Innovation lessons from Hollywood


Hollywood studios used to control the entire movie industry. From storyboard to distribution, their grip on production and consumption was absolute – until television was born. TV disrupted everything. Studio staff left, starting independent production companies that were essential to the new TV industry, with its daily output of sitcoms, soaps and adverts. Eventually, the number of major movie studios shrunk and the rest is history.

One of the problems is simply a matter of scale. The larger the organisation, the more difficult it becomes to pivot and adjust to emerging and disruptive influences. After operational costs have been made ‘lean’ and the Toyota Business System imposed, corporations try to compensate for being unwieldy by selling an interest or buying into a new sector. Not so much circular design as cyclical.

In the case of companies large and small, when disruption strikes (and it will strike you sooner or later) the natural response is to pull in your horns and resort to what you know. To get back to your reason for opening up shop in the first place. Unless you’re prepared.

If you want another reason to innovate, have a quick read of this blog post (The siren call of what we know). It looks at the macro trends that might just change the way you think about innovation. It’s completely free and just a click away.

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