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Walt Disney’s Creative Thinking Technique

Walt Disney was a high school dropout who suffered several business disasters and bankruptcy. He overcame his personal and financial challenges by using his imagination to create an entertainment empire that has touched the hearts, minds and emotions of all of us.

His summarized his creativity in one word: Imagineering. The term “Imagineering” combines the words imagination and engineering. Imagineering enabled him to transform the dreams, fantasies and wishes of his imagination into concrete reality.

Disney’s thinking strategy involved exploring something using three different perceptual positions. An insight into these positions comes from the comment made by one of his animators that:

“…there were actually three different Walts: the dreamer, the realist, and the spoiler (critic). You never knew which one was coming into your meeting.”

Disney’s thinking technique synthesized three different strategies:

The dreamer, realist, and the critic.

  • A dreamer without a realist is often not able to translate fantasies into tangible reality.

  • A dreamer and critic become engaged in constant conflict.

  • A dreamer and realist can create things but find that a critic helps to evaluate and refine the final products.

Following are descriptions of each strategy: