Just a Great Way to Learn

Could We Defeat Terrorist Threats with Flowers?

24 Feb 2017

Walt Disney was one of the creative geniuses of the 20th century. He created a unique portfolio of movies that turned fairy stories into magical films, such as "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs", "Bambi", "Dumbo", and many many more.

One of the secrets to Disney's success was how he and his team created new films. They used a strategy that was based on 3 steps.

  1. First, they dreamt up all the possibilities to come up with something that had a touch of magic about it.
  2. Next, they tested their concept against the cold light of day by asking how they could make it happen.
  3. Third, Disney himself would sit in on group meetings and ask critical questions on every aspect of the idea.

As a result, Walt Disney and his team developed a Creative Strategy which required them to be at different stages: dreamers, realists, and critics.

One fascinating application of the "Dreamer, Realist, Critic" strategy has been used at Colorado State University to find a way of detecting explosive chemicals without risking the lives of soldiers and animals.

The researchers started by daydreaming about all the possible ways such detection could be done and came up with the idea that, since certain plants could change the colour of their leaves in the presence of certain chemicals, they might be able to do so in the presence of explosives.

Next, in a reality-check session, the researchers developed a computer programme that would manipulate the plant's natural defence mechanism to respond to chemicals found in explosives and air and water pollutants.

Finally, to ensure that the detection was clearly visible to anyone looking at the plant, the researchers devised a way for the plants' proteins to respond to threatening substances by releasing chemicals that would thicken the leaf cuticles and so get the leaves to change colour from green to white.

As a result, the Colorado State University researchers realised they had the basis of an early warning system that could protect people at airports, underground stations and war zones from terrorist threats.

And, when not being used for this purpose, the plants would provide a year-round display of natural colour and beauty.

Find out more about the Disney Strategy in our ManageTrainLearn article here (http://www.managetrainlearn.com/page/the-disney-creative-strategy).

Here is a 2.13 minute-video about the Colorado State University research.


(Attribution: the top image is from pixabay and can be found here.)