Duncan Wardle: The Theory Of Creativity And The Impact Of Innovation

As Head of Innovation and Creativity at Disney, Duncan Wardle and his team helped Imagineering, Lucasfilm, Marvel, Pixar, and Disney Parks to innovate, creating magical new storylines and experiences. He is a …



As Head of Innovation and Creativity at Disney, Duncan Wardle and his team helped Imagineering, Lucasfilm, Marvel, Pixar, and Disney Parks to innovate, creating magical new storylines and experiences. He is a renowned expert in developing innovative, magical brands, engaging stories, and creative experiences that drive results.

Duncan is a multiple TED speaker and contributor to Fast Company, Forbes, Entrepreneur Magazine, & the Harvard Business Review.  He teaches innovation Master Classes at Yale, Harvard, and Edinburgh University and has won impressive AWARDS such as an Honorary Doctorate in Business Administration, Edinburgh Napier University. The White House American Citizen Award and the Duke of Edinburgh Award.

Duncan’s Theory of Creativity™ unique design thinking creative process and tools have created innovative business results for Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Lucasfilms as well as other Fortune 100 companies such as Pepsi, NBA, NBCUniversal, Coca-Cola, IBM, Princess Cruises, Apple and more.

For more on Duncan or to book him to speak: https://slot22.silverline.dev/portfoliotype/duncan-wardle/

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Duncan Wardle: The Theory Of Creativity And The Impact Of Innovation

Joining us in this episode is Duncan Wardle as Head of Innovation and Creativity at Disney. Duncan and his team helped Imagineering Lucasfilm, Marvel, Pixar, and Disney parks to innovate, creating magical new storylines and experiences. He is a renowned expert in developing innovative magical brands, engaging stories, and creative experiences that drive results.

He is a multiple TED speaker and contributor to Fast Company, Forbes, Entrepreneur, and the Harvard Business Review. He teaches innovation master classes at Yale, Harvard, and Edinburgh University. He has won impressive awards such as an honorary Doctorate in Business Administration from Edinburgh Napier University, the White House, the American Citizen Award, and the Duke of Edinburgh International Award.

Duncan\’s theory of creativity, unique design thinking, creative processes, and tools have created innovative business results for Disney, Pixar, Marvel, and Lucasfilms, as well as other Fortune 100s like Pepsi, NBA, NBC Universal, Coca-Cola, IBM, Princess Cruises, Apple, and many more. Please join me with the incomparable Duncan Wardle.

Duncan Wardle, thank you for joining me here. How are you doing, sir?

I\’m all right. How are you?

I\’m good. I\’m excited to hang out with you again. I know it has been a little while, and we have had a crazy couple of years happen in the last few years. As a person who is all about innovation and creativity, you must have had to get innovative and creative, which I know we will talk about that. The world has changed quite a bit, and I\’m sure a guy like you has a lot of opinions about where we are headed, what\’s changed, and what\’s new and exciting. It’s exciting to have you here.

You are an amazing speaker who I\’ve known about for many years and always get rave reviews. The fact that you were the Head of Innovation and Creativity at Disney, that right there stops people in their tracks and they say, “Wow.” What we are going to do is we are going to learn a lot from a guy who was working at a high level with an incredible company. Tell us a little bit about how that happened for you when you became the Head of Innovation and Creativity at Disney.

It didn\’t start that way. I was the cappuccino boy in the London office. I used to go and get my boss six cappuccinos a day from Bar Italia on Dean Street. I used to collate 50 press kits. That\’s what I did. About three weeks into the role, I was told, “You are going to be the Character Coordinator at next week\’s Royal premiere of Who Framed Roger Rabbit in the presence of the Princess of Wales, Diana.” I was like, “What do I do?” They said, “You stand at the bottom of the stairs and make sure nothing untoward happens to the character.” I thought, “I can\’t screw that up.”

