Essay on How Pixar Fosters Collective Creativity

Words: 992
Pages: 4

● Pixar relies heavily on intrinsic motivation to motivate and inspire its employees, which is particularly important given the poor measurability of success before the film is released. It achieves high levels of intrinsic motivation through:
○ Meaningfulness – Skill variety is increased through Pixar University. By allowing staff to participate in the production discussions, it leads to task identity of their contribution to the whole project.
○ Responsibility – Autonomy is high: Incubation teams are responsible for operational decisions, while the “brain trust” only gives suggestions. Decentralization achieves increased individual autonomy, responsiveness to changing situations, and variety of ideas.
○ Knowledge of Results – Pixar
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This observation led him to his conclusion, which seems fair in this instance but overgeneralized.
(3) There is no such thing as a perfect system for all environments. For example, while a peer culture that subscribes to “all for one and one for all” is something military leaders strive to implement, Catmull’s underlying principles of cognitive diversity and candid communication at all levels would fail in “conventional” military structures.
In conventional military forces, the leadership and communication structure is driven from top to bottom and team leaders often make decisions without soliciting the recommendations of subordinates. The logic behind the conventional military’s rather authoritarian approach is simple: a leader who routinely solicits feedback and recommendations from his or her troops can appear weak and indecisive, potentially leading subordinates to doubt the competence and decisiveness of their leader. Moreover, enabling junior members of the military to feel comfortable critiquing or countering leaders’ decisions can adversely affect “good order and discipline” and negatively impact the effectiveness of the unit. Additionally, information asymmetry is common in the military, due to the nature of its work, and those in higher positions are often able to make better informed decisions.
Catmull’s recommendations of encouraging originality and creativity amongst teams is counter to the traditional military