Creativity, Inc. – Ed Catmull

  • Foster a creative culture that asks questions like:
    • If we had done some things right to achieve success, how could we ensure that we understood what those things were?
    • Could we replicate them on our next projects?
    • Perhaps as important, was replication of success even the right thing to do?
    • How many serious, potentially disastrous problems were lurking just out of sight and threatening to undo us? 
    • How much of our success was luck? 
    • What would happen to our egos if we continued to succeed?
  • “Getting the team right is the necessary precursor to getting the ideas right” (p.74)
  • Ideas are not singular. They are forged through tends of thousands of decisions, often made by dozens of people
  • “Quality is the best business plan” – John Lasseter
  • “One of the most crucial responsibilities of leadership is creating a culture that rewards those who lift not just our stock prices, but our aspirations as well” (p.123)
  • “The goal, then, is to uncouple fear and failure – to create an environment in which making mistakes doesn’t strike terror into your employees’ hearts” (p.123)
  • “There are times when a critic truly risks something, and that is in the discovery and defense of the new. The world is often unkind to new talent, new creations. The new needs friends” (p.144)
  • “A culture that allows everyone, no matter their position, to stop the assembly line, both figuratively and literally, maximize the creative engagement of people who want to help.” (p.163)
  • “Any time we impose limits or procedures, we should ask how they will aid in enabling people to respond creatively.”(p.203)
  • Learning to see – “Just as looking at what is not the chair helps bring it into relief, pulling focus away from a particular problem (and, instead, looking at the environment around it) can lead to better solutions.” (p.214)
  • Postmortems – “Companies, like individuals, do not become exceptional by believing they are exceptional but by understanding the ways in which they aren’t exceptional” (p.215)
  • “A large portion of what we manage can’t be measured, and not realizing this has unintended consequences.”…”Measure what you can, evaluate what you measure, and appreciate that you cannot measure the vast majority of what you do.”
  • “PERSIST. PERSIST on telling your story. PERSIST on reaching your audience. PERSIST on staying true to your vision.” – Austin Madison (p. 294)
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