The Walt Disney Company: The Entertainment King

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Role of the “Center”

The concept of the “center” remains critical because it dictates the sustainability of a given company and its ability to achieve the intended business aims. For any corporation to succeed, its leaders need to have a clear understanding of its center and the unique roles that have the potential to deliver internal success. For the Walt Disney Company, Walt Disney was keen to align the right aspects and develop a superior model that guided workers to focus on the targeted business aims. He attracted talented individuals and ensured that the company lacked corporate hierarchies. The guiding principles during his time included accountability, efficiency, and profitability. Despite the decision to introduce additional businesses, the leader was always ready to maintain control and ensure that the unique role of the company’s center remained uninterrupted. He activated the relevant synergies across the existing investments, such as Disneyland, cartoons, and films. The founders managed all units in such a way that they remained leveraged to deliver the intended business goals.

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Diverse Set of Businesses

The case of the Walt Disney Company reveals how organizations could have a diverse set of businesses as part of their strategic plans. This approach has some logic because it ensures that each of the segments is capable of supporting the other departments if they are performing poorly. The strategy also becomes a new opportunity for minimizing risks that can affect the overall profitability of a company, such as competition from established firms and industrial rivalry. After the launch of Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and Goofy and the presence of a committed team of workers, Walt chose to venture into full-color animations. The increasing sales and the production of additional films resulted in the recruitment of more workers. At this company, the events recorded during the Second World War did not lead to its demise because of the advantages associated with the power of diverse businesses. While the upheaval proved disastrous, the leaders rereleased Snow White in 1944 and added cartoon classics to stay afloat (Rukstad et al. 2). These aspects reveal that such a diverse set of businesses make sense for corporations that want to remain successful.

The leaders at Walt Disney Company were keen to consider new investments to improve performance. For instance, additional movies became the best solution after the war, such as Treasure Island (1950) and Old Yeller (1957). The organization trained its workers and attracted talented ones. Disney went further to increase the company’s presence in the television industry. Disneyland was a revolutionary idea whose eventual success “put the company on solid financial footing” (Rukstad et al. 3). However, Walt Disney’s desire to take family entertainment to the next level ended after his death in 1966. Companies that want to remain profitable in their respective fields should, therefore, consider this concept.

Disney’s Corporate Strategy

A company’s corporate strategy is essential since it dictates the directions and goals intended within a long-term period. This model presents the best vision or sense of direction that all workers and leaders need to take into consideration. The success of Disney could be attributed to the skills and dedication of Walt Disney and his brother, Roy Disney. These partners operated their company as “a flat, non-hierarchical organization, in which everyone, including Walt, used their first names and no one had titled” (Rukstad et al. 2). The key attributes that Walt emphasized included cooperation, communication, and teamwork. After Walt Disney’s death, many people acknowledge that he had contributed a lot to the company.

His brother, Roy Disney, made Walt Disney World a reality in 1971 and changed the model by introducing in-house performance and hotels. He considered live shows at the international level, such as Disney on Ice and Disney on Parade. However, most of the managers were unable to match Walt’s ideas and abilities (Rukstad et al. 4). By the 1980s, the company had introduced Touchstone as a new label to meet the demands of adult cartoon lovers. These attributes try to describe the nature of the company’s corporate strategy. It revolves around the commitment of workers who should focus on the existing segments and consider new additions that can maximize organizational performance.

Despite the challenges recorded in the early 1980s, the studied case reveals that the established strategy is still viable and capable of taking the company closer to its goals. Its diversification approach, the presence of dedicated workers, the concept of teamwork, and the consideration of continuous research and development (R&D) are powerful attributes that continue to define its strategy (Rukstad et al. 4). With proper management and the ability to examine emerging opportunities in the global market, this company will continue to rely on such a corporate strategy to become more profitable in the future. This analysis indicates that the company’s model has not faded at all.

Corporate Strategy: Walt Disney vs. Roy Disney

The studied case has revealed that Walt and Roy led their company at different times and situations. However, what stands out is that Walt was keen to avoid hierarchies since he viewed them as inappropriate and incapable of taking the organization to the next level. He trusted all team members to remain creative and focus on the best actions to promote performance. However, Roy led the company when it had expanded and began to operate in different regions (Rukstad et al. 4). He diversified the corporation much further, thereby being forced to have departments and units to manage operations. Despite these differences, these brothers had some similarities because they developed strategies that were sustainable, in accordance with the challenges of the time, and capable of creating value. Consequently, the company was able to succeed and become a leader in the entertainment industry.

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How Eisner Rejuvenated Disney

Disney’s financial performance started to decline in 1980. The organization was trying to finish EPCOT while focusing on The Disney Channel cable venture (Rukstad et al. 4). The film division had also become less profitable during the same period. Fortunately, Eisner tried to turn things around by introducing various strategies that were capable of increasing profitability. First, he renewed the company’s commitment by ensuring that more customers were able to acquire improved network services and shows. He succeeded in acquiring new TV channels and producing content that was appropriate for adults. Second, this leader changed how Disney theme parks operated by reducing the overall number of visitors while increasing ticket prices. This effort resulted in additional revenues of around 86 percent from such recreational facilities. Finally, Disney was successful in diversifying the available products by targeting children, young individuals, and adults. He considered the importance of toys and desirable collector’s items that popularized the company’s logo. These efforts maximized profits within a short period, thereby rejuvenating the organization’s overall business performance.

Work Cited

Rukstad, Michael G., et al. The Walt Disney Company: The Entertainment King. Harvard Business School, 2009.

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BusinessEssay. 2022. "The Walt Disney Company: The Entertainment King." May 11, 2022. https://business-essay.com/the-walt-disney-company-the-entertainment-king/.

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