Embracing Our Creativity Inc.

Ida Rosenthal

Category: Strategy

09.16.2014

It’s true, NJI is full of Internet geeks, but that doesn’t stop us from being bookworms too. One of the speakers at the Smashing Conference in NYC recommended the book Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration by Ed Catmull and Amy Wallace.

jacket illustration: © Disney • Pixar

This book combines all my favorite things: creativity, project management, and tons of Pixar trivia. I couldn’t resist – I finished it in one week.

The business insights are spot-on, and I was surprised how much they applied to NJI.

SPOT ON, get it?

Here are my favorite insights:

Give a good idea to a mediocre team, and they will screw it up. Give a mediocre idea to a great team, and they will either fix it or come up with something better. Good thing NJI is full of amazingly talented people who can tackle anything from rebranding tacos to explaining the energy grid.

Everybody should be able to talk to anybody. When people talk directly to one another, that’s more efficient than trying to make sure that everything happens in the “right” order and through the “proper” channels. That’s one reason team lunches and birthday celebrations are important, they keep communication channels open.

Constructive criticism is an art form in itself. That’s because constructive criticism forces you to revisit the drawing board, look at the problem in a new perspective, and break things. It can be tricky and challenging to make new pieces out of the stuff you’ve just ripped apart.

Still not convinced you should read this book? Do it for the Pixar trivia! Did you know that Toy Story 2 was almost accidentally deleted 9 months before its premiere? If the Supervising Technical Director hadn’t kept a copy of the movie on her personal computer at home, most of the film would have been lost.

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