That was the day when I found out what a contingency plan was simply because I didn\’t have one. A contingency plan would tell you if you are going to bring a very tall rabbit with very long feet down a very large staircase towards the head of the Princess of Wales. One might want to measure the width of the steps through which the rabbit has to get down before he takes his first step.

[bctt tweet=\”People learn by doing better than they do by listening.\” username=\”calentertainmnt\”]

Roger takes one step, and he’s hurdling head over feet like a bullet down the stairs towards Diana\’s head, whereupon he is met in mid-air by two royal protection officers. They flattened him. They took him out. There is a very famous picture on Reuters of Roger as two secret service heavies on top of him and a little 21-year-old PR guy from Disney in the background going, “I\’m fired.” I thought, “There\’s no point in going to the office tomorrow. I have lost my dream job.”

I’ve got a call from Burbank from the CMO of Disney. I thought, “He was going to tell me I was fired.” All I heard was, “That was great publicity.” I was like, “Who knew I can make a career out of this?” For the first many years I did, I’ve got to do some of the more mad, audacious or outrageous stunts and ideas for Disney, Lucasfilm, Pixar, and Marvel and had a great time doing it.

We have to remember that you were involved with the live in-person stunts and events. The event planners must really love you when they hear you say that you are going to do things a little differently than most speakers on stage because you have a real good feel for what audiences need in the live arena. I know you have been doing a ton of virtual events as well, and that\’s your amazing studio. You usually have a cameraman there with you who is over your shoulder or right there with you and looking at the drawings behind you, which by the way, you drew all those drawings, right?

Yes, sir. Let me ask you a question. Close your eyes. How many days are there in September?

It’s 30.

How did you learn that there were 30 days in September?

There was a rhyme we all had to learn.

You can open your eyes. Anybody who tells me, “I remembered it because I had heard it,” you learned that when you were six but when I asked you how many days there were in September, you had remembered it because you had heard it. You are an auditory learner. Do you ever see anybody count on their knuckles in January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December? You don\’t remember that because you learn by listening.

This person, he or she learned how to do the knuckles the day you learned the rhyme but you don\’t remember this because you don\’t learn by doing. This tells me instantly that you learn by doing. About 20% to 25% of the audience, when you ask them this question, they will say, “I remember it because I heard it.” Twenty five peercent of them will tell you, “I remembered it because I did it.” Fifty percent of them would tell you, “I can close my eyes and see a picture of a candidate with a number 30 on it.” There, you are visual learners.

That’s what I did, to be honest with you. I had a tough time with the months. I remember a couple of months ago, I told somebody that a particular month had a certain number of days in it, and I was wrong.

\"VSP Creativity And Innovation: People want to be inspired and motivated, but what they really want is a set of tools to help them think differently and grow their own businesses.


The nice thing is you can customize them for people. I did a drawing for Prince William and Kate of the Royal Family when I gave them a virtual talk. I also spoke to Toyota. I\’m flying down to Cartagena, Colombia, for Pepsi. People love the drawings. They will take them away with them. People will take pictures with them. You will see the visual learners because they will walk up and will be taking pictures of all the drawings as I leave the room. The visuals are very important.

Let me be very honest with you about the conference industry. From 8:30 until 9:00 networking, the coffee is a bit bitter, the orange juice is sour, and the croissants are two days old. From 9:00 to 9:15, the sponsor is on the stage and bores the living crap out of everybody in the audience. At 9:15 AM, the keynote speaker gets on, running fifteen minutes late, promises time for Q&A, but then says, “We ran out of time.”

We go to a networking break and come back to the panel of doom. How do you know it\’s the panel of doom? It’s because there are four people on the sofas totally ignoring everybody in the audience. How do you know? Stand at the back of the room? At least 30% of the room don’t check in on their email and say, “I’ve got nothing out of the panel.” We go to lunch and eat the shrimp and chicken leftover from convention services. We come back to a breakout group. It’s always good, and the feedback you always get is, “I wish I had more time.”

