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Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration [Englisch] [Taschenbuch]

Ed Catmull Dr
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8. April 2014

As a young man, Ed Catmull had a dream: to make the world's first computer-animated movie. He nurtured that dream first as a Ph.D. student at the University of Utah, where many computer science pioneers got their start, and then forged an early partnership with George Lucas that led, indirectly, to his founding Pixar with Steve Jobs and John Lasseter in 1986. Nine years later and against all odds, Toy Story was released, changing animation forever.

Since then, Pixar has dominated the world of animation, producing such beloved films as Monsters, Inc., Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Up, and WALL-E, which have gone on to set box-office records and garner twenty-seven Academy Awards. The joyousness of the storytelling, the inventive plots, the emotional authenticity: In some ways, Pixar movies are an object lesson in what creativity really is. Now, in this book, Catmull reveals the ideals and techniques, honed over years, that have made Pixar so widely admired-and so profitable.

Creativity, Inc. is a book for managers who want to lead their employees to new heights, a manual for anyone who strives for originality, and the first-ever, all-access trip into the nerve center of Pixar Animation Studios-into the story meetings, the postmortems, and the 'Braintrust' sessions where art is born. It is, at heart, a book about how to build and sustain a creative culture-but it is also, as Pixar co-founder and president Ed Catmull writes, 'an expression of the ideas that I believe make the best in us possible.'

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  • Taschenbuch: 368 Seiten
  • Verlag: Bantam Press (8. April 2014)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 0593070100
  • ISBN-13: 978-0593070109
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 23,2 x 15,2 x 3 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 5.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (1 Kundenrezension)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 3.041 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)

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"Many have attempted to formulate and categorize inspiration and creativity. What Ed Catmull shares instead is his astute experience that creativity isn't strictly a well of ideas, but an alchemy of people. In Creativity, Inc. Ed reveals, with commonsense specificity and honesty, examples of how not to get in your own way and realize a creative coalescence of art, business and innovation." (George Lucas)

"This is best book ever written on what it takes to build a creative organization. It is the best because Catmull's wisdom, modesty, and self-awareness fill every page. He shows how Pixar's greatness results from connecting the specific little things they do (mostly things that anyone can do in any organization) to the big goal that drives everyone in the company: Making films that make them feel proud of one another." (Robert I. Sutton, Professor of Management Science at Stanford University, author of The No A**hole Rule and co-author of Scaling Up Excellence)

"Just might be the best business book ever written" (Forbes Magazine)

"Pixar uses technology only as a means to an end; its films are rooted in human concerns, not computer wizardry. The same can be said of Creativity Inc., Ed Catmull's endearingly thoughtful explanation of how the studio he co-founded generated hits such as the Toy Story trilogy, Up and Wall-E. . . . [Catmull] uses Pixar's triumphs and near-disasters to outline a system for managing people in creative businesses-one in which candid criticism is delivered sensitively, while individuality and autonomy are not strangled by a robotic corporate culture" (Financial Times)

"Achieving enormous success while holding fast to the highest artistic standards is a nice trick-and Pixar, with its creative leadership and persistent commitment to innovation, has pulled it off. This book should be required reading for any manager" (Charles Duhigg - Author of THE POWER OF HABIT)


Part autobiography, part history of Pixar, part business book, Creativity Inc is an inspiring look at the role creativity plays in one of the most successful media businesses the world has ever seen

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5.0 von 5 Sternen Empfehlenswertes Buch für Geschäftsführer 7. Juli 2014
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
Sollte jeder Geschäftsführer einmal gelesen und reflektiert haben.
Innovation ist in jedem Unternehmen wichtig. Wie diese gefördert werden
kann, wird in diesem Buch beschrieben.
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 4.7 von 5 Sternen  218 Rezensionen
43 von 48 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen When Ed tells a story, it's in your best interest to listen. 15. April 2014
Von Shelby Cass - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
In my 18 years of knowing Ed, 6 of which I had the pleasure of working at Pixar, I have yet to meet someone who is so genuine, so brilliant, and so quiet. Quiet, that is, until he has something to say.

