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We kick off the Intelligent Leader with a trip to the movies.

Wall-E, Pixar's post-apocalyptic robot love story, is the studio's ninth consecutive #1 hit -- a perfect record unprecedented in Hollywood. How does the company do it? Bill Taylor, HarvardBusiness.org's innovation tracker (you'll be hearing a lot from him), attributes Pixar's creative genius to the tightknit, collaborative culture of the company and its policy of teaching filmmaking to everyone -- even the company chef. Pixar has become the envy of the film industry by turning almost every Hollywood management convention upside down.

Netflix faces a different challenge -- not making one movie millions of people will want to see this summer, but accurately guessing which movies you will want to watch on any given day. Three years ago, the company offered a million-dollar prize to any freelance innovator who could build a significantly better recommendation engine for the Netflix Web site. To date, no one has won. Brain scientist-turned-entrepreneur Jeff Stibel thinks an unemployed psychologist may have the answer Netflix is looking for: less information is sometimes better than more. The idea is as relevant to effective executive decision making as it is to choosing a DVD.

That's a good start. Thanks and enjoy.

By Scott Berinato  |  July 14, 2008; 7:00 AM ET
Previous: About Scott Berinato | Next: Go Ahead, Make a Mistake


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Interesting posts. Particularly the stuff on the brain and Netflix. Hard to believe really but I guess less really is more (which I wish someone would tell my wife about my bank account).

Posted by: CJ Tunis | July 18, 2008 11:23 AM

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