The Walt Disney Mindset

If you have not seen “Saving Mr. Banks” do it. It’s inspiring, insightful and reminds us of many things we may have forgotten.

Having grown up in the shadow of the Mouse, I probably know more about the man and myth of  Walt Disney than most. I also have read quite a bit on the subject of the company.  Seeing him brought to life by Tom Hanks was fantastic.

Apply the Key To Walt Disney’s Success  to Your Business

So what’s his mindset?  It’s storytelling.  He always wanted to tell the great stories. Sure it applies to their business of engaging children, but it is more than that.  We see how Walt used stories at every turn to obtain the desired outcome as he grew the business.

I won’t ruin the movie for you, but pay attention to all of the stories he tells others.  Also pay attention to the stories Walt tells himself about his past, being a parent and about leading the Walt Disney company.

Walt was not born a storyteller, he became one because he sought out great stories and the best way to present them.  You too can become a great story teller.

“People don’t buy brands. They buy stories” – Roy Disney Jr

You will see this quote many places in my writing. It’s incredibly powerful. You might think “That’s easy for Disney to say.  They own one of the most iconic brands.  Kids love stories. Stories don’t pertain to my business. My business is about fact and numbers”

Let’s do the numbers here.  When The Walt Disney Company was “brand-centric” toward the end of Eisner’s reign, its stock dropped almost 70%.  Roy Disney gave that quote in a speech to stockholders and the stock was at 20. The subsequent rallying (and ousting of Eisner) around that idea took the company’s stock to 81.

A Different Story for Everybody

One last takeaway from the Disney Mindset.  They do not try to tell the same exact story to everyone.  That’s why they have so many “lands”.  Don’t worry about telling a story that only appeals to one very specific group, that it might turn off your other clients.  Fans of princesses are not offended by Tomorrowland.  Just make sure your stories are not all mingled.

After all, “Saving Mr. Banks” would not appeal to most little kids that love Disney, but this story made me excited about my next trip to the Magic Kingdom.  And I just wrote a blog post about it that I am sharing with you.

That’s the power of great storytelling.