Creativity, Inc Book Review

Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True InspirationCreativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration by Ed Catmull
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Ed Catmull takes us through his journey and learnings while leading Pixar to a distinguished level of greatness. Throughout the book, Ed reminds us that he doesn’t have all the answers. Leaders should heed warning to avoid falling victim to the “unseen” in our processes.

In the first section of the book, the author(s) review the growth of Pixar and how Ed Catmull came to take the helm and also work for and with Steve Jobs. The next section leads through protection of the “new”…describing how great leaders protect creativity. Then, they go on to define how to scale and sustain a creative culture. Finishing with a section on Testing what we know and “Notes Days”.

Highlight summaries:
– Apply as many minds as possible to the most difficult problems.
– In dysfunctional organizations, each unit believes its goals matter most. Departmental agendas will differ, but their corporate goals must be “interdependent.”
– Become aware how your pre-existing models of the world distort your perceptions.
– To enable and sustain a creative culture, you need strong teams, open communication, flexibility, and a productive approach to mistakes, failure and risk.
– Strong teams make good ideas great and decent ideas good. Build the best team you can.
– “Hire people…smarter than you.”
– Anyone in your organization must be free to suggest any idea to anyone else, urge them to contrbute

Best Quotes:
“If you give a good idea to a mediocre team, they will screw it up. If you give a mediocre idea to a brilliant team, they will either fix it or throw it away and come up with something better.”

“Failure isn’t a necessary evil. In fact, it isn’t evil at all. It is a necessary consequence of doing something new.”

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