Sep 20, 2011
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My, How Times Have Changed

My son is 3.

While he watches waaaaay1 less television than I did growing up, he does catch an episode of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse most mornings.

It’s nice that he is getting to know the same characters I knew as a kid, but when I finally sat down and watched the show the other day, I noticed an unusual change in the attitude of a couple of the characters. The Clubhouse was visited at separate points in the episode by the old Mickey-and-the-Beanstalk Giant and by Pete, Mickey Mouse’s foil from the old cartoons. Unlike the dastardly or dopey bad guys of my youth, though, the characters were both generally helpful and nice, if unwittingly causing a problem or two.

Things change.

And, just like the differences between the cartoons I grew up with and those my son is watching, Disney offers a great example of how things change in HR, as well. Over labor day, the Walt Disney Family Museum posted a link to “The Ropes at Disney’s” – a superbly-detailed employee handbook for the men and women (but mostly men) at Disney’s animation studio in 1943. It doesn’t take many pages of drawings to realize there’s not going to be any sexual harassment section to this doc.

I can only imagine the current handbook is even more unrecognizable to its predecessor than those bad guys I grew up with are to my boy.

Still, it would be great to see more handbooks as tailored to their audience as Disney’s was back then.

Footnotes:
  1. aaaaaaaaaaaaaaay. . . []

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