innovation | September 17, 2013

Innovation Speakers Series: Jay Shuster, Tom Wujec On Visualizing Creativity

Here at The Lavin Agency Speakers Bureau, we represent keynote speakers who have the most compelling and cutting-edge ideas. With the world changing so rapidly, both in business and culture, thriving in the future means thinking differently about it today. The innovation speakers on our roster do just that—re-imagining the spaces we live and work in, rethinking the way we do business, and developing methods for more effectively interacting with the environment around us. Every week, in our "Innovation Speakers Series," we'll focus on speakers whose breakthrough ideas will change our society for the better. Today, we're taking a closer look at the work of Pixar's Jay Shuster and Autodesk's Tom Wujec.

JAY SHUSTER doesn't have your typical office job. At Pixar, offices are replaced by DIY castles, individual-sized garden sheds take the place of cubicles, and vast collections of toys adorn employee workspaces. In his talks, the Pixar Art Director gives audiences an inside look at the world of the animation studio's unrestrained creativity. As his talk shows us, not only are Shuster and his coworkers doing innovative work, but their corporate culture is innovative in itself.

Above: In a keynote, Jay shows the audience one of his coworker's offices—that has been converted into a castle.

At Pixar, the company is committed to creating an environment where employees can be creative and innovative without feeling stifled. This mindset has contributed to the company's astonishingly creative and commercially dominant productions. With the emotional resonance, skillful storytelling, and sheer wonderment of Pixar's best films, Shuster delivers an instructive look at the most envied creative studio in the world—reminding us to always trust the process and "celebrate what you do."

Above: Shuster working away in the Pixar studio.

TOM WUJEC is also in the animation industry. He's a Fellow at Autodesk—the Oscar-winning industry leader in 3D computer animation technology, and one of the world's largest software companies. With a job like his, it's not wonder he's learned invaluable insight on innovation and has become world renowned for his keynotes on the subject. One of the lessons he teaches audiences (both in keynotes and breakout workshop sessions) is the power of Visualization. (Check out his TED Talk, embedded above). Thinking and communicating with images, he says,  is rapidly becoming the principal tool to foster innovation and business success. It's also a powerful new tool for leadership which can provide dramatic gains in productivity, cost reductions, and corporate confidence.

Another of his popular lessons is explored through the Marshmallow Challenge (pictured above). Wujec challenges teams to build the tallest freestanding structure they can out of 20 sticks of spaghetti, 1 yard of tape, 1 yard of string and a marshmallow in a short time frame. The results are astounding. Not only does it teach key lessons on collaboration and teamwork, it also fosters innovative and creative thinking.

Drawing from their experiences working with highly innovative companies, Tom Wujec and Jay Shuster present broadly applicable keynote speeches and workshops on innovation. Their takeaways are also immediately implementable and practical. Check out some of their keynotes found on tour website, or, contact The Lavin Agency to talk to one of our agents about what our innovation speakers can bring to your next event.

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design | September 16, 2013