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 for leaders who are simultaneously tasked with providing clear, stable leadership and managing a process that creates something new and of...

A Company that Builds People First and Machines Second


Bob Chapman is not your typical leader.  Take, for example, the mission of Barry-Wehmiller, the $1.5 billion company where Bob is Chairman and CEO: We build great people who do extraordinary things. You might be confused if someone told you that Barry-Wehmiller builds capital equipment and delivers consulting services, because what Bob will tell you is “building great people is our business.” Many companies espouse the importance of building and developing talent by investing in people, but few...

Build Trust and Be Transparent


The Fourth annual Ethics and Workplace Survey published by Deloitte found that over one third of Americans will be looking for a new job in the coming year. And of this disgruntled group, the key issues that are driving turnover are a lack of trust and lack of transparency.   These results reinforce the value of building trust with your employees through transparent and open communication.  What employees are looking for, especially in times of change and turmoil, is senior leadership that they...

The Enterprise of the Future: What Does it Mean for Training?


IBM interviewed over 1,000 CEOs and asked them what the enterprise of the future will look like.  What IBM discovered, and recently published in a study,  is that future organizations will be even more dependent on collaborative global teams to drive innovation.  In the opening letter, IBM’s CEO, Sam Palmisano says: “A focus on innovation works. That is also evident in this year’s study results. Those of you who are making the boldest plays — pursuing the most global, collaborative and...

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