035: Creativity, Inc. by Ed Catmull: Launch Youniversity Book Reviews



We’re starting a new feature on the podcast called Launch Youniveristy Book Reviews, because we believe that Launchers are Learners.

For us to launch our ideas, we need to always be learning, sharpening our skills, and seeking to improve. Because of this, we’re big believers in reading books for personal and professional growth. We know you’re busy, but committing to read one chapter of a book each week can have a lasting impact.

Welcome to episode 35 of the Executive Minds Podcast.

Links + Resources:

Creativity, Incby Ed Catmull

Don’t Have time to listen to the podcast? We wrote a blog post: Ed Catmull’s 10 Lessons on Leadership and Creativity

Three Takeaways:

1. Remove fear of failure.
If you’ve created a culture on your team where people get in trouble when they fail, you’ve created a problem. The thing is, if people are terrified of making mistakes, then they’ll never take risks. Let them fail, and let them find the solutions.

2. Create a space for honest feedback.
Pixar has a process they call “braintrust meetings.” Braintrusts are sessions where the film directors present the latest concept and direction of the movie in process to a trusted group.

It’s a space for candor, feedback and discussion about how to make things the best they can be. Ed says:

“To understand what the Braintrust does, you have to start with a basic truth: People who take on complicated creative projects become lost at some point in the process. It is the nature of things—in order to create, you must internalize and almost become the project, and that near-fusing with the project is an essential part of the emergence. But it is also confusing. All directors become lost somewhere along the way. That creates a problem for those who seek to give helpful feedback. How do you get a director to see a problem that they cannot see? The key is to help directors see that the film is under the microscope—not the filmmaker. You are not your idea, and if you identify too closely with your ideas, you’ll take offense when they are challenged.”

3. Get out of the office.
Great ideas don’t always happen in cubicles. Usually, great ideas come from connection. Ed recommends getting out of the office to inspire innovation—to keep us creating instead of copying.