Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Fostering Creativity at Pixar

HBR's current issue has a great article on fostering collective creativity by Pixar's Ed Catmull.

Two of Pixar's principles really jump out at me.

First they don't fall into the trap of seeking business results through predicable behaviour. Mr. Catmull discusses the need to constantly resist the temptation to follow formula. I'd say they have succeeded to date, as I have not seen Pixar make the same movie twice.

Second their communication protocol is wide open. They do not demand that communication follow reporting or accountability lines. This is very powerful as many top executives are "too busy" so they set inputs to reporting lines. (which I regard as tragic)

Pixar's Operating Principles:

1. Everyone must have the freedom to communicate with anyone.
2. It must be safe for everyone to offer ideas.
3. We must stay close to innovations happening in the academic community.

I really encourage you to buy a copy of the mag or you can acquire the article here: HBR

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