The NLP Disney Strategy (1)
‘Well, I had this great idea once…but…’
How many great ideas have you come up with… and never followed through on them?
Going for that new job or promotion?
Or the exercise and weight management programme that would make all the difference?
Or the new business venture you were thinking about? Or the big change in your living circumstances.
The Disney ‘recipe’ for clear thinking
Often we blame ourselves for not following through. Yet our false starts and non-starts it can simply be the result of not using the right strategy or ‘recipe’ to think things through and come up with a robust plan for making things happen.
About 25 years ago two American NLP trainers, Todd Epstein and Robert Dilts, studied the work of Walt Disney. They were especially curious about how he brought some quite fantastic dreams into reality. In their book Skills for The Future (Meta Publications, 1993) they describe how he used a systematic way of thinking to make this happen.
It seems that Disney cycled through three phases of thinking: dreaming and fantasising, devising a workable plan for the dream, then constructively criticising the plan. As a result of their work we now have the NLP Disney Creativity Strategy.
Many of us muddle up the three styles: one moment we are dreaming, then criticising, then planning, then dreaming and so on in a haphazard manner. Instead of a clear and workable plan of action this produces confusion, disenchantment, and inaction.
This explains why we often don’t get around to doing the really important things in our lives – muddled and circular thinking – instead of being systematic.
The NLP Disney Strategy provides us with a systematic way of turning dreams into workable plans – or, as is sometimes the case, evaluating the dream and recognising that it’s simply not workable.
Using the NLP Disney Strategy
In the strategy you cycle through 3 styles of thinking:
Dreamer: Here you allow your imagination to run free. You consider your vision and the benefits of achieving it.
Planner: Here you act as if the plan is entirely possible – your job is to look for ways to make it happen.
Critic: Here you look for flaws and loopholes in the Plan. Act as the Constructive Critic. In Critic role you only interact with the Planner – not with the Dreamer. Aim to find weaknesses, pre-empt problems.
There are two important pieces to the strategy
- Keep the three styles of thinking separate – so you only engage in one style at a time
- The Critic can only criticise the Plan – never the dream.
The method works great when used by yourself. And you can also use it as a coaching or team development tool.