Creativity Inc tells the story of Pixar animation and the unusual and often counterintuitive ideas that transformed a small studio of dreamers into a creative powerhouse that transformed an industry and rewrote the rulebook on animated movies.
Creativity Inc Summary
Creative Inc tells the Pixar story from the perspective of its president Ed Catmull.
Tracing the Pixar story from his academic life, work at Lucasfilm and growth as a startup under the leadership of Steve Jobs, the Pixar story is told in raw detail alongside the ideas and initiatives employed by the studio to retain, hone and perfect its creative edge
Below are some of the key insights from the book.
- There are countless blocks to creativity but there are active steps to enable and encourage the creative process in any organisation.
- Always hire people who are smarter than you.
- If you give a great idea to mediocre people, they will screw it up. If you give a mediocre idea to great people, they will hone and perfect it.
- Aim to strive for candor rather than honesty at all levels of an organisation.
- Hierarchy has its place but it’s important to work hard to create a culture where good ideas can come from anywhere.
- Creativity is a constant struggle, but you have to trust in the process.
- Leadership is like directing a ship towards land. You have to be confident in your direction even if you are changing course later on.
- When you encourage constructive criticism, be sure that the feedback comes from people with first hand experience of making the product.
- Nothing breeds complacency like success. As you grow you have to work harder and harder to break down boundaries and encourage people to volunteer information.
- Artists tend to copy successful formulas but the craft of a true artist is to innovate by continually improving upon that which has come before.
- Change and uncertainty is part of business and life, we cannot avoid it.
- Creative enterprises should work hard to remove fear of failure at all levels of an organisation, especially when times are good.
- When rewarding people, always combine any monetary incentives with heartfelt human praise specific to the work in question.
- You don’t need to have talented people under contract if you work hard enough to make their place of work truly engaging.
- The healthiest organisation is where the competing agendas of each department are balanced. If one agenda wins then everyone loses out.