You are not your idea, and if you identify too closely with your ideas, you will take offense when they are challenged.
– Ed Catmull

In Creativity, Inc., a NY Times bestseller by Ed Catmull, we get a glimpse into Pixar’s widely known Braintrust, a group of their creative storytellers ranging from directors to writers who regularly review films from rough storyboards to the final product. Braintrust is crucial to how Pixar does what it does so well. It is basically a feedback mechanism where the directors are given notes about the film. But at the same time, he or she does not have to follow any specific suggestions. In fact, it’s up to the director to figure out how to address the feedback.

Ed Catmull mentions that the success behind Braintrust is the candor, which brings out issues to the surface by analyzing and challenging the ideas in a constructive way. This works because of the absence of hierarchy in the group and everyone is working towards the common goal – identify true causes of the problem and improve the idea. In Ed Catmull’s own words –

To set up a healthy feedback system, you must remove power dynamics from the equation—you must enable yourself, in other words, to focus on the problem, not the person.

What is your opinion on review system? Do let us know in the comments section below.

Amazon link to the book below.

Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration