Pixar founder Ed Catmull addresses the question: “Why do ‘successful’ companies fail?”
What’s more important? Great people or great ideas?
Ed goes through some important things that have made Pixar awesome, like:
- Undergo constant review - review it all every day - push through the embarrassment; make it so that 'when you’re done, you’re done’
- Keep it safe to tell the truth
- Communication and org structures shouldn’t necessarily match - everyone should be able to talk to anyone about anything; managers shouldn’t be precious about always being kept in the loop.
- Don’t let success mask problems
- Restructure the postmortem / retrospective - keep it fresh; allow it to be sufficiently in depth.
He also addresses the strange feature re company themes / mottos - they tend to be truisms - everyone knows they’re true; all competitors have pretty much the same one.
Sometimes having the pithy statement means we can say it and not change behaviour
There are, Ed surmises, two types of 'crisis’:
- you don’t like what you see & have to make changes. People will have to change. It’s hard.
- you finish and it’s rubbish (game over)
The first sort is a LOT better - it’s self-imposed. It’s harder. But it might actually work.
Bucketloads of ideas here for how I manage teams, methinks.