I’ve just finished listening to “Creativity, Inc” audiobook, by Edwin Catmull.
Ed was Pixar’s co-founder and Walt Disney Animation Studios’s President. He led both organizations from good to great. Under his leadership, they developed a consistent but evolving creative culture that still stands the test of time.
The book is a must-read for any manager in a mid to big company, that hasn’t yet adapted to the innovative mindset required for this day and age.
For entrepreneurs, founders and startup employees, not all of the advice found in the book will be new - I still recommend you to read it!
But there was one concept that struck me the most: Handling the Unknown. In his book, Ed says that “if you don’t try to uncover what is unseen and understand its nature, you will be ill-prepared to lead”.
If you are after great creative outcomes, you must be on the lookout for unknowns. Your organization must adopt a culture that constantly works on uncovering your own blind spots but still acknowledges uncertainty. Any employee should be able to discover problems, find solutions and speak up their minds.
And all of this shouldn’t be at the expense of embracing randomness, encouraging taking risks and accepting failure as a learning experience to achieve great results.