Recently, I had the pleasure of reading Creativity, Inc. written by Ed Catmull, President of Pixar Animation and Disney Animation. I have always loved the Pixar movies, and never knew the story behind how Pixar almost didn’t exist, or that one of my favorite movies, Toy Story, almost never came to being.
Pixar’s company culture and the ideals established by Catmull’s leadership are prominent topics in his book, which features a strong mix of personal stories, business ideas, and thoughts for managing a creative culture. After reading it, I came away with a new perspective of how a company could be managed.
As someone starting off in the business world, there were a few ideas explored in the book that stood out to me. Catmull suggests thinking of each business-related statement he proposes as a “starting point, a prompt toward deeper inquiry.” Many of his statements below can be applied to any business, even those in the sports industry, and focus on concepts that I will carry with me as I grow as a sports business professional. For example:
“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.”
Even though I am not in a hiring role right now, this will be something to note as I grow into my career. This was also something I thought about during my job hunt, as I didn’t always possess all of the skills companies were looking for, but I knew that I did have the potential to grow and learn.
“If there are people in your 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.”
I am very thankful that Turnkey’s culture is open to ideas from all levels within the organization, and this allows me to suggest ideas, even as a new team member.
“Change and uncertainty are part of life. Our job is not to resist them but to build the capability to recover when unexpected events occur. If you don’t always try to uncover what is unseen and understand its nature, you will be ill prepared to lead”.
This point really stood out to me as I have recently begun my career as a professional in the sports industry. I have learned to embrace change, and now feel that not knowing what tomorrow will hold is actually quite exciting, and makes walking into work everyday something to look forward to.
“Failure isn’t a necessary evil. In fact, it isn’t evil at all. It is a necessary consequence of doing something new.”
I believe this statement is applicable to anyone, and applies to everything from a new business venture to a career change to moving across the globe. Just because something doesn’t work out doesn’t mean it’s a failure, and each failure should be seen as a learning experience in disguise.
These are only some of the ideas I got out of Catmull’s book; there are many more that I didn’t touch on, which is why I plan to keep this book on my bookshelf for a long time. I recommend that you do the same!