We come back after the panel. We finish with the beautiful speaker with lovely teeth that bounces up and down a lot and says, “Life is great. You are great. Everything is great.” You leave inspired, motivated, pumped, and ready to change the world. A week later, somebody says, “How was that conference in Chicago?” You go, “It was great.” “What did you learn?” “I can\’t remember anything.” That\’s not fair. These people have given you the gift of time. They have given you a gift of a day. People want to be inspired and motivated but what they want is a set of tools to help them think differently and grow their own businesses.

People say, “Why did you leave Disney. Are you nuts?” Yeah, I\’m nuts. I was there for many years. I’ve got the Bronze Jiminy Cricket statue that says, “Thank You for 30 Magical Years of Service.” I thought, “Mortality, I\’m three quarters of the way there.” There\’s this monstrous gap in the market, and even more so in a post-pandemic world. We\’ve got the C-Suite saying, “We must innovate. We must think differently. We must be brave. You must take risks.” All of their employees are going, “That’s great but how?” Nobody is showing people how.

All I have done is created a toolkit that does three things. It takes intimidation after the word innovation. It makes it easier and more accessible for people, and it takes the word creativity and makes it tangible for people who hate gray and ambiguity. There are lots of them. What’s far more important is it makes the process fun. Why is it fun? It’s because people use my tool six years after I have given it to them. That\’s why it\’s fun because why shouldn\’t work be fun?

The other challenge is I will walk into a room and ask people, “Who here is creative?” Less than 3% of the room are going to put their hands up. In fact, I did an experiment at a talk with a university. There were about 2,500 students in the auditorium, and I brought in one first grade class of little six-year-olds. I put them right in the middle. I said, “Hands up here, who’s creative?” They all answer, “Me.”

The first thing our first-grade teacher tells us is, “Don\’t forget to color in between the lines.” Children are super curious. They ask, “Why?” Their first-grade teacher tells them to stop asking why because there\’s only one right answer, so by the time we are eighteen, we have probably been told we\’re not creative so many times that we don\’t believe we are.

There\’s absolutely no point in me getting in a room and telling people they are creative but if I give them an exercise to do for a couple of minutes the way they can prove to themselves they are far more creative than they thought they were, that\’s powerful. There\’s one fun exercise. I will ask people, “Who\’s creative?” Two percent put their hands up. Even when people put their hand up, it\’s like, “Please don\’t let people see me.” Do you have a pen and a piece of paper?


[bctt tweet=\”The number one barrier to innovation is our own river thinking, experience, and expertise.\” username=\”calentertainmnt\”]

Do you believe that you could draw as well as Pablo Picasso?


Keep that pad on your knee and not on the desk. I want it lower than the desk. If you glance down once I will bust you because I can see your eyes right from where I\’m looking. You have 30 seconds to draw my face. Starting now, go.

This is not going to be good. Are you drawing now?

Nice smile, beautiful teeth.

Are you drawing now?


You are doing it but you have practiced this.

5, 4, 3, 2, 1, pens down. You can draw like Pablo Picasso. You didn\’t think you could but you can. Everybody gets a leave with their own Picasso, which is fun. It\’s about proving to people that they are more creative than they thought they were. You\’ve got to start there. It\’s about giving them the tools to do the job. It\’s about taking the intimidation out of the word innovation and making it tangible for people.

You will never find me on a stage. The cameramen hate me. Also, meeting planners, please stop using rounds. Why do we use rounds? It’s because that\’s what we have always done. It. Rounds are massive barriers to participation and engagement. If I were to ask you, “In American Idol, what did Randy, Paula, and Simon used to sit behind?” People will say, “A table,” and then you ask them, “What was the role of Randy, Paula, and Simon?” “They were a judge.”

\"VSP Creativity And Innovation: The moment you can transfer that power of “my idea” to “our idea” inside a big organization with constituents and clients and hierarchy and approval levels is the moment you accelerate these opportunities to get done.


If you leave your audience on the other side of the table, they would judge the work that\’s coming at them. On average, 75% of the people in a room are introverts, and 25% are extroverts. You can\’t get them to engage because they are safe behind that table. Number one, I can triple engagement if I can remove the table. Number two, don\’t set it up there to start. Why do we set it up there to start? It’s because that\’s the way we have always done it.

The Greeks weren\’t idiots. They set it up as an amphitheater for a reason. An amphitheater is a semicircle. The speaker is the same distance from every single person in the room, and I can triple the engagement. Why do we put the stairs off the side of the stage? It’s because that\’s the way we have always done it. Stop. Put the stairs down the front of the stage and invite the speaker to get off the stage and engage the people in the audience.

I was asked to give a TED Talk. They are so strict. They said, “You’ve got to stay on the stage.” I said, “I like to engage people in the audience.” They said, “You can make them come up.” I said, “That\’s arrogant. I will go to them. Thank you very much,” and then they say, “You\’ve got to stay on the round red carpet.” What did I do? I went to Target and bought one. I took it around the room with me.

You\’ve got to engage people. They\’ve got to participate. People learn by doing better than they do by listening. The number one barrier to innovation is our “river of thinking.” It’s our own experience and expertise. The more experience and expertise we have, the more senior we are but equally, the more reasons we know, the new idea won\’t work. It\’s the classic, “No, because we tried that last year. No, because that\’s not the way we do it here. No, because that\’s not a strategic brand fit. No, because that won\’t help our quarterly results.” Stop with the no, because.

I have people do it that way and I will ask them, “How was that experience?” Everybody’s going to say, “It sucked.” If they are honest, they will tell me, “It was business as usual.” I twist it and you watch the energy level in the room explode. You see the laughter and the fun in their faces. You then ask them, “How was that?” The first word you are going to hear is, “Fun.” You then ask them, “This time, did your idea get bigger or smaller?” They are all going to say, “Bigger.”

What’s far more important though, the landing is at the end of the exercise when you ask them, “Who\’s idea was it?” You will all hear them say the word, “Ours.” The moment you can transfer that power of my idea to our idea inside a big organization with constituents, clients, hierarchy, and approval levels is the moment you accelerate these opportunities to get done but we don\’t know how to do that, and it\’s about giving people the tools to do it.

What you talked about reminded me of one of my favorite parts of your speech where you tell the story of Mr. Disney. I didn\’t know the story. I live in LA and I have been to Disneyland quite a bit, so I have heard some stories about where he was inspired by the architecture and other things. Tell us the story, if you would, which is an amazing story. He was a moviemaker first, right?

Yep. There is a genius of a tool to stop people from thinking the way they always do and give them permission to think differently. It was mastered and created by a man called Walt, Fantasia, 1940. He wanted heat pumped into the theater. He wanted mist pumped into the theater to make it more immersive. The theater said, “No. It is far too expensive. We would never do that. It\’s not the way we do it here.” Walt created a tool called what if? Rules, what if. If you were to ask your clients, “Hands up who thinks they work in a very heavily regulated industry?” it\’s the only one where you will get a 100% response.

Walt simply wrote down the rules of going to a movie theater. He said, “I must sit down. I must be quiet. It is dark. I can only watch one movie at a time. I can\’t take in any outside food and beverage. I must pay to get in. I can\’t control the environment.” Step one was to list the rules of your challenge. He did that. Step two was to pick one. He also did that. He then said, “What if that rule no longer applied? What if I could control the environment?” He couldn\’t. He didn\’t own the movie theaters. Besides, that wasn\’t provocative enough. The more audacious your what if statement, the further out of your river of thinking you will get.

He said, “What if I take my movies out of the theater?” “Don\’t be stupid, Walt. They are two-dimensional. They will fall over.” “What if I made them three-dimensional?” “How are you going to do that, Walt?” “What if I had people in costumes play the roles of the princesses and cowboys?” “Walt, Jack Sparrow can\’t be next to Davy Crockett and Cinderella. People will be immersed in their individual stories.” “What if I put them all in a different themed land? What if I called it Disneyland?” It\’s a genius of it all. It\’s about listing the rules of your industry, picking one, and asking the most audacious what-if question. It will take you straight out of your river of thinking and give you permission to think differently.

