creativity inc overcoming the unseen forces that stand in the way of true inspiration

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Creativity Inc

Author : Ed Catmull
ISBN : 9780679644507
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 49. 3 MB
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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER | NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The Huffington Post • Financial Times • Success • Inc. • Library Journal From Ed Catmull, co-founder (with Steve Jobs and John Lasseter) of Pixar Animation Studios, the Academy Award–winning studio behind Inside Out and Toy Story, comes an incisive book about creativity in business and leadership—sure to appeal to readers of Daniel Pink, Tom Peters, and Chip and Dan Heath. Fast Company raves that Creativity, Inc. “just might be the most thoughtful management book ever.” Creativity, Inc. is a book for managers who want to lead their employees to new heights, a manual for anyone who strives for originality, and the first-ever, all-access trip into the nerve center of Pixar Animation—into the meetings, postmortems, and “Braintrust” sessions where some of the most successful films in history are made. It is, at heart, a book about how to build a creative culture—but it is also, as Pixar co-founder and president Ed Catmull writes, “an expression of the ideas that I believe make the best in us possible.” For nearly twenty years, Pixar has dominated the world of animation, producing such beloved films as the Toy Story trilogy, Monsters, Inc., Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Up, WALL-E, and Inside Out, which have gone on to set box-office records and garner thirty Academy Awards. The joyousness of the storytelling, the inventive plots, the emotional authenticity: In some ways, Pixar movies are an object lesson in what creativity really is. Here, in this book, Catmull reveals the ideals and techniques that have made Pixar so widely admired—and so profitable. As a young man, Ed Catmull had a dream: to make the first computer-animated movie. He nurtured that dream as a Ph.D. student at the University of Utah, where many computer science pioneers got their start, and then forged a partnership with George Lucas that led, indirectly, to his founding Pixar with Steve Jobs and John Lasseter in 1986. Nine years later, Toy Story was released, changing animation forever. The essential ingredient in that movie’s success—and in the thirteen movies that followed—was the unique environment that Catmull and his colleagues built at Pixar, based on leadership and management philosophies that protect the creative process and defy convention, such as: • Give a good idea to a mediocre team, and they will screw it up. But give a mediocre idea to a great team, and they will either fix it or come up with something better. • If you don’t strive to uncover what is unseen and understand its nature, you will be ill prepared to lead. • It’s not the manager’s job to prevent risks. It’s the manager’s job to make it safe for others to take them. • The cost of preventing errors is often far greater than the cost of fixing them. • A company’s communication structure should not mirror its organizational structure. Everybody should be able to talk to anybody. Praise for Creativity, Inc. “Over more than thirty years, Ed Catmull has developed methods to root out and destroy the barriers to creativity, to marry creativity to the pursuit of excellence, and, most impressive, to sustain a culture of disciplined creativity during setbacks and success.”—Jim Collins, co-author of Built to Last and author of Good to Great “Too often, we seek to keep the status quo working. This is a book about breaking it.”—Seth Godin From the Hardcover edition.

Creativity Inc

Author : Ed Catmull
ISBN : 9780307361196
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 32. 19 MB
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From Ed Catmull, co-founder (with Steve Jobs and John Lasseter) of Pixar Animation Studios, comes an incisive book about creativity in business—sure to appeal to readers of Daniel Pink, Tom Peters, and Chip and Dan Heath. Creativity, Inc. is a book for managers who want to lead their employees to new heights, a manual for anyone who strives for originality, and the first-ever, all-access trip into the nerve center of Pixar Animation—into the meetings, postmortems, and “Braintrust” sessions where some of the most successful films in history are made. It is, at heart, a book about how to build a creative culture—but it is also, as Pixar co-founder and president Ed Catmull writes, “an expression of the ideas that I believe make the best in us possible.” For nearly twenty years, Pixar has dominated the world of animation, producing such beloved films as the Toy Story trilogy, Monsters, Inc., Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Up, and WALL-E, which have gone on to set box-office records and garner thirty Academy Awards. The joyousness of the storytelling, the inventive plots, the emotional authenticity: In some ways, Pixar movies are an object lesson in what creativity really is. Here, in this book, Catmull reveals the ideals and techniques that have made Pixar so widely admired—and so profitable. As a young man, Ed Catmull had a dream: to make the first computer-animated movie. He nurtured that dream as a Ph.D. student at the University of Utah, where many computer science pioneers got their start, and then forged a partnership with George Lucas that led, indirectly, to his founding Pixar with Steve Jobs and John Lasseter in 1986. Nine years later, Toy Story was released, changing animation forever. The essential ingredient in that movie’s success—and in the thirteen movies that followed—was the unique environment that Catmull and his colleagues built at Pixar, based on philosophies that protect the creative process and defy convention, such as: • Give a good idea to a mediocre team, and they will screw it up. But give a mediocre idea to a great team, and they will either fix it or come up with something better. • If you don’t strive to uncover what is unseen and understand its nature, you will be ill prepared to lead. • It’s not the manager’s job to prevent risks. It’s the manager’s job to make it safe for others to take them. • The cost of preventing errors is often far greater than the cost of fixing them. • A company’s communication structure should not mirror its organizational structure. Everybody should be able to talk to anybody. • Do not assume that general agreement will lead to change—it takes substantial energy to move a group, even when all are on board.

Creativity Inc

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ISBN : 0812983106
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Creativity Inc

Author : Jeff Mauzy
ISBN : 1578512077
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 35. 38 MB
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Introduction To survive and prosper in the long term, people in companies need to create and innovate. And they need to do so as regularly and reliably as they breathe. We begin our discussion of the need for creativity with a look at a successful company that recognized and met a serious new challenge by installing effective creative practices. In the late 1980s, Steelcase Inc., one of the largest U.S. manufacturers of office furniture, like its competitors was investing heavily in research and development in the hot area of its business, modular furniture units.1 "We had all evolved to the same perspective," says Mark Greiner, senior vice president of R&D at Steelcase. "There was an accepted framework in the industry, defined by three points on a triangle: high design, low cost, and customer relationship." Furniture companies had been differentiating themselves along the points of that triangle for some time. Steelcase was proudest of its customer relationships and placed most of its emphasis on maintaining that edge. "But in fact," Greiner says, "all the manufacturers, by watching each other, had gravitated over time toward safer and safer ground in the middle of the triangle defined by those three points." Thus, the differences between Steelcase and its rivals had grown almost nonexistent. "We were supposedly the most advanced office furniture company in the world, but in fact we were looking pretty much like our competition," he says. Worse, the customer was in motion. The exciting technological liberties of computing and communications made office design and furniture seem less urgent, even less relevant to some businesses. This realization didn't come suddenly, says Greiner. "But it started creeping more often into our conversations. Where's the difference? What's our value?" While the industry focused on a familiar, well-understood, highly defined world, the real world was changing. Steelcase needed to break free of many long-held beliefs about customer needs, beliefs that had become invalid. To reconnect with office furniture buyers, the company needed new ideas. Steelcase in the late 1980s qualified as a candidate for creativity and innovation, and through the course of the book, we'll follow the Steelcase story. But the Steelcase story is not unique. Corporate leaders in almost any business today need to know the fundamental elements for initiating and sustaining creativity and innovation. And they must understand the ways in which those elements work together. The speed of change in the economy has long since penalized companies and industries that try to coast with scattershot innovation or a single moment of creative serendipity. It now punishes even strategically astute companies that make serious but only sporadic, isolated, or conventional efforts at creativity and innovation. In the 1870s, Aaron Ward targeted quality-and-value-starved rural shoppers with a single-page, cash-only price list mailed to National Grange members. There was enough creativity and innovation in that business plan to start Montgomery Ward on a 125-year run. The only further innovation of any scope, however, was to build out stores across the country, a strategy that within a few decades caused the company to fall so far behind the pace of change in contemporary imagination and desires that customers stayed away. Still, 125 years is a good ride. Increasingly, the time period that an innovation can last is far shorter. Look at the home audio music business. The music box controlled that market for 100 years. The phonograph controlled the market for 70 years. Cassette tapes dominated for 25 years until the arrival of CDs. Now, after 10 years, CDs compete with mini-disks, DVDs, MP3, and the Internet. And, as if the inexorable compounding in the rate of technological change weren't sufficiently uncomfortable, consider Digital Equipment Corporation and Wang. In 1985, the two pioneering computer companies were at the top of their business and successfully defending their competitive advantages by locking in corporate customers with exclusive networks of proprietary machinery and software. Within a decade both companies were as good as gone, victims of a home computing and open architecture evolution that bypassed their proprietary protections. Not only, then, does competitive advantage have a time limit, a limit shrinking before the accelerating pace of technological change, but resources given to protecting today's competitive advantage can distract companies from keeping an eye on the creative work of developing and deploying the innovations that could drive tomorrow's business. Harvard Business School professor Rosabeth Moss Kanter draws an analogy between doing business now and playing croquet beside Alice in Wonderland, with the mallets, balls, wickets, and stakes all alive and all whimsically free to decide when and how they want to move. And Dartmouth business professor Richard D'Aveni says that relying too long on a competitive advantage is like "shoveling sand against the tide." The message in all this, as Steelcase found out, is that tomorrow, with all its surprises, comes more relentlessly and more quickly than ever before. To respond to and take advantage of the surprises, individuals and companies will want to be as ready as possible. And readiness requires creativity. We contend that the successful companies will have established constant, systemic creativity. They'll do so to fuel the moment-to-moment innovative responses a high-speed marketplace demands. They'll do so to maintain imaginative resources that can project operations into a future that will change even faster than the present. They'll do so to develop, in our here-and-gone business environment, the reliably pliable foundations from which breakthrough innovations can be launched. Companies will strive to become systemically creative because creativity pays. It pays financially and it provides a rich array of other rewards: employee and customer satisfaction, incremental growth, the flexibility to match relentless change, the ability to attract good talent, elevated market interest, and strengthened competitive readiness. The rewards of some of the creativity programs that we explore in the book are illustrative: Early into a creativity change program, APL/NOL, a major ocean shipping company, has measured an impact of $46.6 million from cost reduction and avoidance, revenue increase, and improved asset management. Tufts Health Care, now the second-largest HMO in New England, reached its goal of one million members two years ahead of schedule, tripling its membership in five years. Since then it has launched eleven significant new products or services and won four innovation awards. In 1999 