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Pixar Culture

I have four kids from eight to two months.  We are regular watchers of the Pixar movies, not only because the kids enjoy them, but I do as well.  I laugh every time I watch The Incredibles and have probably seen it 10-15 times.  We saw Up last year and anytime we see a squirrel in our back yard, we all step and yell, "SQUIRREL!!!!".  If you have seen Up, you know what I am talking about. 

In my opinion, movies today lack creativity, many rehashing old ideas, updating previously made movies, and just very few, new creative ideas (keep in mind this is coming from the guy who did see Transformers 2 and G.I. Joe last year so take my comments about movies with a grain of salt).  That is why I am all the more amazed that Pixar continues to make highly creative and original works. 

This article provides a short summary of the culture at Pixar that has helped make it a force in the movie making industry.  The article shares three tenets to develop its creative culture:

1.  Place the creative authority for product development firmly in the hands of the project leaders (as opposed to corporate executives)
2.  Build a culture and processes that encourage people to share their work-in-progress and support one another as peers
3.  Dismantle the natural barriers that divide disciplines.

While this article is focused on creating a creative culture, I believe these principles would apply to any organization and are good lessons to incorporate into any organization. 

Just to note, as I was working on this over the weekend, Pixar won another Academy Award for Up.  Just another long line in a string of successes. 

About the Author

Chris Woolard

Chris Woolard

Chris is responsible for the sale, design, implementation, account management, and consulting for his clients’ employee and customer assessment programs. He focuses on employee loyalty consulting and is considered Walker’s employee loyalty expert. He has worked with many companies on customer due diligence solutions.

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0 thoughts on “Pixar Culture

  1. Great stuff, Chris. Recently at lunch we got into a debate about the greatest superhero movie of all time. Two of us contended that it was The Incredibles, which is probably the movie that I’ve seen more than any other, since my youngest loves it.

    As for company culture, the competing forces are not just empowering the bottom-up creation of a great overall customer experience but sculpting it from the top down as a well. It’s a difficult balancing act.

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