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Creativity, Inc. by Ed Catmull

The book:
This full-of-detail book uses the story of Pixar to illustrate managerial principles and important aspects of a company's culture. The book reveals challenges that the company faced during the creation of movies such as The Incredibles, Toy Story, and so on. So, if you are a big fan of Pixar like I am, you'll understand and remember what the author wants to say, with ease. The audio version of the book also includes a very particular chapter dedicated to Steve Jobs.

Takeaways and Paths of Action:

1. Encourage candor and be candid yourself:
Not only every person on your team must be honest with each other, but they must voice their opinion without fear of being punished. Create meetings with the sole purpose of giving feedback and let each person express their ideas and concerns. If the criticism is towards ideas and problems, not people, participants will feel more comfortable.

2. Empower people to solve problems:
This is completely opposite to the idea of solving problems for people. Organize group meetings and brainstorm ideas focused on problems, not people, and try not to suggest solutions. Let people do their jobs.

John Lasseter starts these sessions by mentioning what he likes about the current state of the project. Then, he points out very specific aspects that may need to be corrected. The person in charge of the project is not obligated to make any changes, but they must listen and present an improved version in the next meeting. 

Pixar call these "braintrust" meetings.

3. Embrace randomness:
There are things that are unpredictable. Mistakes are always made, and that is good for learning. Do not blame for mistakes, instead, trust that your team will be able to fix them. 

4. Look back:
After a project is completed, successful or not, gather all the participants together to identify what went wrong and what went right. Summarize your findings into actionable items that can be used in future projects.

"The Steve we knew":

Although many books and articles focus on Steve's harsh personality, he did become more kind and understanding of people during his last two decades of life. Ed Catmull tells how it became more often to hear Steve not only to challenge people but also to express his admiration. He valued passion and creativity, deeply.

Favourite quote:

"Overplanners just take longer to fail"


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