Archive for: July, 2014

Ed Catmull on how Pixar’s continued success is enabled by it’s culture of candor

A key for unleashing innovation in any type of organization is the willingness to let employees try stuff without feeling that they will be punished if they fail. Creativity is only unleashed when people feel safe that they won’t be judged.

Ed Catmull, CEO of Pixar, describes in his talk below why he believes a culture that focuses on being “necessarily honest” is integral to creating the best work possible.

Three common mistakes that innovators make when creating new markets

Take care of the basics. Sometimes we don’t and get ourselves into trouble; especially when trying to create a new market. As innovators, when it comes to trying to help people understand how our idea can address an unmet need, we make some critical mistakes.

Here are three that are very common:

6 simple questions that yield better decisions

decisive bookHow can we become better at making decisions? There is wide literature, blogs and books on the topic of decision making , and you wouldn’t go wrong reading most of them. How and why we make the decision we make is one topic I believe we would all do well know about more because it influences everything we do.

The most recent books about decision making I’ve read is Decisive by the Heath Brothers, authors of Made To Stick and Switch. I’m a huge fan of them because they take on interesting topics, and they make the content interesting and useful to any type of reader. With that said, I’m subscribed to their newsletter and yesterday I got a nugget of information in a series of questions that appear, in some way or another, in their latest book about decision making.

Remember, everything is a matter of perspective. So, if you’re struggling with a decision, see if any of the following questions helps you see differently.

8 strategies for overcoming resistance to change

As innovators that want to make things happen and are constantly seeking ways to counter resistance to change. It comes with the territory and is the most predictable challenge we will encounter. At this point, the literature around innovation is vast, so we can all agree that there are many common sources of resistance to change inside organizations and from potential customers: inertia, indecision, fear of making mistakes, lack of best practices and lack of care for your product/service.

How do you overcome them?

What World Cup winner Germany can teach us about developing a culture of excellence

brazil vs germany world cup 2014

Picture: EPA

The 2014 World Cup has ended! For me it was one of the most memorable, the first round alone is worth watching again. Anyway, the Germans won. And they have lots to teach us about developing a culture of excellence, no matter what people say about their “efficient” driven culture.

Here are a two takeaways:

To play to win, not to lose, requires a different mindset

Two weeks ago I watched as Mexico gave up a 1 goal lead to the Netherlands and eventually lose the game on a questionable penalty kick. As all of this was unraveling I wasn’t surprised. I had started watching the game at the 60 minute mark, but I could tell Netherlands was going to even things out, and maybe even win the game.

I knew because they were the aggressors. Mexico was sitting back, playing not to lose. But this isn’t an isolated incident, Mexico has a history of letting up. It doesn’t have anything to do with strategy and tactics, but with, I believe, psychological and cultural issue.

I believe that conformity is the enemy of greatness. There are other countries in this World Cup who are exemplary of how defeating conformity is less a matter of strategy and more about mindset.

Is innovation really everybody’s job?

Is innovation really everybody's job?

A culture of innovation. That’s the Holy Grail, how do you get there? Everyone has their ideas and theories, and there is no shortage of examples that we can analyze over and over again. Yesterday, I wrote about the things that any organization can stop doing to open the door to innovation.

Being innovation-ready starts with people. And a common question that comes up is this: is innovation really everybody’s job?