Ed doesn't speak unless he's given something much thought, and if/when you are lucky enough to receive an opinion or a bit of advice from him, grab it, and hold on.

With this book, Ed Catmull has given the world an amazing gift. Much more than a book for managers, it contains wisdom and stories that you will carry into the rest of your life.

'Creativity, Inc.' is thoughtful, sage, humorous, and 1000% true. There is no one else who could have written this book with such candor--and you will learn about true candor and it's absolute necessity in the creative process. You will learn about the kind of blood, sweat, and tears that drive a process, and the kind that can destroy it. You will read stories no one at Pixar would have dared to tell in such an open forum, and you will learn from them. Ed has presented them in perfect context with great analogies and sometimes humbling but always educational conclusions. He is, it turns out, a gifted storyteller and teacher to boot.

Well worth the read, be sure to keep it around--you'll tell other people to read it. Maybe get an extra copy. Don't want to lose yours.
17 von 17 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen One of the Most Thought-Provoking Books on Fostering Organizational Creativity Around 23. April 2014
Von John Robinson - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
"I would devote myself to learning how to build not just a successful company but a sustainable creative culture." Ed Catmull

There is no doubt that Pixar is one of the most creative companies in the world today. They accomplished an "insanely great feat" by creating the first all computer animated feature film, Toy Story, at a time when naysayers were telling them it couldn't be done. Since then, they have created a series of computer-animated films that have thrilled kids and adults every where. One of my most memorable times was sitting in a theater watching Finding Nemo and Cars with my toddler son.

What exactly does it take to foster the kind of organizational culture that is capable of doing what nobody else is doing? How can companies, schools and non-profit organizations create what Ed Catmull and Amy Wallace, the authors of Creativity Inc: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration, call a "sustainable creative culture?" Catmull and Wallace tackle that very task in this book with a rare combination of both narrative and common sense.

Catmull begins this book by telling Pixar's story, and a fascinating story it is. He describes the company's rise from a part of George Lucas's film company, Lucasfilm, through their partnership with Steve Jobs, to the present day as a company that churns our computer-animated films to anxiously awaiting audiences world-wide. Catmull's anecdotes and stories throughout the book remain true to what he repeats throughout the book: creativity is about the story, and in this book he tells an engaging one for those fascinated with creativity and how it might be fostered within an organization.

In addition to the Pixar story, Catmull and Wallace also provide valuable insight throughout the book on how Pixar has been able to maintain its creative edge through the years. For example, Catmull insists that creative cultures must operate with transparency and candor. People who work in those cultures must have the freedom to speak their minds and feel that what they say matters. That's perhaps common sense to some leaders, but many seem to forget that, especially in the "top-down" reform environment we have in public education today. Catmull provides a valuable list of "Starting Points for Managing a Creative Culture" in back of the book. These "starting points" are referred to repeatedly throughout the book as Catmull and Wallace tell Pixar's story. What are some of these "starting points?"

* "When looking to hire people, give their potential to grow more weight than their current skill level. What they will be capable of tomorrow is more important than what they can do today."
* "If there are people in organization who feel they are not free to suggest ideas, you lose. Do not discount ideas from unexpected sources. Inspiration can, and does, come from anywhere."
* "It isn't enough merely to be open to ideas from others. Engaging the collective brainpower of the people you work with is an active, ongoing process. As a manager, you must coax ideas out of your staff and constantly push them to contribute.:
* "There is nothing quite as effective, when it comes to shutting down alternative viewpoints, as being convinced you are right."

This list of "starting points" by Catmull is extensive. They touch on subjects such as inviting failure and risk in the company or organization. Engaging the whole company is fixing problems is another. From a leadership perspective, this list is truly a great starting point for fostering creativity in your organization.

While this book focuses on creativity in Pixar, a business designed to invent and innovate to stay alive, it is also an excellent book for school leaders and leaders of any organization to read in order to answer the question for themselves:

"How can we create a sustainable creative culture capable of tackling our most serious problems?"

