You want to create an environment where it’s safe and you can change...

Dr. Ed Catmull
You want to create an environment where it’s safe and you can change...

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This week’s Leadership Quote comes highly recommended by our very own @Andrew Singleton (he series), Programme Manager at @Tufts University, who shared his admiration for Dr Ed Catmull’s visionary approach to leadership and innovation. 

Dr. Ed Catmull: “You want to create an environment where it’s safe and you can change. I don’t know what the future is, but I do know that you have a lot of smart people here, and you want to keep them free to let them create something that’s unpredictable.”

Visionary Leadership in Animation and Beyond

Dr. Ed Catmull was born on March 31, 1945, in Parkersburg, West Virginia. With a Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Utah, Catmull’s early work laid the groundwork for the future of digital animation. As a co-founder of Pixar Animation Studios, alongside Steve Jobs and John Lasseter, Catmull revolutionised the film industry with groundbreaking technologies and storytelling methods. Under his leadership, Pixar produced some of the most beloved animated films of all time, including Toy Story, Finding Nemo, and The Incredibles.

A Culture of Creativity and Innovation

Throughout his career, Catmull has been a staunch advocate for creating workplaces where creativity can thrive. As President of Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios, he implemented practices that encouraged collaboration and risk-taking. His leadership philosophy, as detailed in his book Creativity, Inc., emphasises the importance of an open and safe environment for fostering innovation. This approach has not only led to the creation of exceptional films but has also inspired leaders across different industries to rethink how they nurture talent and ideas.

Reflecting on Leadership

Dr. Catmull’s quote highlights the value of an adaptable and supportive work environment. For leaders, this means prioritising safety, openness, and freedom for their teams. By doing so, they enable their people to explore new ideas and create groundbreaking solutions.

Catmull’s legacy teaches us that the path to extraordinary achievements is paved with trust, collaboration, and the courage to embrace the unknown.

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