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Thursday, November 29, 2007

"Keep Moving Forward"

In the first Disneyland construction, it was everyone's "first time" to do everything.

There is a restaurant about Disney's second movie "Pinocchio". In this restaurant, every character of the movie has his own themed room, including, the cat named "Figaro". This is how it looks like:

Now, as you know, for general security measures, a lighten sign saying "Exit" must be placed above every door. While building this room, the Imagineers (Disney engineers), made a calculation mistake and the "Exit" sign ended up being off-center from the doorway.. While it still functioned appropriately as an exit light, it simply looked silly.. So, the imagineers drew a Figaro cat pulling the sign in order to balance things... And of course, it worked:

But Imagineers didn't stop there. When they built the same style restaurant in Disneyland Paris many years later, they remembered to get that exit sign right. And, to celebrate that lesson learned, they painted Figaro giving a big thumb's up.

The message is about learning from one's mistakes and moving forward (indeed, that is the central message in Pinocchio, Meet the Robinsons and other Disney wonders). When we say making mistakes, we don't mean misconduct. "Misconduct" is about immoral, unprofessional, or incompetent behavior centered around mal-intent. "Making mistakes" is about incorrect, unwise, or unfortunate behavior caused by bad judgment, lack of information or simply, bad luck.

One must learn from his own experiences and move forward. He cannot dwell long on the past, nor can he be punitive as he learns what he needs to do in moving forward.

"Around here, however, we don't look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things... and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths."
Walt Disney

Adapted from "Keep Moving Forward: From Figaro the Cat to Meet the Robinsons, by Jeff Kober.

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