A few years ago I was reading an article about the lengths Steve Jobs went to make sure people connected at Pixar Studios. I found an explanation referring to this. “[Jobs] insisted there be only two bathrooms in the entire Pixar studios, and that these would be in the central space. And of course this is very inconvenient. No one wants to have to walk 15 minutes to go to the bathroom. And yet Steve insisted that this is the one place everyone has to go every day.”
Why go to these lengths, you may ask?
Fusion & Creativity
Walter Isaacson, author of the Steve Jobs biography, explained this in a LinkedIn post:
“Creativity is a collaborative process. As brilliant as the many inventors of the Internet and computer were, they achieved most of their advances through teamwork. Like Robert Noyce, the founder of Intel, some of the best tended to resemble Congregational ministers rather than lonely prophets, madrigal singers rather than soloists.”
Thinking about this I was reminded of a conversation I had with a creative director at Ogilvy. There was one campaign created by a group of staff who joined together regularly to share a smoke outside of the building. These staff were from many departments and collided in the smoking area where they talked about work and drummed up creative ideas. This campaign was the best of 360 degree thinking, involving experts from many marketing and communications disciplines.
Why am I writing about this in today’s Monday Morning Mojo?
Because Lisa and I had the wonderful opportunity to spend time at the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Spain last week. For those who are unfamiliar with this, the Sagrada Familia is a large unfinished building in the Eixample district of Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain, and is currently the largest unfinished Roman Catholic church. It is designed by the Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi (1852–1926), and his work on Sagrada Família is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
What was amazing about this church is that Gaudi had a vision for the church more than 100 years ago, but he knew he would never finish it and created moulds and drawings for his successors. These moulds and drawings were just directional, and he left it to the architects who followed him to interpret them in whatever way they chose. This church is a continuous construction site (140 years now), I saw it years ago when I visited Barcelona, and it amazes me how much brilliant collaboration can produce such a work of art. Lisa asked an important question: “do you think such extensive works of art will ever take place in the future?” What do you think?
Here is picture Lisa at the Sagrada Familia and a picture of the church.
Family – A Bit of A Travelogue
Sagrada Familia translates into “Holy Family” and visiting our extended family has been a theme of Lisa and my travels this past week. In almost every city we have dined with friends we have met over the years.
In Barcelona, we dined with our South African friend Simon Whittard and his partner, who we met through Mike Allen, a friend from Beijing. In Madrid, we met my former colleague, Chelsey Rodowicz and her boyfriend for a wonderful dinner. I am writing from Lisbon, Portugal where our kids will join us. We dined with Sage Brennan and Renee Hartmann on Friday, who have moved here from the US, and we are on our way to a friend’s wedding in Guimaraes, Portugal where we will see many more friends. Here are some pictures of us from our travels.
Finally, I saw this clip in my social media feed that resonated with the theme of today’s post. Here are a bunch of friends of a young man with Cerebal Palsy. They created a surfboard that could give this young man the experience of surfing. This is the very best of simple design thinking.
Feeling grateful, relaxed and inspired. I hope the same is true for you.