Quite a few months ago, I started reading “Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration” by Ed Catmull. It is an inside look into Pixar and Disney animation by the man who served as president and received five Academy Awards for his work.
I don’t know why….but I set it down after a couple of chapters.
That was a mistake. A big mistake. When I picked it back up recently I discovered (re-discovered) a gem of a book. I have lost count of the amazing insights delivered by Mr. Catmull, and I am not even halfway complete. I recommend that you grab a copy if you have any leadership responsibilities.
Example: On page 139, he talks about the importance of productive conflict in an organization. He says conflict is essential to every successful organization.
You need storms, it is like an ecology. To view lack of conflict as an optimum is like saying a sunny day is optimum. A sunny day is when the sun wins out over the rain. There’s no conflict. You have a clear winner. But if every day is sunny and it doesn’t rain, then nothing grows. And if it is sunny all the time – if in fact we don’t even have night – all kinds of things happen and the planet dries up. the key is to view conflict as essential, because that is how we know the best ideas will be tested and survive. You know it can’t only be sunlight.
Wow. So powerful and so true.
Can you embrace conflict as essential…or do you avoid it?
Thanks for listening.