Innovation at the Walt Disney Company

Thursday, September 11th, 2008
Christina Ramstein, Director of intelligence and Collaboration at The Walt Disney Company, is speaking about Innovation, Intelligence, and Creativity:

What is innovation?

Discovery of new ideas
Understanding new realms
Development of new things
Embracing new concepts
Willingness to think outside your comfort zone
Utilizing the knowledge of others to build upon all of the above

What drives innovation?

collaboration (overused term, but valued and encouraged across 400 business units)
all of the above

Technology is he life-blood of the organization; it enables the sharing of ideas (knowledge) across the organization and with partners.

Three primary goals are driving the future of The Walt Disney Company

application of technology
creative innovation
global expansion

Examples of how we make innovation work

- Pooh Camp 3.0 - (Exclusive, invite-only, Like Tim O'Reilly's Foo camp) for idea innovation outside their comfort zone.
- TechFair/TechRush - Used for sharing of ideas across 400 business units. (This year, they plan to invite students in to exchange ideas)
- Best of CES (They pick key ideas and share what they think is cool across the organization)
Research & Development
Deployment of new ideas through entertainment
- Toy story Mainia
- Cross platform product, iPod, iPhone, etc.

Tools used at Disney to foster/drive innovation?

Outside tools
- Facebook
- LinkedIn

Inside tools
- Wikis (MikiWiki)
- Other sites, applications

[Disney] people
- Collaborators
- Innovators

And others
- Entertainment technology council at USC
- Apple

Sometimes, they mix it up:
- Lablets for R&D - National (Pittsburgh) and global (Zurich)
- Cultural drive to embrace changing workforce
- New ways to work

Key Points

Disney drives innovation through a variety of tools, ideas, and people (technology is a key enabler)
Disney utilizes technology to underline their unique ability to tell incredible stories
Disney replies on innovation to make their guest experiences bigger, better, more memorable


"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." - Author C. Clarke
And Kathleen's favorite,
"Let us not forget: it all started with a mouse." - Walt Disney

Discussion/Comments (3):

Innovation at the Walt Disney Company

Hi there,

Where can I get the full interview?

Posted at 11/25/2008 6:27:57 by Tugba

re: Innovation at the Walt Disney Company

This was a presentation for the So Cal KM Exchange. No public recordings available. Sorry.

Posted at 12/09/2008 17:48:01 by Eric Mack

Innovation at the Walt Disney Company

How can I get my idea noticed by Disney World? I believe it would be compatible for each and every visitor to Disney and to Fl. As well as to every state across America. GPS systems are expensive and are not available from other countries, my system is loosable,cheap,and can be used with out data plans. Simply a bug on a phone, state to state or park only. I am an unemployed wife currently loosing her job to the closing of her retail store. I am appealing to a market of prople that can afford 4.99 for a bug GPS in liew of a 30.00 a month data plan for gps of a 10,00 gps mount for their car, Disney can appeal tourists. I havn't the capability to fund this project, but I do have the idea and the marketing skills to capture it. thank you, Karen Abbenante

Posted at 09/21/2009 6:56:03 by Karen Abbenante

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