What is Imagineering?

Imagineering is a word that can be used in a number of different fields but it usually has the same meaning: implementing new ideas using a combination of technical skills and a creative imagination.  But I like to use this term in a slightly extended way.  When I use the term it implies working with appreciable success on innovations, i.e. working in a way that accomplishes results.

Imagineering in this book has the meaning: implementing new ideas using a combination of technical skills and innovation skills. Remember that, as was outlined in Chapter 10, innovation skills include: creativity, conscientiousness, collaborative skills and combativeness  (when needed).

This definition is not really different from the original definition if implementation is given very strong emphasis. It just spells out the necessary ingredients a little more comprehensively. Or, you could say that it just introduces a little more toughness into the definition of  innovative engineering. Anyone who doesn’t realize that this toughness is needed in the real world of innovation has some learning yet to do.

Imagineering as used here means innovative engineering, and innovative engineering means engineering that accomplishes new, important results in spite of Nature’s resistance and the existing competition. At the top level in my definition of imagineering is the lead engineer who can get out in front and lead teams to successful achievement of complex innovations involving multiple inventions and multiple technical skills.

Side Note on the History of the Term Imagineering

The earliest recorded use of the term that I am aware of was by Alcoa in a 1942 Time Magazine advertisement. Arthur Radebaugh,  an innovative illustrator and comic strip artist, began to use the term extensively in 1947. Sperry Gyroscope Company applied the term to me in a 1957 recruiting advertisement, while I was working on ship stabilization. See that use by ctrl-clicking on the link below:


          Disney tried to trademark the term in 1967, claiming first use in 1962. Since that date was a significant number of years later than the actual first use, the trademark was not authorized.  Disney does make a very large use of the term imagineering.  And Disney himself was an extremely competent imagineer.


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