Posted by: crudbasher | July 21, 2010

What Pixar Can Teach Schools

Update: The good folks at Edutopia have a video interview with the Dean of Pixar University. Check it out here!

This is a really good article about making good decisions.  Apparently the author is working on a book about how companies make good decisions.  Reading this story about Pixar, I was struck that you can take this model and apply it to schools.

Their model seems to be

  1. Give stakeholders control.
  2. Make sure there is feedback to measure progress and time to correct mistakes.
  3. Lots of professional development training to improve skills.

Eureka! 🙂  The article isn’t long so take a gander.

  • This can apply to schools very easily.

    tags: pixar leadership profound nell

    • We hope to describe a variety of organizations — from companies to schools to hospitals to foundations — that make consistently great decisions over time.
    • We think that organizations with good judgment have a number of typical attributes. One is that they involve a number of different people in making important decisions. Their senior executives keep in mind that they don’t have a monopoly on knowledge and judgment and therefore involve multiple people in decision processes.
    • How did Pixar make that and other good decisions? There seem to be several factors going on:
    • Its managers give its directors a lot of autonomy.
    • Even though directors have autonomy, they get feedback from others.
    • Pixar uses a process for “postmortems” on the major aspects of movies after they’re completed.
    • Pixar admits mistakes in other ways.
    • Pixar has an extensive education program at Pixar University, with more than 110 different courses.
    • employees are encouraged to make and admit mistakes. Randy Nelson, the director of Pixar University, says, in the book Mavericks at Work: “It’s the heart of our model…giving people opportunities to fail together and to recover from mistakes together.”

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.


  1. I love the Pixar as education model from the time when Monsters Inc. came out on DVD. Check out the bonus features if you have it. There is a tour of Pixar and some great interviews about philosophy and how they do what they do. I keep thinking, if you could design a school this way, it would be top notch!

    • Oh I had no idea that was on the Monsters Inc dvd. I’ll definitely check it out!

      One thing I noticed about Pixar is that they don’t rush their products. In school however it’s all about time and the deadline. Seems like that is the biggest problem we have.

      Thanks for commenting!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: