "grades" each and every quarter.

CEOs keep their jobs by pleasing the institutional investors. Put up healthy numbers, maximize profits even if that thinking may be shortsided. Greed is good; double-digit profits, returns and growth is rewarded.

No one stands up to ask "AT WHAT COST" does all this profit come. Well, take a look at some of the decisions made during Michael Eisner's tenure -- DCA, the direct-to-video cheapquels, the investment in sports franchises. And, let's shut down the Disney Magazine because, while profitable, it doesn't generate ENOUGH profits to satisfy our greed. We'll cut and slash our way to reach our quarterly goals -- quality is a simply a secondary consideration at best.

Besides, since many of today's CEOs aren't creative even in the ART of the DEAL and few survive at the helm for 10 to 20-plus years, their legacies are in the charitable foundations and trusts they establish.

Their legacies are not in what they've done as corporate leaders, especially as stewards of a company that doesn't extol their family name.

trish said...

I agree that some of the fault lies with the corporate decision makers in the ways that this board has been discussing. But we shouldn't forget that some of the fault lies with the consumer. A lot of people just take what's been given to them without question. People nowadays have become complacent and accept low quality as the norm.
When Disney makes a change that the public doesn't like, what do they do? DO they let the company know that they don't like this proposed change?
I remember the POTC 'PC' re-fit. I was agahst that enough people could threaten Disney with their dollars and get the ride changed. Why can't enough dissatisfied people do the same? I see on these posts that folks say they don't like what's been done, but they still go to the parks.
What can we do to tell the Disney big wigs in the ivory tower that there is a large group of us that WON'T be giving them our money until they start considering us as an important demographic?

Pragmatic Idealist said...

Walt Disney was the best strategic planner in business history. And, that fact is the reason the organization was able to survive the mismanagement the company suffered after the deaths of the Disney brothers and after the death of Frank Wells.

Had the assets that Walt Disney amassed during his lifetime not been as valuable, who knows what would have become of the enterprise he founded.

The goal during his life was not to maximize profits; it was to maximize the value of the company's assets that can, in turn, generate profits over the long term. And, those profits can, in turn, be reinvested to increase the value of the assets even more.

The Walt Disney Company is a differentiated-service business, so the enterprise needs to never find itself in a compromised position that fails to allow the company to charge a premium and leverage the extraordinary goodwill that has been built.

T said...

Disney's comments should be engraved on the desks of every CEO, CFO and board member in the country.

And they're made even more poignant because Walt Disney gave this interview the year he died. At least the company managed to listen -- for a few years.

Anonymous said...

Its all a matter of Quantity and Quality. Today, Disney seems to be trying to produce lots and lots of poor quality stuff, whether that be movies, rides, or parks (oh my!). Their goal is to make the consumer not realize how poor the quality is, when the quantity is large.

Walt was the master of both. He made BOTH quality AND quantity. If the quantity was slow in coming, the quality was always there to back it up.

What Disney needs now is the ability to pop out an Expedition Everest type ride every two to three years. Something with LOTS of quality in it.


And for once, try making a new ride in another part of the world. Let them have fun with it first for once, before the greedy Americans get their hands on it.

Klark Kent 007 said...

Walt not only had good business sense in regards on how to run a company, he also had good business sense to surround himself with people he trusted, and who trusted him. People who would put their all into an idea, because they believed it to be worth it.

Anonymous said...

I know the annual salaries for Walt and Roy weren't hundreds or thousands times what other full-time Disney employees made. Wealth meant little to Walt. Money wasn't the end-all, be-all -- it was simply a needed commodity to fund dreams and future projects.


--->And there in lies the difference between those days and these days. It's sad that that mentailty has been lost. :(

Digital Jedi said...

Not too long ago I posted on a Disney related forum, commenting that the current trend in Disney business practices (one trend in particular with regard to Cast Member customer relations) would be detrimental to the company's health. The exact words I closed with were "then Disney will become exactly what Walt built Disney not to be. An unfriendly place, where no one will want to spend the day at."

Now what I was referring to was Disney’s long-term health and I presumed everyone knew what I was getting at. Instead, I received a sarcastic comment to the effect that “maybe I was on to something, since crowds were at record attendance.”

