Excellence and Grace

Loved the article about Pixar (and their upcoming movie Brave) in last week’s Time magazine. Pixar has had an unprecedented string of box office successes, making it seem like they’re infallible. But as the article points out, “Pixar has made as many mistakes as any other studio. It just spends more time and money fixing them.” In fact, Pixar calls their conference room “the war room” because they’re willing to do battle over how to make a movie better before it’s released.

The director of a Pixar film controls the movie, and doesn’t have to listen to the advice provided. But Pixar’s president can fire the director at any time, and does. He replaced the director halfway through production on Toy Story 2, Ratatouille, Cars 2, and now on Brave.

Creating a culture where the product is paramount and we do whatever is necessary to achieve excellence is so impressive to me. And what’s equally amazing is that the director who got fired halfway through Brave still works at Pixar. Now that is a cool culture – there’s got to be some grace happening there.

If only more churches could create cultures with a drive towards excellence and grace. That would be something.