Monday, August 25, 2008

Client Service, Creativity & Pixar

Clients expect creativity from their agencies. It should be among the reasons your agency is part of the team. So if you're looking to model others when it comes to fostering a creative environment, who do you model? Other PR firms? Or companies outside the PR profession?

I'm not trying to make this Harvard Business Review Week at CSI/Season 2 (although that wouldn't be such a bad idea), but I do want to share one of my favorite articles from the September 2008 issue, How Pixar Fosters Collective Creativity.

Consider this anecdote from Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios president, Ed Catmull:

"A few years ago, I had lunch with the head of a major motion picture studio, who declared that his central problem was not finding good people—it was finding good ideas. Since then, when giving talks, I’ve asked audiences whether they agree with him. Almost always there’s a 50/50 split, which has astounded me because I couldn’t disagree more with the studio executive. His belief is rooted in a misguided view of creativity that exaggerates the importance of the initial idea in creating an original product. And it reflects a profound misunderstanding of how to manage the large risks inherent in producing breakthroughs."

So what's tougher? Finding good people or good ideas? I encourage you to read the article. Tomorrow, I'll look at some of Catmull's practices and principles for managing creative talent and fostering a relentlessly creative work environment. I look forward to the conversation!

1 comment:

  1. Leo,

    Again I think this is a hard distinction to make. But, I would have to lean toward good ideas. Without good ideas, it doesn't matter how good the person is?
    But in saying that, don't good (talented) people have good ideas?

    At the same time, i think I see his point. By having a lot of good, talented people around, you can collectively come up with the great ideas. They don't come from one person.

    I don't think its an either or question though. By having good people you don't give up good ideas. If you have good people, you have good ideas. If you have a lot of good people working together, you get great ideas.



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