Creativity Inc: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration is a book I see myself pondering and thinking about for some time. It is an outline guide for just maybe getting your school or district, or company for that matter, on the road to creativity. As a high school principal of a non-traditional high school, I see much of the wisdom of this book has the potential to transforms schools and school districts into places where creativity rather than conformity thrives.
35 von 42 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen What Is The Recipe For Magic? 17. März 2014
Von L. M. Keefer - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts (Was ist das?)
What is the recipe for magic? Something magical has been occurring for years at Pixar, but what exactly? We read about Pixar in business books, and have seen their continuous stream of 14 #1 blockbuster animated movies. Chief wizard Steve Jobs' affiliation with Pixar added to their allure. In reading Walter Isaacson's biography of Jobs, you sense that his association with Pixar influenced Jobs' maturation and reinvention which enabled him to successfully lead Apple again into creating dazzling products.

Like the scene from Disney's animated movie SLEEPING BEAUTY in which the magic spells cast create plumes of blue and pink smoke to poof out of the building's chimney, the spells cast at Pixar beguile to come closer and peek in the windows. Just what is going on there?

The doors of Pixar are thrown open in this book. Welcoming us is self-effacing Pixar co-founder Ed Catmull who provides a captivating guided tour. He tells the tale of Pixar from its inception. Catmull's purpose is not only to tell, but to teach. He said that as he saw many smart, creative companies go off the rails, he wondered what causes a dangerous disconnect at many creative companies? And how do you build a successful company and sustainable creative culture which will outlast its leaders?

He teaches the principles and mechanisms which structure and fertilize Pixar's creativity. It's said we have morphed from the agricultural age through the industrial and information ages to the creative age. Understanding how to thrive in this creative age seems paramount. Living a life is a creative act - the lessons are applicable to personal lives, too. It's a compelling story with characters we already know and love ... Buzz Lightyear, Woody, Nemo, John Lasseter, George Lucas and the iconic Steve Jobs. (Catmull has an insightful perspective on the purpose for Jobs' legendary abrasiveness.)

Catmull writes, "I've spent nearly forty years thinking about how to help smart, ambitious people work effectively with one another. The way I see it, my job as a manager is to create a fertile environment, keep it healthy, and watch for the things that undermine it....The thesis of this book is that there are many blocks to creativity, but there are active steps we can take to protect the creative process." Catmull is obsessed with identifying the impediments and destructive forces which harm creativity. He likes creating "mechanisms" which deal with "uncertainty, instability, lack of candor, and the things we cannot see." He writes that we need to make room for what we do not know, and pay attention to and engage with anything that creates fear. He explains, "...identifying these destructive forces isn't merely a philosophical exercise. It is a crucial, central mission."

Pixar and Catmull were engaged with something that had never been done before: creating computer animated films. You read about the genesis of the idea, and how it was midwifed into existence by Catmull, Jobs and Lasseter. It was a messy birth. The baby was ugly at first, and almost didn't make it. But Catmull learned how to protect and nurture its growth. He read books on management, and was particularly influenced by Edward Deming who taught the Japanese about quality at Toyota. The principles which applied to creating flawless Japanese autos, Catmull applied to creating one-of-a-kind animated films.

A sampling of favorite maxims which propel Pixar - you'll enjoy finding your favorites:

* Foster a creative culture that continually asks questions

* Story is king

* Getting the right people and the right chemistry is more important than getting the right idea - the right people will eventually come up with a great idea

* A company's communication structure should not mirror its organizational structure. Everybody should be able to talk to anybody

* Treasure the 'organic ferment' that fuels true inspiration

* Hold lightly to goals and firmly to intentions

* The future is not a destination, it is a direction

* When it comes to creativity, the unknown is not our enemy

* 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 through-line or a hollow character finds its soul

* Think of most activities as teaching

* Rather than fear randomness, ... we can make choices to see it for what it is and to let it work for us

* Since change is inevitable, the question is: Do you act to stop it or do you become the master of change by accepting it and being open to it?

There's so much to love in this book: the story behind the dailies, research trips, short experiments and Pixar University, for example. While the tale of Pixar is inspiring, there's a second act when Disney asks Catmull and his team to lead Disney animation along with Pixar. They loosened a more buttoned-up, hierarchical culture at Disney so it could flow with its own innovative juices. That's a fascinating business case study.

