How Pixar Fosters Collective Creativity

by Ed Catmull

A few years ago, I had lunch with the head of a major motion picture studio, who declared that his central problem was not finding good people — it was finding good ideas. Since then, when giving talks, I’ve asked audiences whether they agree with him. Almost always there’s a 50/50 split, which has astounded me because I couldn’t disagree more with the studio executive. His belief is rooted in a misguided view of creativity that exaggerates the importance of the initial idea in creating an original product. And it reflects a profound misunderstanding of how to manage the large risks inherent in producing breakthroughs.

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