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Imagineering Outcomes – Big and Small

Bill Jarrard's picture

If you’ve heard the term Imagineering, it’s likely been in association with The Walt Disney Company who use the term widely. However the word was originally developed by Alcoa around 1940 who described Imagineering as letting your imagination soar and then engineering it down to earth.

Imagineering is simply a combining of imagination and engineering, and is a powerful future-oriented approach to strategic thinking and planning.

Organisations like Disney, Google, Apple, 3M and others are famous for creating new futures through Strategic Thinking and Foresighting, and then implementing in innovative ways – all vital aspects of Imagineering,.  Organisations, whether in the private, public or civic sector, need to be looking to the future and thinking creatively about how to meet it.

But this doesn’t just apply to organisations, it is also a key to success for individuals and teams. Creative visualisation techniques are used by sports people all the time to ‘run the perfect race’ or ‘make the perfect swing’. Celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey, Tiger Woods, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Anthony Robbins, Bill Gates, Will Smith, Jim Carrey and others have talked about using visualisation to ‘see the future they wanted’. 

And of course they all then did the hard work to engineer their dreams into reality. 

Imagineering in Fashion But you don’t have to be a celebrity or sports star. I recall one of my Masters’ students in the USA a couple of years ago who imagineered herself to Paris.  She had a passion for fashion design, and for an assignment in my course, she covered an old mannequin with inspirational images and words to reflect the future she wanted. It made her dreams come alive, and it was with delight that at the end of the course I received a personal email to say she’d just bought a one-way ticket to Paris.  Woo Hoo!

Story-boards, life-scapes, Mind Maps, and other creative visualisations techniques are fantastic techniques for individuals and teams to ‘see their desired future’.  I created a comprehensive Mind Map of my business back in 1998 that we turned into a detailed business plan, still guides some of my thinking and planning today. If you’d like a copy email me at bill[at]mindwerx[dot]com.

That of course is the key to success – going beyond the visualisation to do the planning, and taking action to make things happen.  If you don’t do that, it’s just dreaming.

The beautiful thing is that almost everyone is a natural born imagineer – it’s what makes us successful.  But to take yourself to the next level, it may be time for some big picture Imagineering, to pull you towards the future you deserve.  Are you ready?


As Leadership Victoria’s resident Imagineer, Bill Jarrard (WCLP '90) helps people and organisations Imagine the future they wish to achieve and then Engineer it into reality. Bill focuses on people, leadership, and organisational development, with a particular passion for continuous improvement, creative thinking, and applied innovation.

Bill designs and delivers Leadership Victoria’s Creative Leadership Program; including Thinking Strategically - Imagineering Your Organisation on 13 November. Limited places so Register Now!