The 5 Best Tips from Creativity Inc.


If you’re not already familiar with this book, you really need to be. Creativity Inc., or to give it its mouthful of a full title: Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration, is a book about business, creativity and success from the co-founder of Pixar Animation Studios, Ed Catmull. Creativity Inc. is a phenomenal manual for managers, creatives, pretty much anyone who strives for originality and imagination.

There are some seriously valuable insights here and we can’t understate the impact that this book has had on all of us at the office. So in the interest of sharing some of our fanaticism with you, here are some of our favourite tips from inside the pages!

“Excellence, quality, and good should be earned words, attributed by others to us, not proclaimed by us about ourselves.”

Yes, even ‘good!’ It’s important to have self-confidence and blowing your own horn every once in awhile does feel great, but you need to have the content to back it up. We’re lucky enough to have some really great showcase projects that do all the bragging for us! Start by aiming for ‘good’ and work your way up!

“Failure isn't a necessary evil. In fact, it isn't evil at all. It is a necessary consequence of doing something new.”

As much as The Beauty and the Beast’s Gaston would argue otherwise, nobody’s perfect. Okay, this tip certainly isn’t anything groundbreaking, but Catmull takes the commonly-held idea that failure=bad and emphasises its status as merely part of the process. Shoot for success of course, but look forward to your failures, they show that you’re challenging yourself, innovating and seeking the best opportunities for improvement.

“Engaging with exceptionally hard problems forces us to think differently.”

This one goes hand-in-hand with the previous tip, failure is a vital component of innovation. Henry Ford, developer of the first affordable automobile, is quoted as saying “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” An aversion to risk is a guaranteed path to stagnation, don’t let this happen to you!

“If there are people in your organisation who feel they are not free to suggest ideas, you lose. Do not discount ideas from unexpected sources. Inspiration can, and does, come from anywhere.”

With all this challenge and failure flying around, sometimes the best input comes from somewhere unexpected, that’s why we love this tip. It doesn’t matter how much experience you have or what your job title is, when inspiration strikes, don’t keep it to yourself! To reference the previous points: what have you got to lose?

“A company's communication structure should not mirror its organisational structure. Everybody should be able to talk to anybody.”

An extension of the last one, this. Everyone has an imagination and animation is imagination, don’t let a closed door to the manager’s office stand in the way of a great idea. At Fudge, we’re lucky enough to be able to work closely with everyone in the studio and no one is ever too busy for a quick word. We truly believe that this open studio environment improves our mood and subsequently our work.

Leadership in a creative environment is always tricky - Creativity Inc. really helped in the formation of our core values here at Fudge. There is no formula for success in a creative industry and when you’re shooting for originality, often the unconventional becomes the preferable. Even if you have absolutely zero plans to get into a creative career let alone in a managerial capacity, this is a fascinating read which is as inspirational as it is informative about one of the largest entertainment industries today.