Creativity by Ed Catmull is one of the best reads of the year for me. I adored this book. If you are creative in any way, or work with creative people, this should be required reading. I think Ed Catmull has a unique experience finding a way to manage creative people without stifling their creativity. That has to be one of the toughest jobs around! I'm glad he took the time to put pen to paper on this one. We need more managers (of work, and of life) reading this book and thinking about their own management style/work ethic with this scaffolding. Heck, I'm thinking about it in the way I manage my own family.
I think Creativity, Inc. is a little like The Artists Way, by Julia Cameron. There is a lot to chew on when it comes to fostering creative forces. Catmull's perspective on creating an atmosphere of candor and enrichment, not fearing the inevitability of failure, and knowing when a change in leadership is needed, all still have me pondering. It's a refreshing take on meshing management and creativity so that it is not only successful, but enjoyable too.
And then there's the chapter on Steve Jobs and how, at least in Catmull's opinion, there has not been enough written about the other sides of the Pixar executive. In all honesty, I love my Apple products and now I would jump at the chance to work at Pixar, so I know I come to this biased; but Catmull paints a touching portrait of Steve Jobs and does share a different side to him than that which has been prevalent in the mainstream media. It was nice to read; I even found myself tearing up.
This book resonated with me and I can't recommend it highly enough. It would be an excellent Christmas gift to anyone you know who has an affinity for Disney or Pixar, a creative streak, or is now or soon to become a creative professional. You can't go wrong.
Until next time, may all your days be filled with fairy dust!