From Ed Catmull in Fast Company: A hall­mark of a healthy creative culture is that its people feel free to share ideas, opin­ions, and crit­i­cisms. Our deci­sion making is better when we draw on the collec­tive knowl­edge and unvar­nished opin­ions of the group. Candor is the key to collab­o­rating effec­tively. Lack of candor leads to dysfunc­tional envi­ron­ments. So how can a manager ensure that his or her working group, depart­ment, or company embraces candor? By putting mech­a­nisms in place that explic­itly say it is valu­able. One of Pixar’s key mech­a­nisms is the Brain­trust, which we rely on to push us toward excel­lence and to root out medi­oc­rity. It is our primary delivery system for straight talk. The Brain­trust meets every few months or so to assess each movie we’re making. Its premise is simple: Put smart, passionate people in a room together, charge them with iden­ti­fying and solving prob­lems, and encourage them to be candid. The Brain­trust is not fool­proof, but when we get it right, the results are phenom­enal. · Go to Inside the Pixar brain­trust →