FAST COMPANY: Mark Zuckerberg recommends Ed Catmull’s “Creativity, Inc.” (available in the Life.SREDA’s corporate library for its employees)
Mark Zuckerberg’s 5th pick for his Year of Books is Ed Catmull’s Creativity, Inc. Read on for insights from the Pixar & Disney Animation Studio president on managing a team of creative superstars, why business plans aren’t always the answer, and what creative DNA really looks like in a business.
Oil and water. Mentos and Diet Coke. Business and creativity. There are certain combinations that weren’t made to mesh, but the last of those might be the exception. Creativity can, in fact, thrive within a large organization—but it takes the right leader and the right attitude toward change to help it bloom.
Creativity, Inc., the fifth installment in Mark Zuckerberg’s A Year of Books, tells the story of Pixar and its merge with Disney Studios through the experiences of Ed Catmull, Pixar’s co-founder and current president. Catmull shares his journey toward becoming a successful manager, illustrating through examples the creative power of change and how a company culture can only be truly creative when focus is placed on the people who make it great – together. These important ideas from Creativity, Inc. will get you up to speed on the ways in which creativity, change, and business can create beautiful chemistry.
What’s it about?
Managers are caught between a rock and a hard place. The imperative to find creative, innovative solutions to current or future problems is strong, yet they’re forced to choose safe ways to stay profitable. At the helm of both Disney Animation Studios and Pixar, Ed Catmull burst out of this narrow strait. He fulfilled his lifelong dream of creating the first ever computer-animated movie, thus ensuring Pixar’s success, and at the same time managed to rescue Disney Animation Studio from its decline.
In Creativity, Inc. Catmull shares anecdotes from his career at Pixar and Disney to offer insights on how to avoid the common creativity-stifling traps into which managers can fall. He makes a compelling case for why, if they really want to succeed, managers should be bold enough to burn the business plan, stop the assembly lines, and prize a great team over even the greatest idea.
Who wrote it?
Ed Catmull is a computer scientist and pioneer of the computer graphic world. He is also the current president of both Pixar and Disney Animation Studios, and was co-founder of Pixar in 1986. Co-author Amy Wallace is an editor-at-large at Los Angeles magazine as well as a correspondent for GQ.