If you’re a business owner on the road to financial independence, tapping into the creativity of your employees is important because it can help you make more money, reduce costs, improve the quality of your products and services, etc.
I recently finished reading Creativity, Inc, a book about Pixar’s creative culture written by one of the founders, Ed Catmull.
Here are 4 things I learned about cultivating, unleashing, and sustaining a creative culture in your workplace, the Pixar way.
Before we begin, I just want to say that it was a nice read.
It was well written and had many good points and anecdotes about the trials and tribulations Pixar faced with getting off the ground, and the triumphs it experienced after.
Now, let’s get going!
4 Ways To Unleash Creativity In Your Workplace
(The Pixar Way)
1. Get The Right People
“Getting the right people and the right chemistry is more important than getting the right idea.” -Ed Catmull
Catmull talks about how if you give a great idea to a mediocre team, they will screw it up.
But if you give a mediocre idea to a great team, they will scrap it or make it better.
“Ideas come from people. Therefore, people are more important than ideas.”
So focus first on getting the right people on your team.
Phil Collins also talks about in his book, Good To Great, a book about how certain companies stay great for a long time.
Once you get these people, develop and support them, give them projects that suit their strengths and put them where they can rise to their potential.
2. View Ideas and Suggestions As Additive Rather Than Competitive
When ideas and suggestions are offered are in discussion, the goal is to look at the comments and viewpoints as “additive” rather than “competitive.”
And because people who come up with the ideas tend to get attached to their ideas, the goal is to always be aware of this psychological tendency and be open to these additive comments.
The idea is to make constructive and additive comments on the idea itself and for the creator of the idea to not take anything personal and realize they are not attacks on his character as a person, but merely on his ideas.
3. Tap Into The Creative Minds of Your Employees
“Your employees are smart. That’s why you hired them. So treat them that way.”
Tap into the creative minds of your workplace instead of spending the time, money, and energy to hire a a consulting agency to tell you what you can improve.
Your employees already know what can be improved but are usually afraid to voice it because of the corporate culture that’s currently in place.
Catmull talked about how they don’t make any new employees sign employment contracts.
They believe contracts can stifle increasing creativity in the workplace.
The employer has no reason to tell an underperforming employee to improve or to educate them on their faults because their contract won’t be renewed.
And employees are receiving a consistent paycheck week to week so they have no incentive to upset the status quo.
Therefore, ask your employees what needs to be improved.
Allow them the freedom to tap into the collective consciousness of your work place.
You hired your employees for a reason.
You hired them because you think they can do their job.
So have faith.
Allow them to voice their concerns and work toward improving them.
4. Allow Employees The Freedom To Try New Things
“Management’s job is not to prevent risk but to build the ability to recover.”
Catmull talked about how, during the later Eisner years of Disney, they were afraid to try new things and stuck only to what they knew because management was entrenched and stubborn.
They had to protect the Disney legacy, but by aiming to only protect the past, they didn’t focus on improving their future.
They didn’t do anything new.
“It is tenet of pixar culture that people should work there because they want to, not because a contract requires them to.”
At Pixar, Catmull talked about how they encourage their employees to take risks, to try new things.
It’s management’s job to build the ability to recover from these risks.
“Mistakes are the inevitable consequence of doing something new, because without them, we would have no originality.”
Another beautiful quote by Catmull, “You’ll never stumble upon the unexpected if you stick only to the familiar.”
By implementing these ideas, you increase the potential for your company to grow and succeed.
When your company grows and succeed, you have more potential to make money and pay employees (and yourself) bigger salaries.
You can create an amiable work environment where everyone is focused, engaged, happy, and healthy.
Want More Content?
Get exclusive weekly content sent right to your inbox. No spam. Ever.