SMART TO SHARE, AND EVEN SMARTER TO LISTEN.
By: Chris Teague

What’s it for: To encourage sharing seedling ideas for others to improve on
Who’s it for: The HiPPO "highest paid person's opinion" in your organisation




“With all the movies we work on; eventually the film tells you what it needs to be and if you’re smart enough to listen to that, it leads you to a different direction than perhaps your preconceived notion,”
Peter Del Vecho (Film producer).


Frozen, Disney’s most successful movie to date almost didn’t happen. Certainly not the $1 billion hit version we come to know and love.


“The Story of Frozen” was a success due to the one big change that could’ve cost the studio its mega-hit. In early sketches, the story revolved around a peasant girl, Anna, and an evil Snow Queen — Elsa. “The Snow Queen,” Elsa was to be cast as the “villain.”


The breakthrough came when the team who were struggling to relate to the characters considered what do Anna and Elsa have to do with each other? Why does it matter, and how could it matter more?. One brave voice, undeterred by potential ridicule dared to ask, “What if they were sisters?”


‘Making them related led us to the idea of her living in fear of her powers. What if she’s afraid of who she is? And afraid of hurting the ones she loves? Now we had a character in Anna who was all about love and Elsa who was all about fear. Instead of the traditional good versus evil theme we had one that we felt was more relatable: Love vs fear and the premise of the movie became that love is stronger than fear.”
Peter Del Vecho (Film producer).


Disney hosted a “Sister Summit,” where they called upon all employees to ask them about their family experiences to help make Anna and Elsa’s relationship more relatable. The impact, Frozen became a powerful movie for women and girls everywhere — instead of pitting a “good guy” against a “bad guy” in a simplistic battle between good and evil, it prioritised family — complicated as that can sometimes be — and especially the bond between two sisters.


The lesson for us all: the breakthrough ideas are not the exclusive domain of the HiPPO ‘highest paid person's opinion’ in an organisation. Co-creating ideas and solutions work best when seedling ideas and challenges are shared early for others to improve. That is why “We love all ideas as they lead to the idea”; is part of our team code as we encourage every team member to have the confidence to challenge ideas, even if that person is more senior to you. (Rapport Code)