My point in that thread was that Disney has been making the classic Big Business decisions. Big Business plans a limited-year strategy that offers the biggest return for the littlest expense. It doesn’t matter if the company gets run into the ground in the process, because keeping the company alive and thriving is never part of the overall plan. The plan is always, first and foremost, about personal gain, and never about quality of product.

In my personal (and unsolicited) opinion, this is not good business. To me, a good businessman is someone with the savvy and intuition to not only keep a business afloat, but also keep it running on the rails; a freight train that steadily picks up speed without derailing at the first sharp curve because it’s going too fast.

Big Business actually plans on going out of control. The concept is to pick up as much steam as you possibly can for as long as you possibly can and just before the thing whole thing crashes, jump off and onto something newer and faster and see if you can do it again, maybe even toping your previous speed record. This makes no sense to me.

Walt’s business philosophies strike me as the engineer who loves his train like a member of his family. Speed was never the issue. Staying on the tracks was. To me, a good businessman funnels every dollar he can into fine-tuning and expanding the machine he’s built. If you continue to follow this goal, then your machine only gets bigger and better. It can bank the curves and conquer the steep hills. It can dominate the weather and overcome unexpected delays in schedules.

Big Business (and in my opinion, Bad Business) funnels almost all that money in the wrong direction. It puts the minimal amount of money into finishes and temporary bursts of speed and pockets the rest. You know the train is going to derail, so you only need it to function till you get what you want out of it. Instead of a finely tuned machine, you end up with a gluttonous self-consuming thing that ends up eating itself to death all for your benefit. Since this benefits only the business owner, it leaves the consumers wondering what happened and empty-handed.

I can’t fathom how this can be considered good business. Taking a sure fire money-maker like Disney and running it into the ground is the most idiotic business strategy one could think of. And yes, that’s exactly what is happening here.

Walt did not dream of money. Walt used money to pay for his dreams. I think Walt was a good businessman because he was a creative type. At least in that respect, I can identify with him. Creative types always put everything into their creation. The creation is always more important then the potential money one might make from it. If money was the most important thing, then that person would do better going into accounting or marketing or some such field. But money is the side effect of what they do. The necessary evil for continuing their passion. It’s not the focus of it. What’s important to the creative type is creating something and sharing that creation with people who will appreciate it. Because that person is so devoted to his creation, he ensures he’s put everything he possibly can into his product so that he can create again, and generate a cycle that will only lead to more creation, more sharing and more quality. This is the mind of a creative person. Traditionally, suits and bean counters are not the creative types.

Now this does not mean that all creative types are great businesspeople. Often the ambition is there, but not the intuition and savvy I mentioned earlier. Walt, though, had all of these. He created, brought in people in who also created, poured dollar after dollar into making quality creations and cycled his returns into starting the whole process all over again, with the intention of doing even better the next time around. This, to me, is the consummate businessman. This is who I look at as a role model when putting together my business ventures. Here’s a man who took common sense and turned it into a business practice. Clean parks, friendly staff, invest in your investment, build where there will be large amounts of people, keep your attractions fresh and updated. What concepts! One wonders why the amusement industry of his generation didn’t think it would work.

So when I stated that one day people might not want to visit the parks anymore, I meant that if the current trend continues then eventually there will be no desire or reason to visit the Disney Theme Parks. People will have gotten their fill of the loosely themed “lands” and borderline deadly thrill rides and old neglected attractions and move on to the next bright, shiny thing that catches their attention. Maybe even another theme park.

It’s not something I want to see. I want Disney back to administering its former business practices. Maybe I’m asking too much. But I’m asking for it anyway. A lot of us are. I want to see Disney put the quality Walt was know for back into their attraction design and layout. I want to walk into Disney and regain my sense of wonder as I enter a world I could never dream of. I want to be wowed by the rides, by the entertainment, by the showmanship and even by things as simple as how clean the bathrooms are. Disney was and always should be the standard of themed entertainment, not the example of what went wrong.

Ted said...

