What Can Movies Teach Educators?

In a recent article from the Harvard Business Review, we can learn a valuable lesson about challenging the status quo.

The article Marvel’s Blockbuster Machine reviews how Marvel Studios bucks the trend of poor performing sequels by leveraging a few important components for design thinking and marketing. We’ll get to a brief summary – but first – it’s very interesting to see how this applies to healthcare education.

One part of continuing education that stands out is the inherent formulaic structure. While in many cases, this is a plus – making sure courses are meeting a set of basic standards. However, it also applies constraints, which can limit how well the content is learned by attendees and restricts actionable takeaways. When you identify the formula and navigate where the edges are to test collaborative ways to teach and learn, it becomes a win-win.

Marvel changes the formula by leveraging different emotional tones. Likewise, a conference can have different themes and a diversity of teaching methods (didactic, interactive, peer to peer, etc.).

The part that stands out the most is to continue challenging the formula and how Marvel’s audience looks for something different; they expect it. They know what their audience is looking for. It cannot be understated how important this point is.

What is your audience looking for and what do they expect?

As mentioned above, Marvel has recharged the genre by tackling four key points:

  1. Select for experienced inexperience (diversity of ideas)
  2. Leverage a stable core (team building)
  3. Keep challenging the formula (pick a formula to challenge)
  4. Cultivate customer curiosity

I encourage you to read the full article by Spencer Harrison, Arne Carlsen, and Miha Škerlavaj, linked above. It’s well worth 10 minutes of your time today.

Photo by Denise Jans on Unsplash

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