“…the book shines with
wit and insight.”

the book shines with wit and insight - the boston globe
February 13, 2005

Get your copy of Cult of the Mouse
cult mouse click here
An ex-Disney creative guy takes a provocative look at what we as a country
must do to reinvigorate idea generation and reestablish it,
not quarterly-profit imperatives, as the top priority in American business

Cult of the Mouse is a homage to the innate optimism and creativity of Americans, a statement that producing fresh ideas is what we do best.
The book is an investigation by an in-the-trenches creative person into the importance of ideas. More pro-business than one might expect, Caroselli argues that in any successful business model, product/service enhancement through innovation must remain paramount over profit enhancement on the next quarterly report. He exposes how easily innovation can be compromised by insular thinking and excessive greed. Sure, some greed is necessary to advance the human condition––but just like too much stress, too much greed is counter-productive. As we have all learned from looking back at our best decisions in life (regarding friends, jobs, where to live, etc.), the primary driver should never be just money, money, money.

While working at Disney, Caroselli saw a great American icon of innovation begin to lose its creative soul.

For six years the author headed-up a 33 cast-member Creative Division at Disneyland, during a pivotal time as the culture began to change from supporting the most vaunted creative organization on the planet to a “cult”-ure becoming enslaved to the profit god and almost antagonistic to new ideas and fresh thinking. As someone whose accountability is “to be creative,” Caroselli has enjoyed a long and successful career inside and outside of corporate America. Prior to Disney, as Senior VP, Creative Director he worked on global accounts at one of America’s largest advertising agencies and he currently runs his own entrepreneurial enterprise. In Cult of the Mouse he combines this rare perspective while using Disney Enterprises, Inc. as a framework to initiate a discussion about the pitfalls of putting profit above all else.
The author is one concerned humanoid Americanus worried that the world the Boomer Generation (his own) is passing on to their kids isn’t as wonderful as the world their WWII-Generation parents handed them.
Cult of the Mouse
discusses what most of us know, but don’t want to deal with: our Federal government is broke, our States are broke, our cities are broke, and even many of our school systems are flat broke. Leaders in America seem to be short-sightedly grabbing for the proverbial “last shrimp on the platter.” Corporate America is looking less and less at five-year plans, instead paying star-CEOs ridiculous amounts to achieve quarterly profit goals––with apparent disregard for the long-term impact of such practices. Sadly, a situation exists today very similar to what was happening before the Great Depression: uneven distribution of wealth, speculation on stocks and real estate, runaway national debt, a stream of business greed scandals, and an international trade imbalance (all firmly in place on Black Tuesday, Oct. 29, 1929).

But, what is really the biggest casualty of all this greed? Idea generation and innovation

Through insightful historical references, Cult of the Mouse illustrates how America’s greatest “product” has been ideas. The argument is made that, of late, ideas have been forced to take a back seat to the insatiable demands of Wall Street greed, leading to cost cutting, “safe” risks, copy-cat initiatives, and quick-buck schemes. Look to any company today whose growth is merely limping along, and you’ll typically find a general lack of innovation caused by the subjugation of R&D in order to maximize short-term returns. Even America’s most prolific innovators, “the middling class” (as Ben Franklin liked to call them), are struggling to advance their ideas due to the pressures of short-term profiteering. The author brings attention to the dilemma that as America’s manufacturing base erodes, innovative thinking is now more important than ever on the global stage. He offers expert advice on how to reinvigorate idea generation in businesses large or small. Cult of the Mouse can act as a beacon in helping negotiate the paradigm shifts brought on by globalization. Caroselli implores his readers to recognize that each of us has an important role in reawakening Yankee ingenuity in our businesses and supporting it in our daily lives.

The author loves Disney, as does most of the world––and has photos on the wall of his kids with Mickey.
But, the central point of Cult of Mouse is that if an esteemed organization like Disney has begun to compromise its creativity, shouldn’t that be a wake up call for all of American business? And shouldn’t each of us consider what we can and must do as individuals to help jump-start innovation and rekindle Yankee ingenuity? If we want our future generations to enjoy the amazing prosperity we Americans smugly feel we’re entitled to, it’s time to wake up and smell the cappuccino!

i believe in being an innovator - walt disney quote

“Caroselli’s message is for all corporations. Business is more than just numbers; it takes creativity, imagination, and balls. And who has that combination today? Very few. At one time, Disney did.”

Jack B. Lindquist, first President of Disneyland (retired),
a Disneyland cast member from opening day, his window on
Main Street, U.S.A. reads: “Honorary Mayor of Disneyland”

“Drawing on his unique insider’s view of The Walt Disney Company, Henry M. Caroselli powerfully documents how the current leadership of Disney’s Magic Kingdom has pink-slipped the magic and created little besides a entrenched and insulated CEO’s kingdom. Cult of the Mouse is a highly persuasive case study on the dangerous downsizing and de-emphasis of creativity and innovation at America’s leading multi-national corporationsthe very qualities that made them world leadersand what must be done to restore them. It’s a first class cautionary tale as well as a compelling call to action.”
Jonathan Rintels, Screenwriter and President
Center for Creative Voices in Media, Washington, DC
“Caroselli uses an iron fist in a velvet glove, writing with a casual, almost breezy style that belies the power of his arguments and suggestions. I urge executives of all established companies to read Cult of the Mouse before it’s too late.”

Jack Foster, best-selling author of How to Get Ideas and Ideaship

Easy read, must read Disney book!

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© Copyright Caroselli.
NO IMAGES or TEXT located anywhere on this website may be reused or republished without expressed written permission.
Neither the book, nor this website, is associated with, nor approved by, The Walt Disney Company (Disney Enterprises, Inc., a Delaware corporation) or any of its affiliates. The author’s objective is to provide insight as to how innovation can be restored to American business using The Walt Disney Company as a framework for this discussion. The author in no way intends to harm, or undermine the success of, The Walt Disney Company; and he only hopes for its continued success. The use of the word "cult" is not intended to intimate or convey any religious connotations, rather refers to a group of people characterized by a secular devotion to a person, work, idea, movement, or object (as in the term "cult film").

Walt Disney's quote referenced from BrainyQuote.com
An ex-Disney creative guy takes a provocative look at what we as a country must do to reinvigorate idea generation
and reestablish it, not quarterly-profit imperatives, as the top priority in American business.

CULT OF THE MOUSE : Can We Stop Corporate Greed from Killing Innovation in America?
by Henry M. Caroselli, Ten Speed Press, Hardcover: 200 pages, ISBN:1580086330