The thing that everyone is forgeting is that Disney theme parks are a VERY visable part of the Walt Disney Corporation, they are a small part of it. Disney is one of the top 4 largest media companies. In fact the theme parks are one of the lowest performing parts of the company (in terms of profit).
Walt was the head of a VERY small company that produced 2 or 3 movies a year, 1 or 2 TV shows, and 1 theme park. He was not the head of a company that produced 10 -20 movies across 3 or 4 different studios, TV shows on a MAJOR broadcast network that his company owned, etc, etc, etc. Nor did he have to spend money to populate 4 different theme parks on 3 continents with 9 different gates.
Although I agree that the premise is a good one and I believe that at least a few people in the present regime believe that premise too. But be realistic. It is a unfair comparision to compare Walt's Disney Company to the current Walt Disney Company.

Merlin Jones said...

>>But be realistic. It is a unfair comparision to compare Walt's Disney Company to the current Walt Disney Company.<<

You're right. Now Disney is a storied multibillion dollar enterprise that needn't be concerned they are gambling their future on select quality reinvestment in the premium brand.

Now the only risk is to conventional business wisdom, bottom-line short term profit, executive compensation bonus and ego.

More than ever, they can "afford" to heed the founder's concept of quality and innovation. All that's needed is the will to do so.

Still, the aquisition of Pixar shows that perhaps there is real hope the new team gets it - - or at least sees the creative deficit at the company after 20 years with the former management and how that impacts long term growth.

Anonymous said...

"He created, brought in people in who also created,"
The current Disney company does not get this concept. They are downsizing Imagineering, not the UPsizing that should be done! The Imagineering department should be the largest department of the whole company, not the smallest! Now, yes, it will cost money to expand Imagineering, but as you said:

"....poured dollar after dollar into making quality creations and cycled his returns into starting the whole process all over again, with the intention of doing even better the next time around."

Walt did this. The Imagineering department was the best part of the company. He practically lived there. This should be the largest department, not the accounting department.

Rocco said...

"...like the old farmer, you've got to pour it back into the ground if you want to get it out."

"...quality will win out... it's proven it's a good business policy. Give the public everything you can give them..."

(Sounded so nice, had to say it twice!)

Scott M. Curran said...

"Well, by this time, my staff, my young group of executives are convinced that Walt is right, that quality will win out, and so I think they will stay with this policy because it's proven it's a good business policy."

Enough said.
Let's just hope the right people are listening to the past.

Anonymous said...

"Let's just hope the right people are listening to the past."

I really wish Walt could be here to see this. To be able to set the company strait. To give them a few wacks in the head.

Where's Doc Brown when you need him?

BratStarMan said...

Not many companies are able to sustain quality. It seems the "build, sell, drain" model is more the norm. I recall a long time ago when I'd make a point to stop at a McDonalds when I drove cross country because they were sparkling clean and had food of known quality. Now I would not be caught dead in one (gas station restrooms are cleaner). Another example that always comes to mind is Holiday Inn. In it's heyday it was the place for travellers to stay. In the 80's and 90's the only imagine it brought to me was faded rooms and the smell of cigarette smoke. I think the "build, sell, drain" model is a way to make alot of near-term money, but it is not a way to please the public.

Anonymous said...

This is a great post: the words of Walt Disney, himself, spelling out the philosophy for continuing his company busiiness. But it's important to remember the motivation behind these principles. Walt Disney had a personal vision that was tied directly to his creative desires. He poured money back into his business because he wanted to create more and better stuff. And because he had a personal tie to it all, he wanted to be sure it was top rate. Every design or project created under his supervision was special because it was influenced by the idiosyncracies that made Walt Disney unique. Main Street is special because it it's Walt's Main Street.

It is going to be difficult to create that same sort of motivation in the company as it exists today because Disney is basically a company without it's visionary founder. Subsequent company leaders are going to bring their own personal vision to their business. We are all too aware of what Eisner's vision was and time will tell what Iger's legacy will be. But on a creative and motivational note, it's going to take much more than the desire to live up to Walt Disney's business philosophy to make the company a quality enterprise again. It's going to take someone with the same creative desires as Walt Disney,.... a new visionary.

-DL5263

Svenski said...

One of the things that has always impressed me about Walt Disney was his disregard for money for money's sake. In all of my studies of him, it seems that he never cared for money other than that it helped him to build.

It also seems that he never really cared about failure either. Every failure in his life held some kind of lesson for him.

In Disney's life, money was a necessary evil needed to attain what his dreams. In Eisner's world, Disney was a necessary evil needed to attain money.

Digital Jedi said...

"A new visionary." That is most certainly what the Walt Disney Company needs. Perhaps even a group of new visionaries. I'd even settle for "key" visionaries in "key" places. Maybe these new fellas are something along those lines. Here's hoping.

Anonymous said...

"Maybe these new fellas are something along those lines. Here's hoping.

I am with you all the way on that wish, but I have to admit that the odds of that being true are very slim....

pariartspaul said...

Yes the odds are very slim that a lone visionary would be able to do anything at Imagineering as it is now. I know from experience that once inside - it's ALL about the politics - unless things have changed a lot recently.... and it comes from the top down. There ARE a bunch of great people there that want to do great things, but again, the management that has been in place in recent years is the problem. If a new leader with insight is put in place without major backing from the studio, it's a sure bet they'll get sucked up in business as usual. I don't see any big changes coming unless the business as usual comes to an end - and that would take full support from Iger.

Speaking of Iger, he seems to be heading in a much better direction than Eisner, that's for sure - but I think there needs to be another real visionary, at least with equal power, working side by side with him. A lot of what I've heard so far from him is still a lot of talk about branding and marketing. And that's fine if you're Martha Stewart, who created a company actually based on branding. Maybe he deserves more credit than I'm giving him?

Or maybe a new Imagineering creative leader should be totally seperate from Iger - able to make their own decisions without his approval. Maybe that's what the problem has been lately. The big decisions are being made by someone with too much on their plate. Disney is such a vast corporation now, one CEO can't make every call right - with television networks, theme parks, movies, merchandising and everything else.

Also, would one new 'visionary' there be able to make the kind of changes we've been talking about here - or would he end up just being one more loose cannon to deal with? Maybe there really should be an entire new creative board there - instead of just one person.

It will be interesting to see how it all pans out in the next few years.

Anonymous said...

"Maybe there really should be an entire new creative board there - instead of just one person."

I like that idea. To have a whole creative board, with many ideas and creativity, instead of just one person. This way, one person cannot become too powerful.

Maybe their needs to be two groups of leaders. One group of leaders will handle the one half of the empire, and the other group, the other half.

One group would be focused on everything park related, while the other group would be focused on everything else(Tv, radio, movies, magazines, et cetera). This way, the corporate minds could not make major decisions about the park.

It's just a thought, and probably not a good one, but that is what I see as a plausible solution.

Calder said...

Its true, you can't rest on your laurels, but those laurels can become even more solid with the confidence that what DIsney created was something that allows fluidity. Disney is in its essence, about change. As new fables, storeis, adventures and technologies develop, Disney will be there inspiring and motivating. How many of us have found some inspiration, at some point from something, no matter how small, that was developed, produced, designed or even "made better" through the work of Walt Disney? The inspiration that Disney and the continued work of the imagineers has brought to the masses is priceless, and so are those laurels. They are not to be rested on, but they are certainly planted in a solid and stable soil. The key is not to neglect that soil.....

Anonymous said...

someone with the same creative desires as Walt Disney,.... a new visionary

Problem is, someone as visionary as Walt will probably found and run their own company rather than work for (and be subject to the direction of) someone else's organization, just like Walt ended up doing. We're never going to get Another Walt at WDC; we'll get Another Walt at Another Company.

pariartspaul said...

"As new fables, storeis, adventures and technologies develop, Disney will be there inspiring and motivating."

What a load of bull.

Let's see... when was the last time I was actually inspired by something Imagineering did at Disneyland?? You mean like since the '70's?Hmmm....
Wow, ya got me there.

PARISINJUNE said...

You guys cried for a new visionary leader and we gave you Pixar, now it sounds like you have no faith in them? not the vision you had in mind?

RogerRmjet said...

yazashWow, I've read these great quotes so many times before -- but I had no idea that they call came from the same short interview. Walt was a true visionary and it's a shame we may never see his like again. He's my personal hero. The poster for One Man's Dream hangs on my office wall.

That said, as has already been pointed out here, you can't fairly compare Walt's Disney to the current corporation. Disney in Walt's time was a very small family company -- whereas Disney today is a ginormous multimedia empire. It was a terrible shame that Eisner lost sight of what it meant to be Disney, and I'm very glad to see Iger steering the company back in the right direction, as he appears to be doing.

