Published on: May 9, 2019
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Hi, Kevin Coupe here and this is FaceTime with the Content Guy.
I recorded this commentary from the outside of the Shubert Theater on 44th Street, just west of Broadway in New York City, where Mrs. Content Guy and I were lucky enough to score a couple of tickets to Aaron Sorkin’s adaptation of Harper Lee’s “To Kill A Mockingbird.”
Now, I’ll offer my review of the play tomorrow in “OffBeat.” Today, I want to talk about one of the business lessons that I think one can learn from the play.
Before seeing it, I listened to an interview with Sorkin, who has about as terrific a resume as any writer could hope for - “A Few Good Men” (the play and movie), The American President, “The West Wing,” Steve Jobs and Molly’s Game are just a few of his credits.
In the interview, Sorkin said that one of the challenges of writing a new play based on a classic novel and beloved movie was figuring out how to bring something new to it. In the book and movie, the central figure - the character who goes through a narrative arc - is Scout, the daughter of Atticus Finch, the lawyer who defends a black man accused of rape in a Southern town during the 1930’s. But Sorkin wanted to shift the focus from Scout to Finch, which meant figuring out a compelling character arc for Finch that would remain faithful to the originals.
I think that’s a great lesson for businesses. If they want to bring something different to their material, it is important to come at it from a different point of view, a different perspective. Come at it from a different angle, put somebody else in charge who has an unorthodox approach … and hope that the result will be something with differentiated appeal.
To be honest, I don’t even think most companies have a choice. anymore. At least, not if they want to be competitive.
That’s what is on my mind this morning. As always, I want to hear what is on your mind.
- KC's View: