In the central corridor of the animation building at Disney Studios there is a gold-leafed cupola hovering directly over a marble inlay of Steamboat Willie, the movie considered to be the debut of Mickey Mouse.
If you stand under the dome and speak, you’ll hear your voice reverberate. To everyone else standing outside the circle, your voice sounds merely human, but to the person standing in Willie’s shoes it sounds like an auditorium. This miniature echo chamber, to me, represents the danger that a self-sustaining multi-faceted company like Disney faces when making strategic choices.
When the company can do just about anything it wants — take any path — how does it decide which to pursue? And, more importantly, how does it not fall prey to its own echo chamber — how enabled do they feel to say ‘no’ to things?
Late last week Disney had a press event…
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