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John Funnell

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DreamWorks - How to Train a Corporate Dragon

Dan Satterthwaite – Head of HR for DreamWorks speaks out for MeettheBoss.TV on his training techniques



DreamWorks Pictures spun off DreamWorks Animation as a public company in 2004. And while the company name responsible for big hits like Shrek, Kung Fu Panda and Madagascar carries weight with audiences, continuing to produce such unique family entertainment is always a challenge and that’s where Dan Satterhwaite comes in.

Dan is currently working as Head of HR for DreamWorks and is responsible for developing and supporting the creative talent of their newest 3-D movie,How to Train Your Dragon, which hits theatres March 26. In yet another exclusive interview for www.meettheboss.tv Dan speaks up about his challenges and how he overcomes them to keep a creative team motivated.

“It takes three to three and a half years to produce one of our films, and most of our artists spend anywhere from 18 months to 2 years within their particular

department working on a project.” Dan continues “How do you keep them constantly inspired?”

During the interview for MeetTheBoss.TV, Dan continues to share his motivational techniques, from Educational days out, to team shuffling but maintains a firm opinion that real-time communication is the Key, spending on latest communication tools to ensure that each department is fully aware of the ‘bigger picture’.

“Using innovation and technology to make sure that we can really carry forward the collaborative environment is what ends up making our stories and our films so unique and special”

DreamWorks is not like an average company, but has been met with same challenges as everyone else during the Global downturn. Dan’s responsibility was to keep the workforce settled during this difficult time with a mindset to be as creative as possible and believes that lessons could be learnt from his example in other hard industries.

“Virtually every other major company in the state and even across the entire country was doing mass layoffs, or at least had the threat of people losing jobs, and we wanted to make sure that our people knew that if that time ever came at DreamWorks it would be the absolute last resort”

“It was a commitment that we made, because keeping people focused on creative work and keeping people focused on innovation, inherently requires them to take risks.  In an

environment where people are fearful they will  not taking risks, and we just cannot afford to let the creativity or innovation that drives this entire company in any way be affected by

the uncertainty and fear that the outside world has created over the last 18 months.”


To watch the video in full Log on to www.MeetTheBoss.tv






More Stories By John Funnell

John Funnell has worked in online media for over ten years, after achieving his First Class BSC Hons Degree (BBC Sponsored), John won Bos 18-21 Princess Trust Entrepeneur of the year at 21, setting up Clean Living Records Ltd (including www.BeatReview.com) with great success having many acts that charted in Europe and Canada. After selling the business John looked for a new challenge and joined GDS International, having a successful career in sales and Delegate acquisition, he worked up to Event Director EMEA, forging contacts with some of the biggest technology names in the world, this lead to John having a lead role in the creation of MeettheBoss.com and MeettheBoss.tv – the worlds largest business IPTV channel. John then took over as Marketing and Communications Director and ran a multifaceted global Marketing team for GDS International in New York, Sydney, Kuala Lumper and the UK.. John joined Global in 2011 with the challenge of supporting its growth by developing a solid Marketing foundation through various Digital, PR and brand initiatives.