Part of what inspired me to explore this new project was this article about Brad Bird at Pixar. I loved the “lessons,” including:
(Note, these are renumbered from the original article because there were actually 10, not 9, as indicated in the text)
- Herd Your Black Sheep: “Give us the black sheep. I want artists who are frustrated. I want the ones who have another way of doing things that nobody’s listening to. Give us all the guys who are probably headed out the door.”
- Perfect is the Enemy of Innovation: “…there are some [scenes] that only need to be good enough to not break the spell.”
- Look for Intensity: “Involved people make for better innovation”
- Innovation Doesn’t happen in a Vacuum: “…if we can interconnect all our strengths, we are collectively the greatest animator on earth.”
- High Morale Makes Creativity Cheap: “…the thing that has the most significant impact on a movie’s budget—but never shows up in a budget—is morale.”
- Don’t Try To “Protect your success:” “The first step in achieving the impossible is believing that the impossible can be achieved…”
- Steve Jobs Says ‘Interaction = Innovation:’ “People are allowed to create whatever front to their office they want…. if you have a loose, free kind of atmosphere, it helps creativity.”
- Encourage Inter-disciplinary Learning: “…encourages people to learn outside of their areas, which makes them more complete [and more creative].”
- Get Rid of Weak Links: “Passive-aggressive people—people who don’t show their colors in the group but then get behind the scenes and peck away—are poisonous.”
- Making $$ Can’t Be Your Focus: “Walt Disney’s mantra was, ‘I don’t make movies to make money—I make money to make movies.’”
What I love about these thoughts is the outside-the-box thinking that focuses on creativity, results, risk, and morale, simultaneously. As someone who is accustomed to coaching clients who “don’t fit in,” I love seeing such powerful results coming from NOT fitting in and not valuing fitting in. It’s so refreshing.
It’s my sense that we all have a lot to learn from these creative visionary types who see things differently, are willing to say so, and are willing to match their money and their efforts with their beliefs.