Michael Eisner teaches audiences how to develop corporate creativity and strategically invest in innovation, based on his experiences as CEO of Disney and as Founder of The Tornante Company, a fund to invest in and develop companies in the media and entertainment sector. Both Fortune 500 CEO and entrepreneur, Mr. Eisner knows that even large global companies can innovate and adapt to new markets, new economies and new technologies. Through his remarks, he not only inspires corporate innovation, he gives parameters for successful execution such as brand building, establishing strategic partnerships and employee work teams.
Under the leadership of Michael Eisner, Walt Disney Company revenues grew from $1.7 billion to more than $30 billion by focusing on the power of ideas, pursuing the innovative vision, and taking creative risks. As a leader in the media industry for nearly four decades, Mr. Eisner has overseen organizations recognized for their inventiveness and innovation, experienced an explosion of technological advances that have impacted his business and led his companies through the advent of the next big ideas. In his presentations on leadership, he shares his insights on what it takes to run a company that must always grow and change.
Working Together: Why Great Partnerships Succeed
Every great institution needs a partnership to really achieve greatness. In Working Together, Michael Eisner, former Disney CEO and entertainment biz veteran, takes an inside look at some of the most successful business partnerships and what makes them tick. In business there are always unique individual achievers, but pull down the veil and you’ll often find someone alongside them. Eisner does just that, using his own successful collaboration with Frank Wells at Disney as a launching point for examining other famously successful and rewarding partnerships; for example, those of Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger, Bill and Melinda Gates, Ron Howard and Brain Grazer, Joe Torre and Don Zimmer, or Valentino and Giancarlo Giammetti, among others. Working Together offers a wealth of behind-the-scenes stories and insights from Eisner’s in depth interviews with these partners: tried-and-true wisdom as well as the unexpected, and plenty about what works in business and what doesn’t work.
The Creative Economy
Which companies will thrive in the coming years? Those that value thinking outside the box above all else. Eisner's career has revolved around managing businesses in which more than 80 percent of their products must be new every year. In this insightful and compelling speech, Eisner discusses the importance of generating fresh ideas while enhancing and protecting your brand. He also shows audiences how an intangible asset like creativity can make a dramatic impact on any company’s bottom line.
From Gutenberg to Zuckerberg: Leveraging Technology to Get Your Message Heard
Ever since Johannes Gutenberg invented his printing press in 1450, there has been an accelerating proliferation of communication platforms – from books to newspapers to magazines to movies to radio to television to the internet. And, with the development of each new platform, the conventional wisdom has invariably determined that all prior media outlets have become obsolete. Eisner exposes how unwise the conventional wisdom tends to be, and offers insights on how to leverage all media technologies – old, new, and yet to come – in order to effectively get your message heard.
Leadership: Succeeding by Failing and Other Paradoxes
As a leader in the media industry for nearly four decades, Michael Eisner has overseen organizations recognized for their inventiveness and innovation, experienced an explosion of technological advances that have impacted his business, and led his companies through the advent of the next big ideas. In his presentations on leadership, he shares his insights on what it takes to run a company that must always grow and change.
Leadership: Juggling Multiple Roles and Finding Common Ground Among Competing Impulses
Michael Eisner’s success at reinventing The Walt Disney Company during his more than two decades at its helm was the result of his recognition that he was both the Chief Executive Officer and the Chief Creative Officer, that he was, in his words, “a cheerleader and an editor; an advocate for change but also a fierce protector of our brand.” He established standards for keeping the tension between quality and commerce in check by maintaining a passion for excellence and keeping an eye on containing costs and reaching a broad audience. And he set the example for balancing the push-and-pull between tradition and innovation; the company’s good and the greater good; teamwork and individual accomplishment; logic and instinct; leading and letting go.
The Power of Ideas
When Michael Eisner was the Senior Vice President of Prime Time Production and Development at the ABC Television Network in the early 1970s, the broadcaster went from being the perennial third network in prime time to the number one network just as it had gone from the third network in daytime television and children's television to number one under Mr. Eisner. During his eight years as President of Paramount Pictures, the studio went from last to number one in box office and profitability and held that position for most of his tenure. In his twenty-one years as the CEO of Disney, the company grew from a moderately sized takeover target to a multi-media powerhouse. His strategy for creating such value is to pursue the innovative vision, to attain and maintain an industry leadership position by generating a constant flow of original ideas, and to recognize the rewards of creative risk taking all the while maintaining high standards, exercising attention to details and creating an atmosphere where people are willing to chance failure.
The Furious Pace of Change
During Michael Eisner’s career in the media business, change accelerated at a dizzying rate. He has observed that “technology is evolving at such a furious pace that predicting the future is a sure route to humility.” His strategy has been to look ahead and anticipate what is next without severing the wisdom and stability of the past. He has successfully navigated a changing media world that has experienced the creation of the electronic home entertainment industry, the explosion of cable and satellite television outlets, the popularization of the Internet, and the development of electronic gaming by keeping his eye on the ball. He recognized that Disney was in the entertainment business, and not just the animation business or the television business. He kept his company nimble and agile, always alert to new opportunities and yet cognizant of the value of existing lines of business. Under Mr. Eisner, Disney executed one of the most successful business deals of the 20th century, that of acquiring Capital Cities/ABC, Inc., a move that fueled continued growth for the company by making it a major force in the cable programming business. At the same time, Mr. Eisner's conservative approach to acquisitions protected the company from the frenzy of the marketplace. Michael Eisner continues to be an entertainment innovator. His investment company Tornante launched Vuguru, a studio producing original programming for the Internet, portable media devices and cellphones.
The Importance of Teamwork
Eisner's passion and understanding of teamwork inspired his Bestselling Book, Working Together: Why Great Partnerships Succeed, which he co-authored with Aaron R. Cohen. In this essential book for business people everywhere, Eisner offers us an intimate and deeply personal look at some of the most rewarding business partnerships, uncovering what makes them tick and offering unconventional wisdom and unexpected insights. He shines a light on these startlingly long-lasting and enriching partnerships, weaving together ten separate narratives.