Lessons From a Vintage Internal Disney Cross-Functional Interaction Map

Howard Lowery recently auctioned off an circa 1967 internal diagram showing the synergistic relationships between the various divisions of Disney. Many organizations of today could learn from this exercise from 45 years ago.

Clay Christensen stresses in the Innovators Dilemma that teams “…should be structured to facilitate the cross-functional interaction that is characteristic of different types of projects.”

At Apple, the interaction has traditionally been driven from the top. This from the Issacson book: “Jobs did not organize Apple into semiautonomous divisions; he closely controlled all of his teams and pushed them to work as one cohesive and flexible company, with one profit-and-loss bottom line.”

Disney synergy diagram