As a marketer, I’m constantly scanning commercials and looking at movies through a business filter. There’s a lot we can learn from a film, and from the public conversation surrounding a film. No less is true for Godzilla, which just came in late May.
Lesson 1: Observing a Problem Isn’t the Same as Finding a Solution
In the beginning, we saw a Japanese nuclear facility explode for monster-related reasons. Aside from a slew of excuses made for that problem, we see ‘experts’ at the facility spend the next 15 or so years simply witnessing the problem. When our bereaved widower and hero both return to the facility, there is a military presence, a team of scientists, and millions of dollars of equipment – all to observe a giant cocoon. There’s very little information about what they’re observing or a real strategy on how to deal with it. The lesson: watching something isn’t the same as understanding it. Your goal is to find a solution to the problem.
Lesson 2: The Same Solution to the Same Old Problem Doesn’t Always Work
When you do finally arrive on a solution, know that it may not necessarily be the solution every time. In the film, they relied on nukes in the 50’s to deal with the problem, but since the circumstances were different this time around, nukes were definitely not the right answer to the same old problem. Your lesson here: adapt to the problem and not to the solution.
Lesson 3: Disaster Doesn’t Wait
Monstrous problems pop up on their own time table. They don’t offer an announcement or wait for you to get ready to deal with them. The same goes for business. Problems are inevitable, so expect them and be ready to embrace. There’s no point in wasting time with shock or overflowing emotion; those things don’t solve the problem.
On that note, dealing with a monstrous problem also means sometimes you’re not equipped with the right gear. In the film, no one really had what it took to deal with all three monsters. They’re initial solution was the use nukes paired with their entire military and technological might. That didn’t work.
In business, you may not have the necessary tools to deal with your problem, which is inevitable. Your goal here is to work with what you have, think outside the box (as they do in the film), and use that information to form a battle plan for the next strike. Know that throwing money, tech, and resources at the problem is never a guarantee of success. The only guarantee is the right solution, and that requires a strategy.
Lesson 4: There’s a Solution to Every Problem
Some problems may seem so enormous and out of left field that you think, “surely, there’s no way around this.” Not so my friend. There’s always an answer to a problem. Further still, there’s usually someone that has that answer. In Godzilla’s case, that answer came from outside both times. The first time around, a former Janjira employee had the answer (but he was relatively ignored since he wasn’t part of the current network). The second time, a Janjira scientist had the answer, but he was also ignored by the military since he was outside their network. Rule of thumb: listen to everyone, especially if they bring a fresh perspective outside your network.
In a classroom setting, movies are used not only educational tools to drive home a point, but also as means to bridge gaps and foster a creative learning environment. There’s no reason the same rule can’t be applied in a business setting. “10 Lessons Business We Learned From Godzilla” would make a great creative Friday memo for your staff. Not only is subtle yet light-hearted way to encourage them to read a developmental business article, but it also creates a conversation around something everyone can connect with.