Pixar Case Study

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Yves Lüthi

Reaction Paper on “How Pixar Fosters Collective Creativity”

Too many cooks ruin the soup. But this is not the case for Pixar. The more inputs, the better. Giving a huge leeway and support for employees is a form of empowerment and it drives them further to think more creatively. Pixar’s decentralized system encourages independence which cultivates creative thinking. It is a rewarding feeling knowing one has contributed a lot to a project. To be part of every stage creates a strong feeling of belonging. Since no one is excluded, no one feels the strong urge to grab credits and be noticed. Pixar’s “peer culture” works so well that even if subordinates are able to talk freely to their superiors, the respect still remains. This peer culture opens up the barrriers to communication and enables conflicts to be resolved easily. The whole “Peers giving feedback to each other” kind of thinking ensures that no feelings are hurt and no egos are crushed. Such conflicts create inefficiencies and being able to eliminate them in a project creates a highly smooth work process. Continuous improvement in the form of learning, non-business related activities and acceptance of new ideas from external environments ensures that the company retains its dynamism. Another impressive aspect of their system is that they were able to strike a perfect balance between creativity and discipline among their employees.The company is comprised of highly intellectual and creative people and usually it is very difficult to facilitate a harmonious working environment with such kind of people. Pixar’s system is very effective is because they are able to fulfill the psychological demands of their employees.

The possible downside however is that their kind of culture is very specific to their company. What works for them may not be applicable to other companies, even companies of the same nature. The executives who ensure the facilitation of such culture are huge factors why the...
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