Lessons from an American Icon


We close The Power of Little Ideas with a tale both inspiring and cautionary, the story of The Walt Disney Company.

It’s inspiring because this American icon, a pioneer of the Third Way, owes much of its success—and, at crucial times, its very survival—to complementary innovation. It’s cautionary because the history of Disney is hardly a story of inexorable growth and success. The company’s fortunes have waxed and waned in the ninety-some years since its founding, and from that mixed record, we believe there are lessons to be learned about the Third Way.

Anyone looking at The Walt Disney Company today is most ...

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