[bctt tweet=\”Diversity is innovation. If somebody looks different to you, they think different to you. And if they think different to you, they can help you think differently.v\” username=\”calentertainmnt\”]

A lot of my clients say to me that most of the speakers at their events are from or within the industry. I always say to myself, and sometimes I say it out loud, “Wouldn\’t it be great to have somebody come in from outside of the industry to inspire, have another point of view, and look at things differently?”

Who or what is a naive expert and why should you have one in every session you run? They are there because they don\’t work in your industry. They are not there to solve the challenge for you but they are there because they will ask the silly question that you\’re too embarrassed to ask in front of your peers and the question needed to be asked. They will throw out the audacious idea ungoverned by your constraints. They are not there to solve the challenge. They\’re there to say something to stop you from thinking the way you always do and help you think differently.

We do some exercises where I\’m going to get the audience to do something, and I guarantee you that they are all going to do exactly the same except one person in the room will do something completely different. The point is this, and most organizations don\’t understand it. Diversity is innovation. If somebody looks different to you, they think differently from you, and if they think differently from you, they can help you think differently.

I tell a story about our cast member called Maggie. She was 78 years of age. We were doing strategic pricing sessions, so we had all the EVPs, the SVPs, and the very important VPs in a meeting. I brought in Maggie, a 78-year-old lady who used to work in our call center in Tampa. She was there because she speaks to the guests eighteen hours a day. We don\’t. Who do you think knows what the guests want? There was something she happened to say at lunchtime that in the next three and a half minutes came up with an idea that made Disney over $200 million a year in incremental revenue. It was because she said something different from what we would think.

It’s about looking outside of your industry for insights and for innovation. For example, there\’s a tool called where else, which is about looking outside of your industry for insights and innovation. In 1996, Speedo was approached by the US Olympic Swimming Association and said, “Make our swimmers go faster through the water.” It\’s a super easy tool to use. You put your challenge statement in the middle of a piece of paper. Always start a challenge with how might we. Your challenge statement could be, “How might we make our swimmers go faster through water?”

You go around and ask, “Who has already solved the challenge of moving quickly through water?” They will have answers such as dolphins, sharks, motorboats, torpedoes, etc. You go around and say, “Who else has already solved the challenge that I have been tasked with coming up with?” You pick one and they chose sharks. They go around and ask, “What does a shark do that allows it to move quickly through water?” They will say it has a dorsal fin. A Borneo shark has a very blunt nose. It\’s shaped like a torpedo, and then they notice on its skin hundreds of thousands of shark pimples.

They did some biomimicry on its skin and they noticed that its skin has hundreds of thousands of shark pimples underneath which contains a microscopic air pocket that can contain and it can expand as it wants to increase its surface friction against the water, slow down, and turn such as the swimmer hitting the wall or it could force all of those air pockets out when it wants to reduce its surface friction to move like a bullet.

They borrow back the underlying principle. They created the suits that you will not remember the name of. It was called the shark suit. You will remember what it looked like. It went from Michael Phelps’ neck all the way down to his calf. They broke multiple world records in Sydney. It was considered too much of a competitive advantage and too innovative that they were banned from the future of the sport but they had solved the challenge they had by looking outside of their industry for insight and innovation. A lot of companies use me as a naive expert. I would say 35% of my work is giving talks. 30% to 35% of my work is training people how to use these tools, and then the other 1/3 is helping to use the talks to help companies think differently in developing new ideas.

The elephant in the room is hopefully, we are coming out of a pandemic. I’m sure you have changed a lot about what you do and how you do it. You see the future very differently than you did a couple of years ago. Tell us a little bit about how you\’re looking at it now and how you look at the future.