Newsweek ranked THCP second among U.S. managed care plans across all categories surveyed. And CareData, the health-care division of J.D. Power, has rated THCP the best overall HMO in metropolitan Boston every year since 1996. Snack-food giant Frito-Lay attributed more than $100 million in cost reductions to creativity training sessions for employees. Medical equipment maker Guidant leaped onto Fortune's list of the top 100 companies to work for, coming in thirty-first in its first try. The diversified technology company 3M, aggressively pursuing innovation, estimates that it has generated more than $4 billion from new product introductions for each of the last four years. People under the leadership and creativity support of Peter McGhee, vice president of national programming at WGBH, a public broadcasting company in Boston, have earned it more than fifty Emmy awards, thirty-seven Peabody awards for broadcast excellence, and twenty-five duPont-Columbia journalism awards. Sysco Corporation, a $23 billion food distributor, reports that employees who participated in creativity training increased their sales an average 25 percent to 30 percent. With the addition of Islands of Adventure, attendance at Universal Studios' two Florida theme parks climbed 11 percent between 2000 and 2001, while crowds at Disney's four Florida parks dropped 6 percent. In its first year, Steelcase's Leap chair, born from the company's new direction and magnified focus on the user, became one of the top-selling chairs in the world. InCreativity, Inc., our goal is to enhance a company's ability to create and innovate-reliably, systemically, without stop. We start with six essential understandings that weave through the book and the creative process. There is no recipe for systemic creativity.There is no fixed recipe for all or even most companies. The field of systemic creativity and innovation is still so immature that there are none of the requisite benchmarks needed for universal recipes. In fact, our experience suggests that while more specific guidelines will evolve, a more complete and replicable formula for creative success will be elusive for quite some time. So, instead of a recipe, Creativity, Inc. provides the foundational principles and practices a company needs to build the framework that's right for itself. Creativity and innovation are two distinct concepts.Although people often use the terms interchangeably, creativity and innovation differ from one another. Each demands different treatment, and each has a different science. To paraphrase Harvard Business School's Teresa Amabile, a leading researcher in the field, creativity is the generation of novel and appropriate ideas.5 Innovation, as we define it, implements those ideas and thereby changes the order of things in the world. Creativity is about breaking down prior assumptions and making new connections for new ideas. Innovation means taking new ideas and turning them into corporate and marketplace reality. True innovation, as opposed to low-level refinement, takes extended creative effort, yet much of the innovation effort lends itself to direction and organizing. It's much harder to organize, direct, and command the creation of first ideas; you have to encourage and tease out creativity individual by individual. Both creativity and innovation need to be nurtured at every level and function for a corporation to become systemically creative. Creativity happens with individuals, coalitions and teams, and organizations.Systemic creativity, sustained creativity throughout a company, has three operating arenas: individual creativity, the creativity practiced by coalitions and teams, and the support that organizations give to each. Once individuals have a clear sense of their own creativity wellspring, they can revitalize creativity in themselves and in the people around them. Creativity for coalitions and teams begins with the fragile process of moving from creativity to innovation. Finally, for success, a company needs to prepare itself to provide the resources, the strategy, and the climate that encourage both individuals and groups to perform at their creative best. Only with the grasp of and the practice in all three of these arenas is it possible to think and operate creatively on a full corporate scale. There are four critical dynamics.Underlying creativity are four linked, interacting dynamics: motivation, curiosity and fear, the breaking and making of connections, and evaluation. Fluency in these dynamics will guide individuals and companies in reclaiming, using, and polishing creativity and innovation. Ultimately, these four dynamics are the heartbeat of systemic creativity. Creativity depends on climate.Climate has an overwhelming influence on the success of creativity. Creativity does not occur in a vacuum; it needs a sympathetic environment. Individuals need to build a climate to nourish and protect their own creativity from the indifference or hostility of the larger climate. Companies need to transform the larger climate into one that actively supports creativity throughout the organization. Systemic creativity asks everyone to be a leader.Each person in a company has the potential for leadership in creativity. With systemic creativity, there are no artificial designations between "creative" people and "everyone else." Everyone can be creative. Everyone is responsible for sparking ideas and shepherding them into useful innovation. A receptionist, no less than a corporate manager, can observe an unhappy customer, create an idea to correct the situation, and work to make the idea happen. Anyone who takes this initiative leads. Creativity, Inc.divides the exploration of its themes into three parts: Part I, Creative Thinking; part II, Climate; and part III, Action. The first six chapters, parts I and II, cover building capability for creative thought. The final three chapters, part III, put creativity to purposeful work. Part I, Creative Thinking, addresses the dynamics of personal, team, and corporate creativity. How does individual creativity work, what gets in the way of it, and how can one reinvigorate it? And group creativity-how does creativity work on an enterprise scale, so that everyone in the organization can give his or her creative best and boost company performance? Part II, Climate, discusses creativity and its environment. The degree to which people and companies benefit from creativity depends on the degree to which a company provides a climate sympathetic to the dynamics of the creative process. This section discusses creative climates and how to nourish them for individuals and for companies. Part III, Action, presents a guide and examples for purposeful, focused innovation. It explores the demands and possibilities of business leaders who aspire to systemic creativity and discusses the constant call to sustain and reinvent creative initiative.

