Essay about How Pixar Fosters Collective Creativity

963 Words Aug 17th, 2015 4 Pages
● Pixar relies heavily on intrinsic motivation to motivate and inspire its employees, which is particularly important given the poor measurability of success before the film is released. It achieves high levels of intrinsic motivation through:
○ Meaningfulness – Skill variety is increased through Pixar University. By allowing staff to participate in the production discussions, it leads to task identity of their contribution to the whole project.
○ Responsibility – Autonomy is high: Incubation teams are responsible for operational decisions, while the “brain trust” only gives suggestions. Decentralization achieves increased individual autonomy, responsiveness to changing situations, and variety of ideas.
○ Knowledge of Results – Pixar
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● Given the difficulty in measuring success (theatrical success is hard to predict until the film is released), Pixar should celebrate reaching milestones to maintain morale.
(2) (a) We disagree with Catmull’s conclusion in the above quote. We believe it is an overgeneralization and exemplifies the Fundamental Attribution Error.
While team dynamics and cohesion play a great role in the success of any team, we believe that external factors (situation, system) can profoundly affect behavior and performance. The importance of creating an environment that supports great people and encourages them to support one another so the whole is far greater than the sum of the parts is undermined by this statement. Even a great team can’t be guaranteed to fix a mediocre idea or come up with good ones every time. The system/environment have a big role in the success of a team.
(b) While we don’t agree that Catmull’s statement applies to all systems, we agree with his thought process. In hindsight, he observed that both teams were operating in the same external

environment and one team was able to thrive better than the other in the same environment. During the production of Toy Story 2, he noticed that the new team was not performing well, failing to meet deadlines, and not improving. The directors and producers were not pulling together to rise to the challenge. Even though the individuals in the team were stars, the team was not working together in an