The "corporate greed/evil CEO" bandwagon is one that it is too easy to jump on, however (not helped by people like Eisner). Pick any of the top CEOs (go to the lists on Forbes.com) and see how much money they make. Take Bob Iger, for example, who makes 12.17 million a year, plus benefits. Iger is responsible for a huge conglomerate of companies worldwide (too many to mention) with THOUSANDS of employees. Now compare him to a typical A-list actor. Let's use Tom Cruise, who gets $25 million per picture (usually one a year), plus profit participation, which equals many millions more, based on box office. How many people does Tom Cruise have working for him? Ten? Twenty tops? And how often does he actually work? A few months out of the year? Iger makes less than half of what Tom Cruise makes, but with FAR more effort and responsibility.

One more factor to consider is the shareholders. Shareholders are not all greedy fatcats. As Ben Stein likes to say, they're generally "widows and orphans." Everyday working-class Americans who's pensions are funded by stocks in large corporations. This includes my home state of North Carolina. NC has invested a great deal in Disney stock to fund pensions for our state employees. If you read any of the stories about the efforts to oust Eisner, you'll find NC State Treasurer Richard Moore holding Eisner's feet to the fire (he sure got my vote, and I belong to the other party). So, when you're talking about shareholders making money from Disney stock, you're talking about college professors, social workers, museum guides, and a host of other everyday people who work state jobs. Disney's future is their future.

RogerRmjet said...

By the way, who are the folks with Walt in the photo?

pariartspaul said...

Just a guess, but it looks like John and Hayley Mills at the opening of the tree house. Right Merlin?

Merlin Jones said...

Yes - - Top shot is Hayley Mills and John Mills with Walt at a preview of Disneyland's Swiss Family Treehouse. John, of course, had starred in Swiss Family Robinson and Hayley was under contract.

The second is Walt hamming it up in the master bedroom of the Swiss Family Treehouse during opening ceremonies.

douglasmcstewart said...

So I know this might not be the best place to ask this question, but I couldn't find email addresses anywhere and I'm hoping the Re-Imagineering bloggers read these comments...

So I'm curious what the bloggers think about Tokyo DisneySea as the marvel of imagineering that it is widely thought to be.

I enjoy looking at photos of the construction of TDS' Tower of Terror and I'm am constantly amazed by the detail of the entire park. But at the same time it feels empty. I want to go see the park to experience the immersive environments, but at the same time its hyper-realism turns me off. I find myself asking Where's the Disney? Yeah they have characters walking around but that looks about as weird as Looney Tunes characters in a Six Flags park. Maybe if I could go see it in person it would all make more sense...

Ted said...

Someone mentioned that Iger has too much on his plate and needs someone else to help him.
One BIG difference I see in Iger's management style is he knows he doesn't know everything and seems to rely on his managers to do their jobs. Unlike Eisner who micro-managed everything and wouldn't let his people do what they do best.
Changing the guy on the top doesn't change the mid level managers. It takes time to trickle down the new ideas and ways of doing things. Almost all of the mid level people were hired by Eisner and it will take time for them to leave or get on board.

ChristianZ said...

People are talking about how bad it's been since Walt died but there have always been people at the company who had the same vision of quality as Walt did. They weren't always the ones in positions of ultimate power though. Key visionaries strategically placed throughout the company can ensure that an organization does not have to crash and burn. Stephen Covey said every organization needs a new creative vision roughly every seven years. One that looks to the future while retaining the quality of past eras. Disney can do it.

Ken Kearney said...

Good to see this info on Walt!

Gessie said...

I think Walt Disney did a great job. He was wonderful at what he did, and he made a lot of people happy.

Hawk said...

Walt Disney had all the qualities that made an honorable man and a great team; Great Vision, Enthusiasm, Workt Ethic, Attention To Quality And Detail, with little compromise.

We should all be building and living in modern Cities Of The Future, as he would have loved.

Hawk

Anonymous said...

that was a very nifty interview.....a

Jim said...

With the great innovation and influence of Disney himself, it seems odd that so few interviews with the man himself can be found online. I'd expect there should be a number of audio clips, at least, given the rigorous promotions the company has engaged in for many decades, especially while he was alive.

Sarah :) said...

This was really interesting to read, to here what his plans were for Disneyland back then, and what Disneyland is now! :) He certainly was a very creative man.