On March 15th, 2020, I flew to Denmark, Copenhagen to give a speech. I got off the plane and the Danish prime minister was like, “I don\’t think so.” I spoke to 3,000 empty chairs and a camera. That was the most bizarre experience of my life. I flew back and hired a couple of kids out of London. I said, “Take me virtually,” and in 2021, we did 223 virtual events around the world. I can speak 37 different languages simultaneously through an artificial intelligence robot. I can speak Swahili, Hindi, Cantonese, etc. You click on your subtitles and there goes Duncan.

\"VSP Creativity And Innovation: Listing the rules of your industry and picking one, and asking the most audacious “What if?” question will take you straight out of your river thinking and give you permission to think differently.


I have done a lot of work in Virbela, Spatial, and the metaverse. I did a workshop with a lady from South Africa who reached out to me. She\’s in Joburg and I\’m in Central Florida. She hands to me a virtual pen with her virtual hand that did not exist. I took it out of her virtual hand with my virtual hand that equally did not exist. I wrote on a virtual Post-it note in virtual ink and handed her back the Post-it note. What does this mean for the conference industry? The conference industry is going virtual. There\’s no question about it, and it’s going virtual for three different reasons.

Number one is technology. These big VR glasses by Christmas 2023 will be a pair of reading glasses. That\’s going to change everything. For example, the capital investment strategy is to create entertainment for your guests inside a very boring ballroom? You are going to have a live firework done by augmented reality. I will be able to see it.

If you want it themed to Disney, you will be able to do that. Number two is carbon emissions. If you believe that companies will fly 500 to 1,000 employees to a conference center in another city five years from now, you are nuts because anybody under the age of 28 is going to say, “I\’m not coming because of the carbon emissions we are giving away.”

You\’ve got the pandemics. From 2005 to 2020, people have been watching Ebola, bird flu, H1N1, SARS, MERS, and COVID. Years from now, we are going to have another one. Will it be regional? Will it be global? I don\’t know. Think about our own behavior in two years. We already started with restaurants, Uber Eats, supermarkets, Instacart, movie theaters, Disney Plus, offices, Zoom, gyms, and Peloton. Virtual reality is the basic. If you put augmented reality and artificial intelligence on top of that, the result will be amazing.

Manchester City has filed a patent and somebody should be looking at it for conventions. I think 2022 is the year of life. Everybody wants to hug somebody. You and I are seeing it in the number of bookings. In 2023, the CFO of the company is going to go, “How much money did we spend on that conference last year versus the year before? We will go virtual this year. Thank you very much.” It will be a hybrid as we move towards it.

People say, “Lots of people go for the networking.” They do. They also say, “It\’s not as good in the metaverse as it is in reality.” Not now. In 3 to 5 years, Manchester City is building a stadium in the metaverse, and so are the Atlanta Braves. You will be able to go sit in Cairo, pay $1 to sit at the back of the stadium, $5 to sit on the halfway line or what we call the 50-yard line, and $10 to sit on the bench next to your favorite place.

Disney filed a patent to have augmented reality in their parks within seven years. Now, you have to wait to meet Mickey Mouse. You might have to wait for two hours in the humidity of Central Florida. Let’s say you are from Brazil and he doesn\’t speak Portuguese. These lenses will enable you to have Mickey Mouse come to you at the time you want to speak in Portuguese.

Five years from now, McDonald\’s happy meals are not going to be plastic toys anymore. You will choose the character that pops out of your happy meal. McDonald\’s has filed a patent but I\’m not quite sure. I don\’t even think they know how they are going to do it yet but the challenge statement is how might we serve real food in a virtual setting 10 to 15 years from now? How cool would that be?

I hadn\’t been in VR until a couple of months ago. I\’m in my 50s. I put a bloody headset on and I went. It\’s great fun. It\’s much more intuitive than you think it is. You don\’t even need the handsets anymore. Check out Virbela. It\’s a great center. You can create your own conference, meeting rooms, exhibit floors, soccer pitches or virtual cocktail bar, and little avatars can come from all around the world. It\’s fun.

