Tag Archives: Management

Walt Disney: Always Dreaming Of Tomorrow / Engineer Your Future

Disneyland ParkDisneyland was finished in 1955 in Anaheim California but it had a limited size and the value of the land around Disneyland was astronomical once the business model was proven to be highly successful. Hotels, restaurants were built around Disneyland which made expansion difficult. As a result of the difficulties faced in California, Walt Disney was engaged in a cloak and dagger ploy to buy land and then build a massive theme park in central Florida.

Walt Disney Amusement ParkIn 1964, Walt was able to purchase a great deal of land but it had to be done secretly. $180 per acre was the cost for a total of 27,000 acres of swampland. The utilitor was built on the ground floor and Disney World’s Magic Kingdom was actually build 14 feet above this walkway system for employees. DisneyWorld was opened in 1971 with an attendance that hit 10 million in less than two years. The theme park was the perfect tourist attraction. One of the powerful ideas fuelinf Disney World was that DisneyWorld is the never-ending plus-able theme park. Walt Disney World is ‘always in a state of becoming’ implying that DisneyWorld is never finished. As a child we were always told that.

Disney World FloridaIn reality, DisneyWorld has brand power such that it no longer needs to expand its development. It was an ingenious design. Epcot was the vision of modern planned communicty development. For Disney, building something real which is tangible gives you more control. If Walt Disney asked that you did something, you’d better make it real. Optimal Behaviorists push to maintain the top of their energy with a feeling of optimistism. Disney lived by this credo of using every minute of the day to achieve set goals.

Business Is Like A Grilled Cheese Sandwich + Tomato Soup

Grilled Cheese Sandwich Business

Most of the value is in the cheese, the bread and the accompanying tomato soup. Mmm, that all tastes toooooo good. And when customers taste the food, they think “that was a great sandwich” and very rarely think “some Chef made that.” We rarely see the Chef to begin with. The quality of the ingredients is essential. It’s the reason Italian food is so good when, surprise, you actually go to Italy. The Chef is still important however.

The angry cheese and the management that gets all the credit


Strange Metaphor

Just like a good grilled cheese sandwich, you need great employees to help create awesome products. However, the cheese is not going to convince the bread to get into the frying pan together. You need that Chef. The Chefs are the management. What frustrates workers is that they are the ones that produce the quality outcome as the cheese the bread and tomato soup. It doesn’t seem fair and it probably isn’t that the cheese and bread don’t get the credit for the amazing meal. The chefs do. From Steve Jobs to George Lucas to Richard Branson, the chefs get a the bulk of the credit and the value from orchestrating the meal that is any business. They just sit in the kitchen while customers eat the cheese and bread and tomato soup that are the true value of the transaction. This is why social democratic values will always live on. It doesn’t seem fair that the cheese that makes the sandwich awesome gets paid less than the chef. It’s really hard to see whether the Chef made the meal awesome or the ingredients themselves are where the value lies…..

Grilled Cheese Sandwich is a Business Model

The difference in business (if there is one: sarcasm) is that sometimes the cheese is smarter than the Chef. But if the chef doesn’t listen and just wants the cheese to stay flavourful, then management misses out on something awesome. In fact, recognising when someone who is not a manager is way smarter than the managers can lead to the opposite effect which is that the Chef replaces that cheese. I think I’ve taken this metaphor too far….