Innovation lesson from Pixar

  • art • questions • interesting • innovation • it • answers • curiosity • english • interview • article • lesson • pixar
  • 425 words

Brad Bird Innovation is one of the major topics that all the Big companies speaks all the time about: how, what, when… Innovation?

When the reality is of a little/medium size company, Innovation is easy: you don’t need to convince, motivate, move people. Teams with “Innovation in mind” just pop out from the ground… and a good manager just need to feed and support them. But when it comes to big companies, with budgets of millions, with Customers that are even bigger… it’s like trying to move an Elephant using one man and a cord. Mission Impossible.

But. There are brave companies. Companies that plays the game smart. And those company lead Innovation. Apple? Yes, please! This article is indirectly about Apple: it’s about Pixar. It’s an interview to the Director of a different great movies in Pixar that brought “Innovation where looked impossible”: Phillip Bradley Bird (aka Brad Bird).

[...] If there’s one thing successful innovators have shown over the years, it’s that great ideas come from unexpected places. Who could have predicted that bicycle mechanics would develop the airplane or that the US Department of Defense would give rise to a freewheeling communications platform like the Internet? Senior executives looking for ideas about how to make their companies more innovative can also seek inspiration in surprising sources. Exhibit One: Brad Bird, Pixar’s two-time Oscar-winning director. Bird’s hands-on approach to fostering creativity among animators holds powerful lessons for any executive hoping to nurture innovation in teams and organizations. Bird joined Pixar in 2000, when the company was riding high following its release of the world’s first computer-animated feature film, Toy Story, and the subsequent hits A Bug’s Life and Toy Story 2. Concerned about complacency, senior executives Steve Jobs, Ed Catmull, and John Lasseter asked Bird, whose body of work included The Iron Giant and The Simpsons, to join the company and shake things up. The veteran of Walt Disney, Warner Brothers, and FOX delivered—winning Academy Awards (best animated feature) for two groundbreaking movies, The Incredibles and Ratatouille. [...]

Normally I don’t report full articles written somewhere else on my blog: I like more to cut interesting pieces, quote them, then put a link to the full article for whom is interested to read more. But in this case I can’t: the full article, to be read, needs an account here: The McKinsey Quarterly.

So, I’ll just publish a PDF with the full article here: if interested you can go here to read it from the original source (you could like to register too, who knows?).