Category Archives: Creativity

Inside Pixar’s Leadership

Haven’t watched this yet but very much looking forward to it after reading some excerpts over at Scott Berkun’s blog.

There were plenty of high profile people at the Economist event in March, but hands down the best session was a simple interview with Ed Catmull, the president of Pixar.

Martin Giles from the Economist did the interview, and did an excellent job letting Catmull cover some excellent territory…

Interesting, related to the talk I gave on The Myths of Innovation at the same event, how little he used the word innovation (I don’t think he says it once).

David Allen releases The Ultimate GTD Workflow Map, designed by XPLANE

The David Allen Company: “If you ever feel like you need to get more in control or regain your focus, here is the ultimate guide for getting and staying on your game. The set of productivity best practices which David Allen has researched and synthesized over the last three decades are brought all together into one stunning visual display — the GTD Workflow Map. It’s a rich compilation of the key steps for gathering, clarifying, organizing, and reviewing everything you need to track and manage, as well as an explanation of all of the factors that you must take into account in determining priorities.”

“I spent more than two years crafting and fine-tuning the map, ensuring that it would thoroughly and accurately describe the essential elements of time- and self-management,” says David, “It’s as simple as I could get it, while still embodying the subtleties and complexities that have to be factored in, to make it real and useful. And the visual representation we’ve come up with I think is a highly effective way to make something this meaningful really clear.”

The poster was created by XPLANE, the visual thinking company. Visit www.xplane.com to learn more about how XPLANE clarifies complex business issues through visual collaboration.

An Easy Way to Increase Creativity

Interesting. For me, sometimes a familiar place is conducive to creativity (my office, library, favorite coffee shop or wine bar) — but I also like to go to unfamiliar, unrelated places to think on creative problems.

Creativity is commonly thought of as a personality trait that resides within the individual. We count on creative people to produce the songs, movies, and books we love; to invent the new gadgets that can change our lives; and to discover the new scientific theories and philosophies that can change the way we view the world. Over the past several years, however, social psychologists have discovered that creativity is not only a characteristic of the individual, but may also change depending on the situation and context. The question, of course, is what those situations are: what makes us more creative at times and less creative at others?

Dave Gray » Projects

Dave is the founder and president of XPLANE:

I\'m a project guy. As an artist, entrepreneur, educator and amateur philosopher, I always have a number of projects going, both personal and professional. Sometimes they go somewhere, sometimes I get bored and abandon them. One of the beauties of the internet is that even abandoned projects continue to exist and can be picked up or reenergized at any moment. Here\'s the definitive list of projects that I am working on or have worked on in the past (A work in progress). The list is alphabetical because I don\'t work on these projects in any kind of linear way. They are like a busy kitchen: there is always something simmering, something boiling, something set aside to cool for awhile, something in the deep freeze, and something being served. In fact I am still working on this list. If you see something with no explanation it\'s because I haven\'t finished writing the description yet :)

Conversations With Thought Leaders: Jim Coudal Reinvents the Business Model

“Coudal Partners started as a traditional ad agency. Then Jim and Co. morphed it into something else: a multidisciplinary design consultancy that does everything from running an ad network to creating consumer products to cultivating a vibrant community of creative types. We caught up with innovator at the Seed Conference, a design and entrepreneurship pow-wow he helped found. Here he discusses Coudal’s business model and popular blog.”

Saving the Spark: Developing Creative Ideas

“Ideas. They\'re at the heart of every creative process. However, almost no really good ideas are flashes of inspiration. They may start that way—a single glimmer of something special—but in order to work, they need to be honed. Like a really good cheese, they need to mature. Indeed, the ‘flash of inspiration’ idea—the Eureka moment—is only part of a longer process that, if ignored, will see most ideas simply fizzle out.

So, how do you ‘have’ ideas? Sit about and wait for them to pop into your head? If only most of us had the luxury to do so. No, for most of us, ideas have to be squeezed out of us every day. To stand up to this challenge, you need to arm yourself with some good tools.”