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Creativity, Inc. Summary – May 2022

Author: Edwin Catmull, Amy Wallace

Short Summary
Creativity Inc. (2014) is a book on employee and creativity management. It addresses the managers who want their team to achieve creativity and originality while remaining flexible. The book walks you through the stories of Pixar and its founders so that you can learn the key management tools for acting in a turbulent world.
creativity inc summary
Source: amazon.com

Detailed Summary

Creativity Inc.  Is fused with creative wisdom from the world’s best creators. This book will teach you how to accept change and failure. It has multiple ideas that you can implement in your next business plan by helping you understand what kind of people to hire, how to find the best ideas, how to use feedback, and how to become the best manager. 

This book is an instruction manual for instilling inspiration into employees, managers, and bosses, by revealing the hidden forces that get in the way. Catmull and his colleagues built a Culture-based leadership and management philosophy that protect the creative process and  Let go of the conventions. What makes Pixar special is that they acknowledge that they will always have problems, many of them hidden from our view. So they need to find and work on them consistently. The main of this book is that there are many blocks we can take to protect the creative process. This book focuses on the work that is ongoing and continuous which can be done by paying attention to leading by being self-aware, as managers and as companies. It is an expression of the ideas that can bring out the best in our companies.

Creativity Inc. Summary Key Points

I know what you are thinking. Just another book on employee management and company efficiency. Hold on! This book comes from one of the best managers in the world and the current president of both Pixar and Disney studios. It is a surprise that Ed Catmull co-founded Pixar studio while running Disney animation studio at the same time! Not only did he manage both of these studios together, he also saved Disney from its impending doom. So, let’s hear some advice from Ed Catmull about running teams successfully and increasing work efficiency.

Choose Creativity over Failure

If you have ever tried your hand on something you must have experienced these feelings. Lack of new ideas, lack of originality. Have you wondered why sometimes you are unable to create something new? Most of the time it’s your fear. The fear that if you try to execute something new you will fail. The outcome will not be pleasant. 

Catmull thus wants you to welcome these failures. Take new ideas and try them. Everyone at your company should be encouraged to give new ideas about everything. From your policies to any new products, you are designing. When you welcome ideas from all of your team it increases the chances of making something that is innovative and different from your competitors.  Encouraging ideas from everyone will also make them feel important, heard, and a part of the process. As a manager, you might want to avoid new ideas so that you do not encounter failure. This can be only damaging in the long term. 

Find the RIGHT people:

You want new ideas, innovation, efficiency, and more revenue. You cannot do it by hiring people that are unfit for your team. New ideas can be only implemented with the help of people who are talented and capable of the job. Without them, the ideas will be transformed into nothing. If you give a good idea to a mediocre team, they might wreck it but if you give an average idea to a great team, they will either repair it or discard it so that they can come up with something improved. That is why it is important to find the right people for your team. They hold the power to create your dream projects. 

Be the Right kind of Manager and Boss

Stop micromanaging. You do not need to be looking over everyone’s shoulder at every minute of the day. Trust your team. If you ask them to give you the progress report on a project ten times a day it will limit their creativity and make them more frustrated. Remind yourself that you hired them because they are capable of doing the job and are talented. 

Pixar has handled this problem quite well. They do give advice to their employees but do not make it compulsory to be followed. In this way, the employees do not feel frustrated that they certainly have to follow something. Their perspective changes and they look at advice with an open mind. The long-term employees known as “Brain Trust” review all the processes from the idea to the execution. However, the people in the film are actually in charge. They can discard the ideas and advice if they want to. Encourage your team to share ideas as soon as they come into their minds. They will only do this if they are not afraid that you will discard their drafted ideas by calling them absurd. Welcome randomness and failure. You will never stumble upon something great if you stick only to what is familiar. Execute those ideas!!

Candour is Important

Taking back hard and honest feedback can be tough but it is a very important part of the process. If you allow your employees to have a say in what part of the process, they find effective and what is unnecessary or unimportant according to them they will feel that they have control. This helps you in using your feedback in two ways. You can improve your project and make your employees feel important at the same time.

Creativity Inc. Quotes

“But I should caution that if you seek to plot out all your moves before you make them—if you put your faith in slow, deliberative planning in the hopes it will spare you failure down the line—well, you’re deluding yourself. For one thing, it’s easier to plan derivative work—things that copy or repeat something already out there. So, if your primary goal is to have a fully worked out, set-in-stone plan, you are only upping your chances of being unoriginal.” –Ed Catmull

“I believe the best managers acknowledge and make room for what they do not know—not just because humility is a virtue but because until one adopts that mindset, the most striking breakthroughs cannot occur. I believe that managers must loosen the controls, not tighten them. They must accept risk; they must trust the people they work with and strive to clear the path for them; and always, they must pay attention to and engage with anything that creates fear.”  –Ed Catmull 

Creativity Inc. Summary Review

This is a direct and up-close advice book from a company that totally relies on creating something new and something innovative every day. The creativity inc. summary will show you how to stay creative and harness the power of everyone on your team. 

To Whom I would Recommend Creativity Inc. Summary

  • To the manager who is struggling to increase creativity among his team.
  • To the nerdy Disney and Pixar-obsessed teens who want an all-access trip into the center of Pixar animation while learning something new.

Link: https://amzn.to/3Q6Ehnk