Tuesday, August 6, 2013

7 Ways to Restructure Your Company for Opportunity, Inspired by Disney

Today’s economic climate is challenging for any corporation. One industry seems particularly lost — film. Unfathomable budgets have led to major losses and far fewer successful franchises. Home entertainment distribution virtually imploded with on-demand, Redbox, and iTunes. 3D is being forced on the public (and theater operators), but many are still skeptical of the price. And during this unstable time, Disney CEO Bob Iger fired the chairman of Disney Studios, arguably the most beloved major studio, leaving many inside and outside the industry to speculate on what’s next for the company. Applicable to any modern corporation, my only thought is one word: opportunity.

Based on these actions, I hope Iger has recognized the socioeconomic trends all big businesses should be considering, and is preparing for major restructuring, which has started with announcing former Warner Bros. executive Alan Horn as the new chairman. Horn has had tremendous success with recent franchises like Harry Potter. However, the world is far less organized, and its people far more connected than even two years ago when that franchise wrapped.

Any organized field needs to find its place in the rapidly evolving world order, and every company within that field must maintain its standing in that order. Here’s how I believe Iger and Horn (or any other company’s executives) could lead the way: 
  • Commit to quality over quantity, both in company size and product development. With hugely profitable websites being run by 1-2 people, thousands of employees don’t make you powerful. They make you expensive, necessitating an ambitious output schedule. Keep only those truly dedicated experts and ask them be accountable and resourceful; put out only those quality products which the group can confidently, passionately promote.
  • Become less organized. Organizational charts and major divisions were designed for the railway system. Each individual should bring an expertise to a team, and teams should be flexible enough to allow everyone involved in a project to discuss it from conception throughout development. Nothing new, including a film, should be executed in assembly-line fashion.
  • Make everyone an Imagineer. It should be part of everyone’s job description in some way, rather than a title. Each individual has a responsibility to look at the world around them and consider ways to make it more effective, enjoyable, and interesting. Sure, they may need to collaborate with someone else to execute on it, but that’s the next point.

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