Current Entrepreneurship Articles of Interest
Important Notes on Creativity from Pixar Founder and Disney Legend, Ed Catmull
Pablo Picasso, an influential artist of the 20th century, once said "All children are born artists, the problem is to remain an artist as we grow up." It is our instrinsic nature to be creative, however, with years of social conditioning and the need to meet societal norms, we do tend to lose touch with our child-like creative capacity. The term
is not some far off concept that you choose to dabble in from time to time. Rather, when we are more mindful of the creativity embedded in our nature, we see how even the most distant of associations can create something original and innovative. When we are more mindful, we also see that there is not a place where creativity stops and then ends, for it is a constant and always spiraling endeavor.
Disney legend and founder of Pixar, Ed Catmull, has been the pioneer in creative works that have impacted the lives of many generations. How has he been so successful? That may be the question you are asking yourself. With an emphasis on creativity and keeping in mind a few of the lessons presented below, you will be sure to set your company up for success:
The story must come first
When it comes to critiquing creative works, all egos, organizational power-dynamics, titles, budget, and technology must be left at the door. Feedback is more likely to be effective when one individual's critique is valued just as much as the critique by the next person. At Pixar, they have created a safe space zone for the feedback on its movies. This sense of equality of opinions is valued greatly and has contributed to their long-term success.
The creative product is not a reflection of you
Throughout your undergraduate career you may have been taught by your professors that it is important to not fall in love with your idea(s). Your idea may be great, but it is important to stay objective and to be flexible enough to cope with unpredictability. This is where, as entrepreneurs, working on creative teams will be useful.
Creating brilliant ideas takes time
As a society, we are extremely time sensitive; everything we do is ruled by the clock that continues to tick. Time management and prioritization are two life skills that continue to reign even when putting forth creative work.
The best players only want to work with the best teams
One goal of most creative organizations, like Pixar, is to have all tiers of the organization working to deliver outstanding work consistently. Does the organization offer the necessary resources and mentoring that will allow employees to exceed organization and industry expectations?
Creativity requires vulnerability
The seeds of success are sowed in failure, meaning the injection of the ego into projects will not yield the results desired. Emitting a sense of vulnerability, on the other hand, will go a long way. When an individual emits vulnerability willingly, they are conciliate with the project at hand. In turn, the end product showcases the heart and the emotion that was put into it.
You ARE a creative person
Creativity is intrinsic to human nature, and to tell yourself "I am not a creative person" is a flat-out lie. Once you realize this, your passions will align with given mediums and you will be on the road to unleashing your creative potential.
Carmody, Bill. "Important Lessons in Creativity From Ed Catmull, Pixar Founder and Disney Legend." Inc.com. April. 2015.
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Guidelines to Structuring a Business With Your
Closest Relatives or Friends
You are probably familiar with the saying, "build your network before you need it". Networks are usually first composed of close relatives. As such, the idea of starting a business with a close relative may be a venture you choose to embark on. According to data from the Harvard Business School, more than half of all companies in the United States are family businesses. Developing a tightly-knit business structure is beneficial to avoid any potential loopholes in the ordinary course of business. Here are some pointers:
Put things in writing
Avoid leaving any room for misinterpretation in your legal documents, and spend time putting everything from minor business practices to financial obligations and responsibilities in writing.
Get a formal business structure
Do your research and be as detailed as possible when building your business structure. Also in document form, explicitly include all do's, don'ts and consequences to promote accountability and transparency.
Don't mix personal and business finances
Ethics is an important investment, whether you are entering into business alone, with a partner, and especially with close relatives where the possibility of gray areas and questionable actions can emerge. Keeping personal and business finances separate will ensure ethical behavior and success.
Don't create two classes of employees
The golden rule: treat everyone equally. Favoritism should be left at the door if you want your business venture to be profitable!
Separate family and business time
This task may not be easy, especially once the family unit becomes immersed in the business, but it is crucial. Tough business decisions can cause rockiness in relationships, but one of the great parts of starting a business with relatives is that, more than anyone else, they know your strengths and weaknesses. When a day at the office is stressful and family time is needed, having a plan of action will lead to a happier and more effective work environment.
Akalp, Nellie. "Keepin' it in the Family: How to Structure a Business With Your Closest Relatives." Entrepreneur.com. April. 2015.
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