Bill Capodagli and Lynn Jackson in The Disney Way: Harnessing the Management Secrets of Disney in Your Company Third Edition summarizes the keys of Disney management success into these four seemingly simple words. The authors take readers through each key word in their model explaining how to practically make each action verb something that can be replicated in a manager's specific setting. To make these words real, the authors explain their context within Disney history and how non-Disney companies have made these concepts their own. They show readers how Dream is really about creating culture and providing employees a vision. For Believe they demonstrate how managers can create buy-in and alignment to the accepted vision by using tools to align action with vision, valuing customer interaction within the dream and making forging durable partnerships. The authors encourage their readers to take risks in Dare. And finally in Do they discuss the role of training, planning, and even measuring success. Within the book the authors provide numerous tools such as Storyboards and Vision Alignment rubrics to support the eager manager.
The past editions of The Disney Way have stood the test of time. And I expect this book will also. The third edition is clear, practical and provides tools that managers can use in aligning their operations to Dream, Believe, Dare, Do. In some cases this will require a culture change. For examples, which the authors provide numerous non-Disney examples throughout, they decided to update the text with examples of companies that are in the start-up mode. This allows the authors to show how young companies or those in transition have been able to adopt these four little words. The book while well-written is really a management book. The text would be relevant more to the manager than the non-manager amateur Disney fan. As the management content is probably the most interesting to managers and aspiring managers. However, the Disney content is well balanced and likely of interest to anyone in a management position. As a Disney fan/manager, I found the book both useful and interesting. Still, I would have no problem recommending it to non-Disney addicted colleagues.
For me the chapter on partnerships really stood out. I am interested as I have mentioned before in Roy O. Disney and how he successfully worked to support his brother’s dreaming and innovating. And as one reviews Disney history and considers the numerous partnerships from Roy/Walt, Eisner/Wells, Catmull/Lasseter it is easy to quickly realize how powerful a partnership is to making Believe happen. And it becomes easy to see how as the authors point out, partnerships enable an individual to expand their horizon and effectiveness.
As mentioned the text includes a number of tools that managers can use. The Storyboard tool and its variations appear highly useful in gathering information and making sure that everyone can participate in the decision making process. However, I will say that the Leadership Storyboard definitely appears to be something that is not for the faint of heart.
The Disney Way: Harnessing the Management Secrets of Disney in Your Company Third Edition is a clear and useful management book grounded in Disney company history. It provides a clear model in Dream, Believe, Dare, Do that is easy to understand for all managers. But best of all the authors provide tools to make a model which can appear highly philosophical, realistic.
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