The Walt Disney Way - Never Be Satisfied

Published: 1/25/2007 10:17:38 AM

Walt Disney was never satisfied.  He wasn't satisfied with the poor quality of animated motion pictures when he set out to redefine the cartoon.  When television came upon the scene, his programs were among the first to popularize it with quality programming and then to bring television into the world of color instead of black and white. 

Amusement parks had been around for a long time when he came up with the vision of Disneyland, forever changing the definition of the ultimate amusement park, and in the face of many who said it would fail.

By now, it's a cliche to "never be satisfied" with your work or your company.  The Japanese called it continuous improvement.  GE calls it Six Sigma.  It is called by many names and it tends to go against our natural desire to finish something - we want to be done with it!

From a business perspective, never being satisfied can be a matter of seeing your company or your market(s) through the eyes of your competitors.  They want nothing more than to knock your company off.  They're busy thinking of ways to take market share from you, they're trying to improve their services or products by comparing them to yours and trying to improve either the products themselves, or the ways in which they are marketed and sold.  They're probably planning to leapfrog your offerings with something that completely changes the game.  They may be looking to acquire other companies to gain advantage through scale.  In sum, there are numerous competitive threats from within or outside your industry that are appearing or will soon appear.

So in my view it is a necessity to never be satisfied with your company's position - not for a moment.  Ask yourself: how could my industry or business model be disrupted, and by what type of company?  Is there an adjacent or similar industry where companies are actively changing the landscape?  How could those changes affect my industry or company?  How can I take the initiative to "change the game" in my industry in ways that would be advantageous to me?

Don Jones


Don Jones
CEO, VentureDeal

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