Uniqueness is a force which refers to the ability of a change agent to see everything afresh- with a new pair of eyes, if you will. With this force, they could view a container as if they have never experienced it before.
While it may be natural for a change agent to have a fresh perspective if s/he is completely new to an organization or industry, such a state of affairs is rare in the real world. For in the real world, you enter an industry, get acquainted with how the industry functions, develop expertise in the field and apply that expertise for the betterment of organizations. In the process you also accumulate prejudices, and opinions formed by your subjective experiences that may not necessarily be the ideal ground to take value judgment on the industry as a whole.
It is with such baggage that the change agents enter a container. Given this backdrop, despite their best intentions, they may find it hard to shed the unnecessary prejudices, and develop the necessary detachment to view the container with freshness. This means that for uniqueness to fully manifest in a change agent, they should reinvent themselves so that they are fundamentally a different person with a unique viewpoint. And that makes this force extraordinary to experience.
Just as symbols could be interpreted in fresh ways, a container be seen with fresh eyes.
Perhaps it is fitting that Uniqueness which calls for a fresher view of things- an inherently creative quality, has an excellent example in the creative industry.
Pixar Animation Studios started as the computer graphics wing of Lucasfilm- the movie enterprise of filmmaker, George Lucas in 1979. It later became an independent corporation in 1986. This latter happened at a crucial juncture when the entity was being sought to be sold because Lucas didn’t feel it worth holding on to. In came Steve Jobs with a $5 million dollar offer and the company was kept alive.
In the years ahead, starting with ‘Toy Story’ in 1995, Pixar would go on to create some of the best loved animated films to come from America. Up till Pixar, Disney was just about the only company making animated movies in Hollywood. But even Disney was not completely focused on animation- they also produced live action movies, unlike Pixar.
So, does that make Pixar unique? Yes, somewhat. But not in the sense we are talking about.
Right from the early stages, Pixar adopted a policy to give the creators as much time as they needed to make a movie. Only when a movie was deemed to be absolutely ready to be rolled out would it see the light of day. This ensured superior technical quality in all their films.
Does that make Pixar unique? Again, the answer is ‘somewhat, but not how we are talking about.’
Another quiet revolution Pixar unleashed on the entertainment world was the RenderMan- a computer rendering software they created in 1987. RenderMan is today the go-to software for the relevant applications in film industries across the world.
Well, does that make Pixar unique? Not so much. After all, it’s not unheard of for big corporations to make proprietary software which their peers too end up using.
No, the uniqueness in Pixar is something else. It’s contained within the narratives of their films.
Uniqueness helps put the container on a growth trajectory
As mentioned before, prior to Pixar the major animation film company was Disney. And all of Disney’s films- be it ‘The Jungle Book’ or “The Lady and The Tramp” or “The Beauty and The Beast”- were aimed at kids or young adults.
Pixar too aimed their films at children. But with one significant caveat.
The key question which the change agent at Pixar asked was this: No kid comes to the theatre on his own, they come accompanied by parents or other adults. So why not make our films interesting for both kids and adults?
A seemingly simple question that made a whole lot of business sense. It was the result of someone seeing a given container with a fresh pair of eyes.
An ageing character unable to compete in a world overridden by the young generation(Cars 3), a fame-hungry man murdering his best friend to become the biggest entertainer in his country(Coco), post-apocalyptic loneliness(WALL-E), your lover miscarrying and dying before you(Up)- these are some of the decisively un-kid like themes and plot points scattered throughout Pixar films.
By including such matured themes in kids’ films, Pixar made movies like no one else did. Not even Japan’s Studio Ghibli- arguably the best animated studio till date- has achieved this particular feat. And ensuring that kids as well as adults remained happy with their films naturally translated to more number of tickets. (It’s not unusual to see adults without kids at Pixar film screenings.)
There seems to be no consensus as to who exactly was the change agent that instigated this change in animated film narrative. There appears to be no conclusive reports on the same in the public domain- and whatever reports this writer could unearth seem ambiguous about the matter.
But whoever it was, there was Uniqueness at play. And like in their later movie ‘Up’, s/he might as well have said “The wilderness must be explored!”
It’s quite inspirational to learn more about how Pixar grew from the verge of bankruptcy to what it is today. You can do that by watching the video below:
For change agents and leaders, not to benefit from meaningful events and gatherings is a missed opportunity! We invite you to indulge in some of the most transformational events from Temenos; designed with hard-earned understanding, organized just for you.
Temenos Vision Lab- Toronto, Canada( June 8, 2018)
This proprietary lab helps you focus all your energy on building your inner Vision, aiding organizational transformation.
TrustTemenos Adventure Gathering 2018- Frankfurt, Germany( Sep 28, 2018)
We invite you to this special gathering, which brings together a group of wonderful people who fill workplaces with joy and energy. By connecting with each other, you embark on a journey that leads to better clarity about the changes you seek, gain collaboration opportunities and leave with a concrete action plan.
Temenos Vision Lab- Amsterdam, Netherlands( Nov 2, 2018)
Another venue to take an exquisite inner journey, to find your true Vision.
Temenos Effect Gathering 2018- Bengaluru, India(Nov 22 to Nov 25, 2018)
An event dedicated to the idea of personal mastery, for nurturing your beautiful self, for change agents and leaders to become their true selves.
For more details, visit our website - https://www.visiontemenos.com/events