Let’s go to the Movies

Jun 6, 05

Movies primarily allow for teaching left brain concepts with right brain simulation. The visual impact offers insights on human behavior under various situations that is retained for a longer time. If movies promote discussion with colleagues, allow for people to share their learnings and examine ways in which they can be translated into behaviours that can be applied at the work place, then it can become an extremely powerful tool of learning.

While there are a number of movies that present great management lessons, Apollo 13, perhaps ranks the highest among the most memorable of movies that offer lessons that can be applied back at the workplace.

“Houston, we’ve had a problem” is a line ingrained among many who have watched the movie “Apollo 13”

It was the year 1970, nearly a year after Apollo 11 had safely landed Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on the moon. Two days into the mission, 320,000 kilometres from Earth, one of the two oxygen tanks broke down and the crew started losing oxygen and power supply.

With the crippled space craft still hurtling its way to the moon, the team at the ground under the leadership of Flight Director Eugene Kranz had to take some critical decisions to bring with three men on board, safely back to earth.

Does the team at the ground succeed in bringing the three men on the spacecraft back? How does the team work under extreme conditions of stress, with the burden of the knowledge that three lives depend on them. The team also know that the supply of oxygen and power were limited and what would work in the space-craft was not known.

Read some of the lessons the movie “Apollo 13” holds for leaders and for people at the workplace in this issue of HR News and Views

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