Then there's the poignant afterword on the Steve Jobs they knew, which is a more nuanced look at Jobs by folks who worked with him for 26 years. Catmull and Pixar saw sides of Jobs' complexity and humanity a biographer may not have access to. Jobs' droll side comment to Catmull on the red carpet of the Academy Awards in itself is worth purchasing this book to read. Finally, Catmulll lists "starting points" Pixar lives by.

Whether or not this book is the #1 bestseller of 2014, it deserves to be. Can't imagine a more spellbinding tale - and best of all, this time the magic isn't fantasy, it really happened. The lessons shared in this book should help its readers to live and work more happily ever after.
20 von 23 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Ed is my hero. 19. April 2014
Von Craig Good - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
This is a biased review. Ed is my hero, and has been for a good thirty years. I'm one of the people in that 1985 photo near the end of the book.

This book is just like Ed: Brilliant, quotable, succinct, and humble. There are few people in this world as smart as Ed, fewer who seem to lack any ego, and a vanishingly small number who are both. In fact, Ed"s the only one I've met. Even though I was for years the low man on the totem pole, Ed never treated me differently than the highest status dignitaries who visited Pixar.

For years when I showed guests around Pixar or spoke of its culture I maintained that everything good about it, and the fact that art and technology are words that unite people rather than divide them is all due to Ed. With this book I get a big, fat I Told You So.

I recommend this book to anybody who is starting, running, managing, or working at a company; to anybody working in, studying, or interested in any creative pursuit; to fans of Pixar or Disney; and to anybody who likes a well-written book by a damn interesting guy. And you will not find a more intimate and clear-eyed assessment of Steve Jobs anywhere.

Ed"s wife told me once that he reads math books on vacation to relax. Nobody else could write a book on management that cites both Zen and stochastic self-similarity.
15 von 18 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen This book vs "the Pixar Touch" 10. Mai 2014
Von Lake - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
For those who are interested in the fascinating story of Pixar, there are two very different books out there to walk through the story.- this one, and one called "the Pixar Touch"

Catmull's is really a 'leadership/management instructional' tome much like Collins' 'Good to Great' or a myriad of similar ones, with a smattering of history thrown in to illustrate the management principles he espoused for the company.

I've had to read a number of these 'management guides' (much to some dismay),and eventually they all end up sounding the same with much of the advice being pretty rudimentary and vague in applicability..

Catmull's however is among the best in this woeful and plentiful field based on his focus on creativity, team emphasis (not new) and respect for employees '(team members' or 'associates' in today's parlance) which is refreshing. His lessons may have more applicability in a creative arena like film, and perhaps not as translatable to others...but still he makes good valid points about management styles and principles. I worked in the health care field which has to be more hierarchical and 'top down' based on regulations, standards etc... but I often wish there was more of his philosophy in that industry.

So, all in all, a good management oriented book -- At the end there are a few pages of bullet points summarizing his principles, which really may be all one needs to read if they are familiar with the vast number of other books proclaiming to be the golden key to good management or leadership philosophy.

"The Pixar Touch" on the other hand is a fairly detailed history of the company, and to me was a much more interesting read (I read them back to back). It was published in 2008 so it's less up to date than Catmull's work but gives all of one really needs to know about how the company was founded and how it grew.

It describes in far more detail the origins, growth, and troubles of the company with it's technical vision to computer animate an entire movie, the business issues with Steve Jobs, and Disney, and it's travails as it animated and produced it's first 8 movies (the book takes one up to Ratatoiulle) It doesn't different substantially in any detail form Catmull's account (except that he regards Steve Job's much more highly)'s just more of a historical narrative.

So..two very different books... One a management guide, and the other a history. The management guide is fine, but the history is better and more interesting in my view... but the intent of the reader will guide the choice... that's why I compare these two.

Catmull's book is a good leadership one but a poor history, and the opposite is true for "The Pixar Touch"...that's why I rate in in between as a '3'

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