If the number of sticky notes in your current professional read add noticeable weight to the book, you know you've found some good advice. Ed Catmull packs plenty of it in his bestseller, Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the unseen forces that stand in the way of true inspiration. Though we are far from the entertainment business, many of us at Jovian Concepts find Catmull's advice insightful, specifically his emphasis on company culture and his regular practice of self-reflection.
With co-writer Amy Wallace, Catmull weaves lessons he's learned into the story of how Pixar Animation came to be. For fans of the Toy Story movies or anything related to Silicon Valley, Creativity, Inc., reads like a who's-who with players from George Lucas to Steve Jobs.
At its heart, though, this is the story of the scientific method. Trained as a scientist, Catmull approaches challenges with much observation and careful experimentation. As the leader of a successful company, Catmull practices that same process. Having seen many Silicon Valley companies fall to their own success, Catmull focuses his leadership on fostering a culture of creativity. Many of the unseen forces referenced in the book title are subtle things that normally go unnoticed. The trick to overcoming them, he points out, is paying attention to what is right in front of you.