Thursday, November 11, 2010


I am excited that we have secured Bill Capodagli for the 2011 Annual Meeting keynote address. Thanks to many of you who suggested him as a speaker over the past couple of years. Bill, along with Lynn Jackson, is the author of The Disney Way: Harnessing the Management Secrets of Disney in Your Company, and more recently Innovate the Pixar Way: Business Lessons from the World’s Most Creative Corporate Playground.

After reading both books, I can see many connections to our arts education work. Walt Disney was a great storyteller and innovator who had deeply held values about how to move through life, no matter one’s vocation or role. His four steps were:

Dream beyond the boundaries of today. “From dreams spring ideas, and from ideas comes innovation, the lifeblood of any institution.”

Believe in sound values. “Strong leaders hold values that allow them to make decisions that are best for their people and their business – in that order.” Walt Disney knew his staff and artists were his greatest asset. His definition of leadership revolves around the ability to create and manage an environment for innovation.

Dare to make a difference. “Dare to take calculated risks in order to bring innovative ideas to fruition.”

And then go out and do it: Dream, Believe, Dare, Do.

While I recommend beginning with The Disney Way, the Annual Meeting keynote will focus on Innovate the Pixar Way. We think State Alliance and Partners in Education leaders will find the reading so interesting that we are scheduling a “book club” event during the Annual Meeting to allow time for deeper discussion of Innovate the Pixar Way for all who want to join in on Friday evening, February 18.

Happy Reading!

Barbara Shepherd, Director
National Partnerships Annual Meeting
February 15-19, 2011

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