How Bucky the Bean Counter Created a World-Class Culture at Nike

From a very young age, Phil Knight, the co-founder of Nike, went by the nickname “Buck.” His father had always referred to him as such, and the name stuck. Even when he ran track for the University of Oregon his track coach, the legendary Bill Bowerman (and Nike’s other co-founder), called him Buck. As Nike[…]

Innovation, Risk & Failure at Pixar

In a recent interview, Ed Catmull, the cofounder of Pixar, shares his views on risk, failure and culture. The entire interview is worthwhile, but I found Ed’s perspective on these three issues to be especially insightful and applicable to all industries. Taking Risks The nature of innovation requires risk taking. This creates a fundamental tension[…]

Einstein & Creativity

In 2015 we celebrated the one-hundred-year anniversary of the publication of Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity. What Einstein was able to achieve was so astounding and so creative, it is worth reflecting on how he did it. Thought Experiments. Einstein’s intellectual journey toward the General Theory of Relativity did not begin with complex equations and high[…]

Busting Through Leadership Myths

MythBusters, the TV show starring Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage, focuses on confirming or “busting” popular beliefs, Internet rumors, or other myths. Given the shows popularity, Hyneman and Savage created a live performance and are on tour. Energy was high during the sold-out afternoon show this past weekend in Seattle: kids were out of their[…]

Leaders Who Inspire Innovative Ideas

It’s easy to think of innovation only in terms of the big developments or breakthrough concepts – the iPod, Frappuccino blended coffee, hybrid cars. We don’t think as much about the teams of people behind those ideas. More importantly, we forget that those teams are led by leaders who embrace and create environments where innovation[…]