The Vision Recipe

There's a Harvard Business Review article I flipped to a few years ago, and when I saw the image on the page, I immediately gravitated towards it, and have forever kept it logged in my memory.

"The Disney Recipe"

was inscribed in bold letters gracing the top of the page, and trickling my eyes down, I saw a large handwritten roadmap of Disney. 

It was intricate, and detailed for the space that filled the page. I assumed, some Disney exec had recently had a meeting to discuss goals, and had illustrated the image with his team. For as detailed, and as intricate as the map was, it was my natural assumption it was from recently. Then, my eyes continued scrolling through the page, when I stopped on the year it was made, 1957. Nineteen Fifty Seven. This map ^, this map that so eloquently places the multiple avenues Disney distributes magic, wonder, and monetary gains from comic strips, to merchandising licensing, was created by Walt Disney himself in 1957. 

I always love the idea that something as gigantic, overwhelmingly known as Disney, began with something as meager and tiny as a mouse. However, when you look at this map, it's clear that even the tiny mouse had a purpose. That purpose was tied into other initiatives, that ultimately all worked together, to create the lifestyle, the experience, and the brand of Disney.

It takes vision, to make something as small as a mouse and create a billion dollar venture. It's critical to have vision, because you can have the potential to create magic, to create a billion dollar industry/brand, or without vision you can have something as small as a mouse. The differences are night and day, but the bridge is vision. 

You might not have a complete plan. I believe that vision and plan are radically different. When looking at how vision is defined, it's defined as "the state of being able to see." Vision is having the ability the "dreaming guts" if you will, to see. Ironically enough, a verb of vision is "imagine." The action of vision is to imagine, and in order to imagine, it requires imagination. Imagination can be, in my mind ruined by plans. You must relinquish the ties of having to know the gritty details of how it must be done, and allow your self to imagine. Through imagination, ideas are born, and when ideas are born, vision is born. You might not know exactly how everything will work, but take Disney's map drawn in 1957 as a prime example. Yes, he laid out his ideas, and he distinctly linked them together to show how his ideas would work together. But, if you'll observe, there aren't multiple points following each idea, it's simply the idea leading to an arrow of another idea, linking to a larger idea, and so on and so on. 

Why I was and am still so inspired by this map, this recipe as Harvard's Business Journal likes to call it, is because it is clear that Disney had vision. However, it also is clear to me, that for as concrete and for as clarified as his ideas were for Disney in 1957, he also lent blank space. He did not get caught up in the tiny details that shut most people down from envisioning anything at all. He "imagined," and he created a vision. A vision of small ideas, linked with larger ones. When reading this map, we now see these once ideas, and view them as iconic Disney symbols and ventures. Almost, as a "but of course" that's in the recipe, the map of Disney. These once words and ideas on a page in 1957 are now synonymous with the household name that Disney is today, and that is because, Disney's ideas were linked together with vision. 

So, I hope you take the time, take 20 minutes out of the chaos, and sit there. Sit there with a blank piece of paper and imagine. Draw arrows, write boxes, and imagine. Vision is always such an intense term. A word that sounds like you have to be a "gifted" elite individual to have, but when you break it down, back to one of it's verb forms, it just simply means to imagine. Take that time, sit, sulk, scratch things out, imagine, and create.  

Vision is in the pockets of your imagination and at the tip of your pen. Disney developed his vision and you can to. Remember, his started with something as small, and "demeaning" as a mouse. 

"I dream, I test my dreams against my beliefs, I dare to take risks, and I execute my vision to make those dreams come true." -

Walt Disney