The next set is Spatial, and that\’s where I think it is heading. The barrier is these big headsets but it will be reading glasses a couple of years from now. That\’s going to open up so many new opportunities for the conference market that don\’t exist. Now, you can get 300 people in a hall but you could have 3 billion if they were interested in you, you can speak in every different language, and you can have all your superstars who don\’t want to get on a plane and fly to the other world to give a speech. It’s exciting.

[bctt tweet=\”Don\’t be boring. You may know your stuff but don\’t bore people to death with it.\” username=\”calentertainmnt\”]

Life will still be there but make no mistake, get out ahead of it. I practiced in 2020 when there were no more live events. I only did ten in 2021. If I hadn\’t pivoted, I would have been doing crochets. By the way, if you are a meeting planner and you have a kid, chances are the kid\’s got a VR headset. Borrow it and have some fun. The other thing is the days of the international speaker flying to the other side of the planet.

You are taking me out of the market for seven days. When I speak there, I might not speak the same language that you do, and how many carbon emissions have I offset? You will see more regional events popping up. The international speaker will come in via hologram. It won’t be happening in 2023, clearly, but as it gets better, that\’s where the industry will head.

It’s amazing how quickly the technology is getting better and moving in those directions. The thing I noticed that you might imagine I did since 2020 is so many of my clients had the speaker that they never would have been able to afford in the past. Now, they have that person, a major celebrity, a majorly famous person, or a huge best-selling author at their conference as their main keynote speaker because the fee was 25% or 50% less than the in-person fee. I have been working with a lot bigger names than ever and many more of them than I have ever booked because my clients are taking advantage of having the virtually.

I would never be on a webcam if I were presenting. I prefer to use my own Zoom license because then, I can run the whole show. I can host 2,000 people in it. I can speak any language. I\’ve got two techs out the back and we make it an immersive experience. Do you the principal when Charlie Brown would walk up to him?

Of course.

Number one motto, “Don\’t be boring.” You may know your stuff but don\’t bore people to death with it. They do nothing. We push them into the virtual breakout rooms and we bring them back. We give them the virtual boards and we bring them back. You\’ve got to make it seamless for the client. I have built a whole tech team around it. The interesting thing with hybrids is I can walk into a physical audience and ask them a question.

Meanwhile, my tech team is polling the people in Zoom who aren\’t there and asking them the question at the same time. I will bring a volunteer up onto the stage and we will do a fun activity together to demonstrate it to everybody else, and then I’m going to pull the next volunteer out from online. It\’s about making sure that hybrids don\’t bore the people at home.

They’ve got to be a part of it.

We are not doing that properly yet, but we could. Technology is there.

This has been eye-opening, fun, and amazing as everything always is with you. Thank you so much for doing this. There\’s so much here. We just scratched the surface. See Duncan and book Duncan when you can. I can\’t wait to see you in person the next time you are in the Los Angeles area.

I\’m going to Cartagena, Colombia on Wednesday and Thursday. I’m in Monterey and Mexico on Friday and Saturday. I fly into LA on Sunday, and I\’m doing a one-day workshop down at Terranea.

That’s a beautiful resort in Palos Verdes. I will have to talk to you about that offline. Thank you so much for coming.

Thanks for having me.

It has been a pleasure.


 Important Links


About Duncan Wardle

\"VSPAs Head of Innovation and Creativity at Disney, Duncan and his team helped Imagineering, Lucasfilm, Marvel, Pixar, and Disney Parks to innovate, creating magical new storylines and experiences.

He now brings his extensive Disney expertise to audiences around the world using a unique approach to Design Thinking, helping people capture unlikely connections, leading to fresh thinking and disruptive ideas.

Delivering a series of keynotes, workshops and ideation forums, his unique Innovation toolkit helps companies embed a culture of innovation into everyone’s DNA.

Duncan is a multiple TED speaker and contributor to Fast Company, Forbes & the Harvard Business Review. He teaches innovation Master Classes at Yale, Harvard, and Edinburgh University.


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