Joanna Maxwell, provided a peak behind the curtain to reveal the real magic in Walt Disney’s creative process. Maxwell’s Work In Colour blog is always a virtual cornucopia of “creative thinking tools for individuals and businesses to switch from black & white to colour.”
Last week she introduced us to three key mindsets behind Disney’s creative genius: “Disney set up three rooms, one for each mode of thinking. The first was for the Dreamer for thinking big, for creating visions and imagining possibilities without boundaries. The second was for the Realist to determine what is practical, how can we make this happen in the world, what actions are required? The third was for the Critic where you play devil’s advocate – test the plan for flaws, imagine what could go wrong.”
Maxwell offers some questions to help us navigate each mindset to mine our own creativity:
- What’s your vision, your ultimate fantasy for the project?
- If you had unlimited resources and ability, what would it look like?
- What’s most exciting about it?
- How will you make this happen? What do you need?
- What’s the plan? (Details, please!)
- What might get in the way and how will you get around it?
- What if my customers don’t like it?
- What are the competition doing in this space?
- What if the plans go wrong? What’s the worst case scenario?
“The order,” she cautions, “is important – especially, don’t jump to the Critic before the Dreamer has had a thorough go.”
In past posts, Maxwell has noted how difficult it is to step outside ourselves to interrupt our patterns and realistically assess our dreams. One particularly poignant suggestion (vis a vis this Disney post) that she had to help us was “to seek out aliens.” Not green creatures from another planet, but rather people with entirely different perspectives to shed new light on our ideas. “Children,” she says, “with their own unique insights and fresh approach are ideal.”
When I read that I couldn’t help but think how much Disney – who created so many “colourful” magic kingdoms for children – would have loved that.