Friday, July 23, 2010

Well, You Can Always Pull a Tinkerbell...

Last time I was in the US I bought the movie Tinkerbell on sale at Target and recently watched it with my daughters.

The basic story is that Tinkerbell is a Tinker fairy, which means she's supposed to make useful things for all the fairies in fairy land. However, she's frustrated and bored with the dull, repetitive work and decides she wants to be an elemental fairy.

An elemental fairy is a fairy that works with the elements, such as nature, wind, animals, etc.

Her elemental fairy friends, who have hippy names like Silvermist, try to help her learn to work with the elements but she has no knack for it and fails miserably. Then, when her friends try to tell her that tinkering might actually be her calling she gets mad and flies off in a sulk.

Throughout the movie she finds interesting bits of junk and assembles creative devices in the hopes of modernizing how the fairies prepare for Spring, but no one is interested in her new-fangled methods.

Sound familiar? OK, not the whole fairy thing, but the idea of someone who is eager to try out new ideas and getting frustrated because no one wants to budge from their comfort zone?

Yeah, I thought so.

So what happens? Tinkerbell, in an effort to perform a service to fairy land that will get her noticed, inadvertantly destroys all the preparations for Spring about two days before go live.


So, now her fairy colleagues have no choice but to let Tinkerbell try some of her new gadgets to try to make up for lost time.

I won't keep you in suspense: Tinkerbell's gadgets are about 50x more efficient than the old manual way of doing things and the fairies narrowly meet their deadline in time for Spring. Tinkerbell discovers she loves being a Tinker after all, as long as she can do it her way.

Which, now that she has saved fairy land, she can.

Of course, we all know she's going to ditch her job later to go running after Peter Pan, but it's still a great story of how everyone can benefit if you let people try things.

Lessons learned?

1. If you think you're in the wrong job, you might just be doing it wrong. Maybe you can find creative ways to make your job more interesting.

2. Reach out to your friends and by all means try new things, but don't get too frustrated if it doesn't come easy at first. Developing expertise takes time, particularly if you have no natural talent to give you a head start.

3. If no one will listen to your great ideas, try bringing your entire company to its knees with a crazy gesture. If they have nothing left to lose, your conservative colleagues may be more willing to try something new.


  1. Great "lessons learned." Will there be a sequel about how to retain talent so maybe they won't run off with the new organization (i.e. Peter Pan, Inc.)? Or perhaps another lesson -- just because you have a tremendous and monumental success (like Tinkerbell), it does not mean that equally fantastic adventures won't happen in the future. There is always more to come so long as we keep breathing.

  2. That evil Tinkerbell - I can't believe she sabotaged her competition like that and destroyed all the Spring preparations. Good thing that her new methods actually worked...

  3. Well, Tinkerbell always was a bit of a diva. Still, I felt for her, all that bottled up creativity and no one caring.


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