Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Happy New Year!

Traditionally, each New Year is a time to reflect on the “old” and ring in the “new.”  But like Disney and Pixar, we believe that celebrations and “play” should happen throughout the entire year. 
Of course it’s great to celebrate team member milestones – a birthday, an anniversary, a graduation.  We are all for showcasing the talents and accomplishments of an entire team at special times. 
But, on a daily basis, “play” is an essential ingredient that makes work fun and rewarding.  According to Dr. Stuart Brown, founder of the National Institute for Play, “There is good evidence that if you allow employees to engage in something they want to do, [which] is playful, there are better outcomes in terms of productivity and motivation…”   Can you believe that we need a national organization to protect and promote our right to play?!
 No company we know has the value of “play” more entwined in the fabric of their culture than Pixar.  The world-famous creators of the ground-breaking animated feature film, Toy Story, live in the land of scooters.  The story goes that one day John Lasseter brought his son’s scooter into work and began riding it around.  Soon other employees showed up with scooters, and before long, there was a small fleet of them.  Pixar director Pete Docter remarked, “We got into these scooter races – there was a track mapped out, kind of a loop, and we’d time people and write the times on the wall.  We all got into a very fierce competition over who could get the best time.”  In Bill's keynote presentations on the subject of Pixar’s fun-infused innovative culture, he rides in on a scooter and awards it to a participant with the condition that they ride it in their workplace and let everyone know that they are "unleashing their childlike potential!"
Whenever a new Pixar feature film is released, they stage a release celebration – a black-tie luncheon event where the employees don their finest to commemorate the film’s completion and celebrate another dream come true.  Your celebrations don’t have to be on par with the grand Pixar style of ceremonial hoopla.  Just giving people a reason to get out of their offices to celebrate and connect with others in a unique and special way can do wonders for their morale.
Start the New Year off right, and unleash your playful spirit…celebrate all that you value and all that makes life worth living!

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