Scaling Up Excellence

Author : Robert I. Sutton
ISBN : 9780385347037
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 44. 46 MB
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Amazon Best Books of the Year list, Business & Investing Inc.com 10 Best Business Books of 2014 Financial Times - The Pick of 2014's Management Books The Globe & Mail’s list of 5 Best Business Books in 2014 Library Journal’s list of 5 Best Business Books in 2014 In Scaling Up Excellence, bestselling author Robert Sutton and Stanford colleague Huggy Rao tackle a challenge that determines every organization’s success: scaling up farther, faster, and more effectively as a program or an organization creates a larger footprint. Sutton and Rao have devoted much of the last decade to uncovering what it takes to build and uncover pockets of exemplary performance, to help spread them, and to keep recharging organizations with ever better work practices. Drawing on inside accounts and case studies and academic research from a wealth of industries – including start-ups, pharmaceuticals, airlines, retail, financial services, high-tech, education, non-profits, government, and healthcare -- Sutton and Rao identify the key scaling challenges that confront every organization. They tackle the difficult trade-offs that organizations must make between “Buddhism” versus “Catholicism” -- whether to encourage individualized approaches tailored to local needs or to replicate the same practices and customs as an organization or program expands. They reveal how the best leaders and teams develop, spread, and instill the right mindsets in their people -- rather than ruining or watering down the very things that have fueled successful growth in the past. They unpack the principles that help to cascade excellence throughout an organization, as well as show how to eliminate destructive beliefs and behaviors that will hold them back. Scaling Up Excellence is the first major business book devoted to this universal and vexing challenge. It is destined to become the standard bearer in the field. From the Hardcover edition.

Decisive

Author : Chip Heath
ISBN : 9781446493823
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 31. 3 MB
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Just making a decision can be hard enough, but how do you begin to judge whether it's the right one? Chip and Dan Heath, authors of #1 New York Times best-seller Switch, show you how to overcome your brain's natural shortcomings. In Decisive, Chip and Dan Heath draw on decades of psychological research to explain why we so often get it very badly wrong - why our supposedly rational brains are frequently tripped up by powerful biases and wishful thinking. At the same time they demonstrate how relatively easy it is to avoid the pitfalls and find the best answers, offering four simple principles that we can all learn and follow. In the process, they show why it is that experts frequently make mistakes. They demonstrate the perils of getting trapped in a narrow decision frame. And they explore people's tendency to be over-confident about how their choices will unfold. Drawing on case studies as diverse as the downfall of Kodak and the inspiring account of a cancer survivor, they offer both a fascinating tour through the workings of our minds and an invaluable guide to making smarter decisions. Winner in the Practical Manager category of the CMI Management Book of the Year awards 2014.

The Idea Factory

Author : Jon Gertner
ISBN : 9781101561089
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 62. 78 MB
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From its beginnings in the 1920s until its demise in the 1980s, Bell Labs-officially, the research and development wing of AT&T-was the biggest, and arguably the best, laboratory for new ideas in the world. From the transistor to the laser, from digital communications to cellular telephony, it's hard to find an aspect of modern life that hasn't been touched by Bell Labs. In The Idea Factory, Jon Gertner traces the origins of some of the twentieth century's most important inventions and delivers a riveting and heretofore untold chapter of American history. At its heart this is a story about the life and work of a small group of brilliant and eccentric men-Mervin Kelly, Bill Shockley, Claude Shannon, John Pierce, and Bill Baker-who spent their careers at Bell Labs. Today, when the drive to invent has become a mantra, Bell Labs offers us a way to enrich our understanding of the challenges and solutions to technological innovation. Here, after all, was where the foundational ideas on the management of innovation were born. From the Trade Paperback edition.

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