Wednesday, December 15, 2010


To Infinity and Beyond

Pixar-inspired innovation can make your meetings a hit

By Staff

As published in: SalesForceXP - November-December 2010

In their book Innovate the Pixar Way: Business Lessons From the World's Most Creative Corporate Playground (McGraw-Hill, 2010), authors Bill Capodagli and Lynn Jackson latch on to Pixar Studios' commitment to excellence through imagination.

"It makes no difference if you are making a movie that takes four years or serving a customer that takes four minutes, you have only one chance to deliver that magical, magnetic, enchanting experience for your customer," the authors state.

Because a company's creativity begins during planning sessions, here are three ideas from Capodagli and Jackson that will help your team improve its innovative process during team meetings:

1. Take field trips. Some may be related to particular projects you're working on, while others will feel completely disconnected. In preparation for the animated feature "Cars," Pixar Chief Creative Officer John Lasseter and 11 animators rented white Cadillacs and traveled Route 66. To obtain ideas for designing the "Cars" movie characters, Lasseter visited the actual design studios of several automotive companies.

2. Bring in an outside guest speaker. Have your team spend an afternoon learning how to cultivate bonsai trees, or how to prepare an Italian dinner, or how to make classical music relevant to today's youth. The key is to get the team to expand their thinking outside their normal comfort thinking zone.

3. Conduct quarterly "Gong Shows." Years ago, the Disney organization had something called the "Gong Show," which was patterned after the old TV game show and provided an opportunity for anyone in the company to pitch new film ideas.

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