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Lessons Learned

Pixar's Ed Catmull On Why Creatives Need To Be Protected

In a wide-ranging conversation with Fast Company, Catmull—the president of Pixar, who has led the animation powerhouse to 14 No. 1 hits—shares his management secrets.

[Illustration by Danilo Agutoli]

I think most people are creative.

The reason I don't write about how to make people creative in my book is that there are lots of books and lots of people saying things like "free people up" or "get rid of mental blocks." But I don't think that's the central problem.

I think the central problem is the stuff companies put in place that block the natural abilities that are already there. Accidentally, and without intending to, companies smother creativity.

Our job as managers, whether it's here at Pixar or elsewhere, is to manage an environment that lets the right things happen.

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