Are You "Bumping The Lamp"? | Tim Tolan | Healthcare Blogs Skip to content Skip to navigation

Are You "Bumping The Lamp"?

February 21, 2009
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Please bear with me for a minute...Question: How can a CIO of a healthcare enterprise learn from Disney? Read on…

A few years ago I had the pleasure of attending a seminar at the Disney Institute in Orlando. While I clearly respect Disney for the entertainment giant they are – this seminar was supposed to share values and lessons on quality. How? Ok – I will admit it. I did not make the connection (at all). I was skeptical at how I would walk away with a few “nuggets” that I could implement in my own business from a Disney seminar. Did I say skeptical? Didn’t think so…

One of the agenda items was titled “Bumping the Lamp”. What did this mean and what did it have to do with quality? The Disney speaker told us about the filming of the movie “Who Framed Roger Rabbit”. Disney wanted to do something that was unique and different… something they had never done before. This film was a masterful use of live action with animation. To create the animation, over 85,000 hand-inked and painted cells were created and composited with the live-action backdrops, live-action characters, and hand-animated tone mattes (shading), and cast shadows using optical film printers. Remember…sophisticated computer animation in motion pictures was in its infancy when this movie was filmed.

In one scene, Roger, hiding in a darkened room bumps his head on a lamp which causes shadows to continuously move throughout the remainder of the scene. As originally written (and animated), the "bump" did NOT occur. It was an accident! The director, after seeing the rough cut, decided that it would be funnier if the "bump" occurred. Disney instructed the animators to go back to the drawing board re-create the entire animation sequence. This meant they had to re-do hundreds of drawings, to accommodate the shadow. All of this effort, just to make a better product? Tons of time and effort went into making the shadows match between the actual room shots and the animation on Roger. For most viewers of the film – it was not even noticeable and most assume it was some computer animation at work here. As previously stated - there were no computers doing this kind of animation when this movie was filmed. According to Disney, this special attention to detail is what actually made this movie unique.

Disney’s CEO, Michael Eisner adopted “Bumping the Lamp” as a mantra for its employees. He created a welcome video for all new employees about this new company mantra. In the video (which I had the pleasure of seeing), Eisner discussed the details behind "Bumping the Lamp" and why each Disney employee should pay attention to details others may not notice. "Bumping the Lamp" was used by Disney to show both new and existing employees how and why you should always put forth extra effort, go the extra mile and do a little bit more than people expect. It’s the Disney way! To my surprise, I found this seminar to be fun, engaging and very useful. I learned a lot from my Disney experience and enjoyed every minute of it!

Did I walk away with any “nuggets” I could use in my business? You bet I did!

As the CIO and technology leader of your facility let me ask you a question:

Are you “bumping the lamp”? Just curious…

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