This is a phrase that many of you may have heard over time. The story is that Walt Disney wanted everyone working on Disney World to be able to see his vision for the park as they worked. To ensure that they could, he instructed them to begin construction with Cinderella’s Castle, which stands at the center of the park. According to this story, everyone working in the park during construction would be able to see the castle, understand the vision of the future that Walt had, and stay focused on achieving that vision.
Is this story true? I honestly have no idea. With the timeline of the castle construction and the park opening I doubt that it is completely true. He may have had them start with the castle first, but it took 18 months to construct and was finished in July of 1971, only a few months before the park opened on October 1, 1971. From my studies of Walt Disney, I also doubt that he would have focused everyone on a single project and let the rest of his vision sit untouched.
What’s important to note is that, as with many stories we hear, the facts of the story are not as important as the message. The idea of this story is that Walt Disney created a vision for the Florida swamp he had purchased. The vision was embodied by the centerpiece, Cinderella’s castle. If the story were true, he wanted that vision to be fully developed so that every employee on his team could see it at any time.
This story is one that I find important in how I will consult your organization. It doesn’t matter whether I’m helping you build your startup business plan, improve a process, or re-brand, the concept is the same. For me to help you find the best path to your desired results, I need to understand your vision. I need you to build the castle first. The vision of the castle at the center of your organization will help keep us oriented and focused on your goals.
Don’t know what your castle looks like yet? That’s okay too. If you’re ready to reach out to me, you will at least have the foundation built. We can work on that vision together as I help you design your own castle. Once we have this done, you will be able to better communicate this vision to others, engage employees, investors, and stakeholders, build a culture that centers on your organization’s vision, and create a strong brand.