Article over at Jump Associates website gives an insight to some of the concepts that took Pixar to the lead in innovative and blockbusting animated films. The interview with Oren Jacob revealed 5 principles that they live by to maintain success.



1. When it sucks say so.

This is often the hardest decision to make, whether something is excellent in the light of a looming deadline. Very often it feels easier to be satisfied with an adequate product or service rather than push on for excellence due to budget and time constraints. The question is at what cost to the end goal of brand building and ultimate success.


2. Defend your opinion and press play quickly

This is part of the review process, I like the idea of allowing the individual to accept or defend the feedback. I agree with autonomy that it allows. Of course if you have an opinion it is best defended with some examples and proof that your idea is better. This concept works well in a fair and unbiased work environment that allows open discussion without punishment for maybe being wrong.


3. Look upstream for the source of the problem

This is good point to make that not all problems exist at the point you observe, but maybe the result of something somewhere else in the system or process. It is always worth a deeper investigation if the problem solution is not immediately clear. Methods like the “5 Whys” that I have discussed before can help in this. Also open communications among team members can help keep these problem tansparent.


4. Match the medium to the message

This is always critical to the right step in the process of innovation. As Bill Buxton and others have explained the power of sketching early on and prototyping loosely can open up the right conversations, versus seeing “polished” artwork that instead of encouraging debate pushes people to aim their thoughts to criticism and negative feedback only. Seeing the work as the end result. These sketches and prototypes themselves also need thew right medium to encourage the right questions.


5. Hire for excellence.

Hiring the right people and putting them in the right roles is exactly what Jim Collins talks about in his book “Good to Great”. Get the right people on the bus and all other things will begin to fall into place. Equally important is to get the wrong people off the bus. The right people are self motivated and need less guidance and motivation to perform excellently.