Thursday, May 5, 2016

Bob Gurr's Secret Imagineering Non-Process

Bob Gurr in an Arrow Development designed Antique Ford

In July of 2015, Disney Legend Bob Gurr gave a talk at Google's headquarters in Mountain View, CA - which is just across the street from the former home of Arrow Development, BTW.

One of the interesting and funny parts of Bob's presentation is his insistence that while he was with Walt Disney Imagineering they had no processes.  He is so insistent about this that he says it twice with special dramatic effect.

Bob is a very strong parallel thinker, so it can be difficult to tease linear storylines out of his tales. In this case it is even more difficult if you started by accepting his assertion that there was no process and aren't familiar with any creative design processes. You also have to overcome the tendency to accept Bob's opinion as that of an expert - after all he is a Disney Legend!

Fortunately, as a reader of this blog, you know that creativity often requires us to not take things at face value and even challenge the strongly held and asserted beliefs of "experts."

After viewing Bob's talk, you should have no doubt that he strongly believes there was no process at Walt Disney Imagineering - at least in the early days. But once we edit out the sidebars and focus on the core ideas, a new picture emerges which looks like this:
  1. No Boundaries Brainstorming. ("French Cats bouncing off the walls")
  2. Curiosity about everything.
  3. Building prototypes and failing fast. (Just Do it!)
  4. Radical collaboration (Feedback - collaboration)
  5. Optimism
Add to this Walt's clear focus on the customer (Empathic Inquiry) and it's a formula for innovative success which has been contributing to Disney's global domination of themed entertainment for over 60 years.

I've edited the full talk down into three shorter segments. Listen to them with those six ideas in mind and you'll know Bob's secret Imagineering non-process process. 

(Hint; At the it's called Design Thinking.)


No comments:

Post a Comment