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After Action Reviews = Successful Execution

In an article entitled Five Ways Pixar Makes Better Decisions, Tom Davenport, a Babson College professor, refers to what I call “after action reviews” as a critical element of the creative decision-making used at Pixar.

In my earlier post, Powerful After Action Reviews, you can learn more about this concept, built and nurtured by the US Army.

Pixar uses the concept of “Dailies”

For Pixar, Davenport reminds us how movie makers use “dailies” to review their work in progress, showing movies to other filmmakers every few month to solicit critical insights that often make the movies better.

Nothing we couldn’t accomplish with a Daily Huddle, right?

Ed Catmull, President of Pixar, believes these “post-mortems”, which he describes as “like taking cod liver oil”, are a critical ingredient of Pixar’s success.

What would you do again and NOT again?

One of their techniques during these reviews is to ask each member of the film team to come up with five things they’d do again … and five things they wouldn’t do again.

What a great way to denude potential dissension on the team so that everyone thinks about alternative ideas and shares criticism openly.

Pixar uses a lot of techniques to build a vital creative process but their After Action Reviews are critical part of it and offer great lessons for every organization seeking to improve their execution.

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