Monday, February 15, 2010

Ed Catmull, Pixar: Keep Your Crises Small

Ironing out the little problems can make it so companies can avoid big disasters.

Notable quotes and points:
- "The trick is to stop that behavior (of not showing something until it is absolutely right)"
- "We confused the organizational structure with the communication structure"
- "Managers: you don't need to be the first person to learn something.  Don't get upset.  Get over it."
- "Because the were working on things they loved, they put up with stuff they didn't like."
- "Success hides problems."
- "This isn't good for our souls to do that (mix quality projects)."
- "If you have a good idea and give it to a mediocre group, they'll screw it up.  If you give a mediocre idea to a good group, they'll fix it, or they'll throw it away and come up with something else."
- "The goal of development [department leadership] is not to find good ideas, it's to put together teams of people that function well together.  And that change altered the way we thought about making movies."
- Nice retrospective (five questions) and empirical process!
- "Human organizations are inherently unstable.  They will fall over and you have to work to keep them upright.  But they fall slowly.  Most people don't notice it.  They let their success blind them.    You have to do constant assessments.   You have to look for the hard truths."


Albob said...

Good talk, very instructive.

You just mistyped: "We confused the organizational structure with the communication structure"

Clinton Keith said...

Thanks. Fixed.