2012 Innovation Expo: The Walt Disney Company

Uploaded by NASAKennedy on 12.10.2012

  Please welcome Jeffrey Miller, manager of behavioral change effort for the walt Disney company.
  Jeffrey miller: Thank you. Yeah, so I'm a Disney guy.
  I have no business being here, right? And on top of that,
  I'm a business guy, not an engineer or anything else. So i really don't have anything to talk about.
  That's it for me, thanks. Everybody having a good time? This is great, right?
  Let's acknowledge everybody that put this together. This is really terrific. [ applause ]
  Absolutely. It sounds like most of this was done by volunteering and kind of a part-time effort.
  This is really terrific. I'm not used to this voice of god thing.
  Can we shut this off? All right. My name is Jeff Miller.
  Yeah, I'm in charge of the Jedi mind tricks that we're trying to play at Disney.
  What I'm really going talk about is i spent the last six years
  in our business development and strategic planning.
  Kind of looking at where we go with our theme parks globally.
  How we -- how we grow, how we get better, bigger. Hard to believe, right?
  So I'm going to talk about the business of innovation.
  What I'm going to focus on is forwarding an idea through a matrix organization.
  Hopefully I'm going to be able to tie a lot of what we heard today back to this.
  So let's jump in with a blank screen. There we go. This is the first thing.
  I think we heard a lot about this this morning. Everybody owns creativity.
  It's not a silent effort because your title doesn't say you're creative, doesn't
  mean you don't have the responsibility or right to be creative.
  That's absolutely the fact at Disney, and we do that. I was strategic planning, but we engaged everybody.
  And i think that's part of it, right? Build these teams like we heard Eric talk about at Publix.
  A lot of multi-diversity, multiuse teams, multifunction teams that kind
  of bring exposure and diversity from all different angles.
  So critical in terms of forwarding an idea. At least proving the fact that it can work.
  Second thing, this is suicide for an innovation forum, right? Think inside the box.
  It's -- not what you want to hear, right? I think what this ties to is what we've
  heard about this morning that there are realities.
  When we can push the envelope to certain things, at the end of the day in
  order to get this off the ground, you have to play by some form of rules.
  Let's take one step back and say you need to challenge these rules.
  I love it when people talk about how we've always done it this way or that's the way it goes or -- you know,
  this magical invisible hand that guides us. You need to push against that.
  But economics, physics, there's certain real thought we just can't seem --
  certain things we just can't seem to get around.
  We need to stick inside some form of box.
  That doesn't mean the walls of that box aren't malleable and we can't reshape it.
  I think Disney does this better than anybody.
  Bob's going to argue that because he's going to talk about universal Orlando.
  He was a Disney guy, too. He brought all these good ideas over to universal.
  Telling the story, we heard a lot about this this morning. And this is so important.
  If it -- if you can't tell the story, it's not a good idea and you probably shouldn't do that.
  I think that's probably an argumentative statement.
  If you don't tell it, if you can't connect with somebody,
  then you're not going to get support for it, you're not going forward this idea.
  I think storytelling is something that, you know, who doesn't want to hear the story of NASA?
  You know, all the video, kind of grates on you.
  We have videos just like that for Disney that talk about how we do nothing other than theme parks.
  And we build cartoons or create cartoons, and it's afternoon -- not family entertainment.
  And that's -- we keep going back to videos like it and consumer
  research to just keep our drive where it needs to be.
  And so we can continue to evolve and engage our story.
  So this is one that i think we spend a little bit of time on.
  I'm going to give you a little bit of a background of what i do in strategic planning.
  Most of what I've done, most of what i worked on we won't see for another 20 years.
  That's kind of exciting, but at the same time, i can't point to a lot.
  So when we think about storytelling, we think about simplifying the message, right?
  I mean, that's what it really comes down to is data isn't sexy.
  That probably -- let that settle for a second.
  This is something my mentor told me because we were -- i was trying to stay really focused
  On, hey, look at this.
  We can make a lot of money this way or if we buy this company, we can do this.
  Just proving data or just publishing data isn't the sexy part.
  What really get people motivated is when you can captivate them,
  when you can touch them to a personal level and say this is how it impacts you.
  Sorry, do you want me to pose? [ laughter ] All right.
  But i think that's what -- that's the take home here find the connection.
  Get it to its simplest form.
  If it's about life change, if it's about finding a way to get away from something or whatever your storyline is,
  I'm kind of thinking back to our big cartoons that we love to talk about.
  It's about connecting. It's about finding that place to
  Bring people into the project, into the idea, into your solution that you're creating.
  And i think that's where storytelling really comes alive. This is kind of the continuation of that.
  Once you've got your story, once you've got your team,
  once you've got your idea and this is starting to flow through and you watch it,
  you hand it off to somebody and they just -- they forget, they don't tell the story, they don't do this,
  your solution, your idea, your concept, your project dies instantly because people lose the story.
  It goes back to data. And then it becomes a numbers game or we value engineer all our story,
  all our great elements out of it.
  But if you keep that story alive and keep just serve as a champion, find a champion,
  get as many people to understand the story as you can, you create champions for your project.
  It's -- you want to call it a political game, that's fine.
  But it really is about generating interest and keeping that going.
  Find a way to champion the message. Whether it's you or everybody around you, tell everybody the story.
  This is something i think we all have in common. Both Disney and NASA.
  We don't get to sign our work, as creative.
  I've had an opportunity to work on some really interesting projects.
  But nobody will ever know about it.
  But i know that I've contributed to a legacy that's bigger than my own.
  Bigger than signing my own work. And i think we think about NASA it's the same thing.
  I really want to be a comedian someday.
  I think that would be a great career for me.
  But -- i was thinking about how i could connect Disney and NASA and come back to this idea of legacy.
  You know, Disney and NASA when Walt was around and the space program was really getting around,
  they had a lot of connection. There was a lot of connection points.
  And i think the last pieces -- we tried to go to mars once, too. It was a couple of years ago.
  We crashed and burned. Apparently mars didn't need moms after all. We learned our lesson.
  The legacy we wanted to leave was one of great storytelling, great place making,
  and this idea of being a holistic family entertainment company.
  So i think if there's anything you take forward,
  it's delay that gratification to the legacy that you get to leave behind.
  With that, thank you very much. [ applause ]