Managing for organizingOrganizing for innovationProfessional Services


Imagineering is the design and development arm of the Walt Disney Company. It is the methodology used to create the magic in each Disney theme park and kingdom worldwide. Although few professionals will consider that their job could be entertaining like the imagineers’, there are a few lessons to be learned from the Imagineering concept.

The concept of Imagineering


The Imagineering concept is fundamentally simple:

  1. Tell a story that people will remember
  2. Hide the technology that makes it visually appealing
  3. Hide the complexity so it looks like it happens by magic

Are professional services an attempt at reverse imagineering?

Professional service providers seem to work really hard at reversing the concept of Imagineering. In many organizations the following rules seem to apply:

3. Make the work look very complex, to show off your expertise. Emphasize the solution’s complexity to ensure the clients will not even try to do it themselves. Instead they will keep coming back to you, though not happily.

2. Make it a non-enjoyable experience, so there is a strong desire to outsource the work to you.

1. Ensure your logo is on everything, making that and the bill the only memorable aspects of the experience.

This approach may be profitable, but is a far from pleasant and fun experience. Not for the client, nor for the provider. It does not offer a lot of opportunity for innovation and growth either.

The solution?

Imagineering at work

How can imagineering principles be applied to professional services? Well, what about trying the following:

  1. Address and solve customers’ problems. The results—and not the bill—is what should be remembered!
  2. Do it together. Teach your clients how to fish instead of fishing for them. Your clients will develop a deeper understanding of your work, while you will be more likely to achieve sustainable success. And in the end, the clients will be forever grateful and will come back willingly.
  3. Work on the next challenge. Be always one step ahead of your customers, which will also ensure you have interesting and high-value work.

Following these steps will make your work more fun, interesting, satisfying—and entertaining. There is nothing as rewarding as helping others and enjoying their success.

Interesting in learning how to address your client’s next challenges in a fun, interesting and satisfying—if not entertaining—context? Please contact us at info”at”organizing4innovation”dot”com, or visit our website for more information


For more on Imagineering:

A youtube video to introduce you to the concept of imagineering

A slide deck that explains how to apply the concept

And the wiki page for those who want to read more background on the concept