Thursday, August 26, 2010

Stimulating Collaboration Explains the Success of Pixar by Aiana Freitas - O Estado de S. Paulo - in Economia & Negogios

Portuguese to English translation -

Final film, Toy Story 3 has grossed more than $ 350 million worldwide. The good result is explained partly by the fact that the film marks the end of one of the most successful franchises in entertainment history and use of modern technology in a third dimension. But behind the numbers is also a management model that came to be regarded as such by experts worldwide.

Founded in 1986 in Emeryville, Calif., has been collecting since 1995 Pixar blockbusters and criticism as Cars, A Bug's Life, Finding Nemo and Up - High Adventure. The good performance is the result of perhaps the most visible feature - and valued - the company: creativity. "This is a quality abundant at Pixar because the company encourages the collaboration of all employees in their projects," said the American consultant Bill Capodagli, author of Innovate the Pixar Way: Lessons from the World’s Most Creative Corporate Playground (Editora Saraiva) recently launched in Brazil.

In daily life, this collaborative environment is established mainly through the stimulation of communication: Pixar employees are encouraged to provide feedback about the films being made by the company, whether or not they are directly involved with production.
Creating this environment means allowing the employee often pass over hierarchies. What, in the case of Pixar, is stimulated by co-founder and president Ed Catmull. "One must realize that the hierarchy of decision making and communication structure are two different things. Employees of any department should be able to approach someone from another department to solve problems without having to go through appropriate channels," he says in the book.

Leadership. The type of leadership exercised by Catmull has been, in fact, a fundamental part of business success. "He avoids making decisions from the top down or say how things should be," explains Capodagli. An attitude that differs greatly, for example, that adopted in most competitor of Pixar, the studio Dreamworks. "Jeffrey Katzenberg (Dreamworks CEO) is a person who gives orders. It is he who defines the way things should be done. That mentality, especially if it comes from a leader, affects everyone in an organization. And other leaders from various levels, they act the same way and taking it further, "says the consultant.

The comparison proves less favorable to the DreamWorks - which has among its owners the most profitable director in movie history, Steven Spielberg - when it reports that the studio was nearly bankrupt before being bought by Paramount in 2005.

Partners. Like Pixar, companies like Apple Computer, the Zappos shoe shop and the network of hypermarkets Walmart became known worldwide for stimulating environments that value collaboration. "These are companies that do much more than just hanging boxes for employees to write down suggestions that are never put into practice," summarizes Denys Monteiro, partner of FESA, undertaking recruitment of senior executives.

But that is more favorable for the desktop, Miller points out that the full engagement only occurs with a change in mindset of the employee. And that, in many cases only happens if the company adopt attitudes more practical. "Some companies, for example, transform their employees into partners. The creation of this" investor mentality "is the best way to achieve engagement, because the employee perceives that he also wins if the company wins."

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