It’s no secret that the Pixar company has a long history of successes. Today’s businesses, both big and small, can learn a thing or two from looking at the ways Pixar has succeeded and even failed. The hard-earned experience of Pixar can be turned into lessons and techniques for enterprises to learn from and adapt to suit their purpose. Below are five adoptable lessons from Pixar.
1. Make sure you’re hiring the right people
If you have a mediocre team, they won’t be able to turn a basic idea into something great. However, if you have a great team working for you, they’ll be able to take the very beginning of an idea and turn it into something amazing. One rule of thumb from Pixar is to hire people who are smarter or more talented than you are. When everyone’s working for the same company and toward the same goals, you’re not hiring a threat, you’re hiring talent that can take the company to the next level. Everybody has unique experiences that they can teach everyone else.
2. Be open to all types of inspiration, from all different places
Everyone at your company should feel free to suggest ideas, whether it’s about how to make administrative activities more streamlined to your app’s enterprise gamification updates. When people aren’t comfortable enough to give you their ideas, you end up missing out on a lot of inspiration that you won’t get from anywhere else. Sometimes the most unexpected sources have the best suggestions; be open to them all. If people are having a hard time being candid, try to figure out why and then fix the problem.
3. Don’t run away from problems
When you carefully craft messaging to downplay issues, you end up looking like a liar or someone who doesn’t care about the company or other people. As a leader, share problems with your team, face them head on, be honest about them and try to come up with good solutions. Talk to your employees about the issues the company is facing. You never know who’s going to have a great idea. The people who deal with the ins and outs of the business often have ways to fix problem areas.
4. Show trust in employees
Tell your employees that you trust them, especially when it comes to moving forward with new ideas. Clarify that by trusting them, you don’t expect them to always succeed. Instead, tell them that you trust them to use their best judgement and do their best. Explain that sometimes failure is inevitable, but that sometimes failing leads to even better, smarter risks in the future. Your employees should know that they have the reigns when it comes to certain projects, but they shouldn’t be afraid of what’s going to happen if they fail.
5. Share the process with the rest of your team, not just the final result
Things can take a long time to come to fruition. Share each step of the way with your employees. It’s important for people to see how ideas go from thoughts to implementation. It’s also good for your employees to see how management handles setbacks. If something isn’t going as planned, you can shift your tactics mid-process to get it onto a better track.
Most of all, Pixar loves taking chances.
Never be afraid to take a risk. If you fail, you’ve at least learned a few lessons that you can apply to your next venture. If you succeed, than the risk was more than worth it.