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Pinnacle School Of Business Management

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The Walt Disney Company is heralded as the world's largest entertainment company. It has earned this astounding reputation through tight control over the entire operation: control over the open - ended brainstorming that takes place 24 hours a day; control over the engineers who construct the fabulous theme - park rides; control over the animators who create and design beloved characters and adventurous scenarios; and control over the talent that brings the many concepts and characters to life. Although control pervades the company, it is not too strong a grip. Employees in each department are well aware of their objectives and the parameters established to meet those objectives. But in conjunction with the pre-determined responsibilities, managers at Disney encourage independent and innovative thinking.

People at the company have adopted the phrase "Dream as a Team" as a reminder that whimsical thoughts, adventurous ideas, and all - out dreaming are at the core of the company philosophy. The over all control over each department is tempered by this concept. Disney managers strive to empower their employees by leaving room for their creative juices to flow. In fact, managers at Disney do more than encourage innovation. They demand it. Projects assigned to the staff "imaginers" seem impossible at first glance. At Disney, doing the seemingly impossible is part of what innovation means. Teams of imaginers gather together in a brainstorming session known as the "Blue Sky" phase. Under the "Blue Sky", an uninhibited exchange of wild, ludicrous, outrageous ideas, both " good" and " bad", continues until solutions are found and the impossible is done. By demanding so much of their employees, Disney managers effectively drive their employees to be creative.

Current Disney leader Michael Eisner has established the "Dream as a Team" concept. Eisner realized that managers at Disney needed to let their employees brainstorm and create with support. As Disney president Frank Weds says, "If a good idea is there, you know it, you feel it, you do it, no matter where it comes from."

Questions :

1. What environmental factors influenced management style at Disney?

The company being in the Entertainment Sector

Huge size of the company

Disney's Reputation

Multi-continental nature of employee diaspora

Out-of-the Box Thinking

2. What kind(s) of organizational structure seem to be consistent with "Dream as a Team"?

Decentralised Organizaion

Liberated approach towards employee involvement

Importance given to individual contribution throughout the company hierarchy

Motivation given to natural inclinations of every employees faculties oriented towards the growth of company.

Empowerment of Senior managers and inculcation of an appreciation system in recognition of efforts

3. How and where might the informal organization be a real asset at Disney?

Reduction of stressful relationship dynamics amongst different levels of management

Conduct of employees within these groups

Identifying key behavioral rules

Smoothening of implementation stage concerning social relations of the company


When Robert Frey purchased Cin - Made in 1984, the company was near ruin. The Cincinnati, Ohi-based manufacturer of paper packaging had not altered its product line in 20 years. Labor costs had hit the ceiling, while profits were falling through the floor. A solid quarter of the company's shipments were late and absenteeism was high. Management and workers were at each other's throats.

Ten years later, Cin - Made is producing a new assortment of highly differentiated composite cans, and pre-tax profits have increased more than five times. The Cin - Made workforce is both flexible and deeply committed to the success of the company. On-time delivery of products has reached 98 percent, and absenteeism has virtually disappeared. There are even plans to form two spin - off companies to be owned and operated by Cin-Made employees. In fact, at the one day "Future of the American Workforce" conference held in July 1993, Cin-Made was recognized by President Clinton as one of the best - run companies in the United States.

"How did we achieve this startling turnaround?" Mused Frey. "Employee empowerment is one part of the answer. Profit sharing is another."

In the late spring of 1986, relations between management and labor had reached rock bottom. Having recently suffered a pay cut, employees at Cin- Made came to work each day, performed the duties required of their particular positions, and returned home-nothing more. Frey could see that his company was suffering. "To survive we needed to stop being worthy adversaries and start being worthy partners," he realized. Toward this end, Frey decided



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