The weeks leading up to this year's 88th Academy Awards felt like more of a study in cultural diversity and societal problems than a celebration of Hollywood's creative achievements. In his role as host, Chris Rock tackled the #OscarsSoWhite with an unforgettable opening monologue that will surely keep the Hollywood elite talking for weeks.
While the diversity conversation is an important one to help foster positive advancements in the industry, the Oscars can also inspire change in other ways. Here's how these five Oscar-nominated films can instill transformation in your business.
The Martian: Invention Is an Act of Creativity
During a manned mission to Mars, Astronaut Mark Watney is presumed dead after a fierce storm and left behind by his crew. Force to survive on his own on the planet with only meager supplies, he must draw upon his ingenuity, wit, and spirit to subsist and find a way to signal to Earth that he is alive.
Invention is an act of creativity that results in significant change. Businesses that are adept at handling or even embracing change can foster an environment that encourages innovation. Employees who feel that their ideas will be considered by a manager or business owner may be more willing to think creatively, which can help a business grow.
Google, for instance, has been keeping the pipeline of innovation going by tapping its employees and letting ideas percolate up through various "channels of expression." Google CafÃ©s is one of the channels intended to encourage interactions and conversations between employees within and across teams.
Like Astronaut Watney, give yourself space to think to develop new ideas that would not have been feasible if your mind was completely full with other thoughts. Also, challenge yourself to try new things that are out of your comfort zone. This combination of providing space and challenging yourself can bring about truly innovative ideas.
Spotlight: Uncovering the Truth Relies on Tenacity and Persistence
When the Boston Globe's tenacious "Spotlight" team of reporters delves into allegations of abuse in the Catholic Church, their year-long investigation uncovers a decades-long cover-up at the highest levels of Boston's religious, legal, and government establishment, touching off a wave of revelations.
Data analysts everywhere can take a cue from the tenacious Boston Globe investigative team, whose members left no stone unturned when uncovering crucial insights for their investigative piece on the Catholic Church.
In business, customer insights and voice of the customer programs are critical to customer experience success. Take Customer Champion Kyle Groff, manager of customer insights at JetBlue. He and his team implemented a system that gathers feedback from travelers via social media, email, and surveys and tracks Net Promoter Score (NPS) trends for each airport JetBlue services.
The team mapped out the customer journey and determined the experiences to measure across the check-in, security, and boarding processes. Using NPS as a guide, Kyle's team started tracking experience trends at each airport. If a score began to dip, the team used survey data to identify issues and share the feedback with appropriate employees from the CEO to gate agents. This led to better visibility into how customers felt about traveling with JetBlue and allowed the airline to address issues more efficiently.
Deepen your understanding of customers and then transform what you learn into actionable insights.
The Revnanent: Survival Depends on Identifying Strengths
A frontiersman named Hugh Glass on a fur trading expedition in the 1820s fights for survival after being mauled by a bear and left for dead by members of his own hunting team.
Glass exhibited many strengths that helped him travel hundreds of miles to seek civilization. In times of economic downturn or fierce competition, identify your strengths that have enabled your success to date, and list those that will be important in the future.
Develop a game plan to then build on those strengths and shift resources that will allow you to retain high-value customers.
The Danish Girl: Transformation Is a Journey Worth Taking
Einar Wegener, the husband of Danish artist, Gerda Wegener, attempted one of the first male-to-female sex reassignment surgery, a decision that turned into a massive change for their marriage.
As Wegener demonstrates, change is exciting, but it can also be daunting. This means that people driving change within organizations have a difficult task on their hands--convincing their colleagues that specific changes will be beneficial for the whole organization. Just look at how companies like 3M, Apple, and even American Tobacco Company transformed for the better.
Despite the best intentions, organizations often encounter problems when attempting to transform customer experience. According to Lior Arussy, president of Strativity Group, one of the major mistakes that organizations make in their transformation journey is thinking that what's being proposed has already been tried. Here, he lists 10 questions drivers of change need to ask themselves to enable a successful transformation.
Straight Outta Compton: Adversity Is the Mother of Creativity
A true story of how five cultural rebels-armed only with their lyrics used honest rhymes and hardcore beats, put their frustration and anger about life in the most dangerous place in America into the most powerful weapon they had: their music.
Business creativity is essential to success. Yet so many leaders of organizations hinder original thinking by not giving their teams the room they need to be truly creative.
"Revolutionary ideas come about when we doubt our existing view of the world," said Alan Iny, co-author of Thinking in New Boxes: A New Paradigm for Business Creativity. "In this respect, true leaders must develop the capacity for radical originality."
Just look at Jack Ma, who started with nothing and faced enormous obstacles, yet still managed to create Alibaba with 17 friends and their combined wealth of $60,000. Today, Ma is the richest man in China and Alibaba is worth more than Oracle, Disney, Coca-Cola, AT&T, and Amazon.
The path to creativity isn't always a linear one. Often, it's a process in which the steps to greater imagination and originality build on and feed off each other.