Friday, July 25, 2008

Success..Success..Success... what next?

If you are Pixar --- you freak out and decide to shake things up. That will turn out to be the best darn thing you could have possibly done.

I just read a McKinsey Quarterly article on innovation (thanks boss :)). It was an interview with Pixar's director Brad Bird. In this Brad talks about how Steve Jobs, Ed Catmull and John Lasseter came to him because they were afraid. They were coming of 3 huge movie wins in Toy Story, A Bug's Life and Toy Story 2. They were clearly the best animation movie studio in the world and 3 continuous wins to prove it. So what was their reaction?

They were afraid of complacency and sought Brad Bird. Brad's latest venture "The Iron Giant" had received critical reviews but was a financial flop. An unorthodox move at the very least :-) so what do you think happened.

Incredibles - Oscar
Ratatouille - Oscar

Some great quotes in this article but the gist of it seems to be locating, encouraging and harnessing the power of the "black sheep" within your company. Brad defines black sheeps as restless contributors with unconventional ideas.

Who are your black sheeps?