Unleash the Creativity with Creativity Inc

Creativity Inc: Overcoming the unseen forces that stand in the way of true inspiration by Ed Catmull

Imagine being the co-founder of Pixar and president of Walt Disney Animation and having the guts to put this statement in print . . .

“Early on, all of our movies suck. . . We dare to attempt these stories, but we don’t get them right on the first pass. And this is as it should be. Creativity has to start somewhere, and we are true believers in the power of bracing, candid feedback and the iterative process—reworking, reworking, and reworking again, until a flawed story finds its throughline or a hollow character finds its soul.”

I remember being absolutely blown away when I saw the very first Toy Story movie. It was truly revolutionary. We had never seen anything like it. But we had seen movies like it. Movies with memorable characters and great storytelling. I’m glad that they took so long to get it right and that their goal is to simply make great movies.

Catmull spends a lot of time in this book telling us how they carefully built the culture of Pixar. These are lessons that can be applied in almost every endeavor. I think businesses that are not in the creative realm can benefit from this advice. Even schools can learn a lot from it.

I underlined so many passages in this book that I simply cannot share them all. I plan on writing a post about how we can apply some of these tips in our classrooms or homeschools. Keep an eye out for it on Know School soon.

“Unleashing creativity requires that we loosen the controls, accept risk, trust our colleagues, work to clear the path for them, and pay attention to anything that creates fear. Doing all these things won’t necessarily make the job of managing a creative culture easier. But ease isn’t the goal; excellence is.”

Can’t you see how this mindset lends itself to education?

“Things change, constantly, as they should. And with change comes the need for adaptation, for fresh thinking, and, sometimes, for even a total reboot—of your project, your department, your division, or your company as a whole.”

This book seems very timely right now even though it was written in 2014. I’m glad I finally got around to reading it. It had been on my radar for a long time. Hopefully I’ve put it on yours now too.

Happy Reading!

My List of 2021 Reads – my annual reading log (I finished this one last year)