How to empower employees: Pixar’s notes day

how to empower employees

As a leader I'm sure you've wondered how to empower employees.

That is an incredible question to explore because as a leader ...

You can't do it all

My favorite part of producing this podcast is to talk to and learn from anyone and anything that can deepen my understanding of leadership.

In my school leader masterminds we are reading the text, Creativity, Inc. One of the best ideas comes at the very end of the book … it’s called Notes Day and is a great way to investigate how to empower employees.

In today's show I explore the last two chapters of Creativity, Inc. The content will focus on how mergers are like a new job as a school leader and "Notes Day." If you don't subscribe yet, please click the icon below ...

how to empower employees through sincere praise

Notes Day was created because Pixar was facing two problems:

  • ​the costs of producing movies were increasing at an unsustainable pace.
  • the company had grown very large losing its intimacy and candor that had made it great.

The solution ... Notes Day!!!

CEO Ed Catmull thought to himself, "Why not bring these problems to our people and let them solve it?"

To understand how Notes Day runs you'll have to listen to the show linked above.

This idea is filled with tips managers can use to empower staff.

Notes Day works because it was led by Pixar staff, solutions were created by the staff, and solutions were implemented by the staff. Notes Day is a win-win for all involved in any organization.​

Did you enjoy today's show on how to empower employees?

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You can also pick up the text, Creativity, Inc., here. It tells the story of Pixar's rise to fame and is absolutely filled with leadership principles. We read it with the mastermind in July 2016.​

You can't do it all as a leader. You MUST empower employees @alienearbud #education #leadership

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Show Highlights

  • Lessons learned from a Disney-Pixar merger
  • What does your office say about you?
  • Get great results (with the same staff)
  • How to run notes day
  • The key question that drove the solutions of Notes Day
how to empower employees through problem solving


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Daniel Bauer

I help school leaders create a winning culture, focus on the essential, and lead with courage and integrity.

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