At the end of your next board meeting I recommend that you and your fellow board members should all go out to the cinema, watch The Post, and then have dinner together to discuss it.
I feel certain that when your CFO reads my justification for such wild extravagance they will be convinced of the ROI.
First, The Post contains all they need to know about sexism in the boardroom and what they can do to fix it.
Some people will wince when they watch this film. At one board meeting all the men talk over the woman who owns the business, The Washington Post.
At the climax of the film, Speilberg manages to convey sexism at its most bullying by arranging all the men around Meryl Streep’s character who is seated, with them hulking close and over her as she is trying to make a crucial business decision.
He then has a wide shot of her breaking free, physically, of her so called board “colleagues” and then she takes her decision, with great courage.
Second, for the price of a few cinema tickets, some popcorn and a Nando’s your board could learn the importance of having a shared purpose and how that is probably the best hedge against business, legal and reputation risk that money can buy.
The film appears to be about The First Amendment, but it’s deeper message is about wholesome shared objectives. If the word wholesome makes you feel queasy, then get used to it. Because wholesome is back in fashion, big time. Just clock the reaction to The
President’s Club shenanigans last week.
By wholesome I mean: an ethical focus, which goes beyond the bottom line, to address society as a whole.
By shared I mean just that: everyone around the board room table goes through the pain of figuring out what sentence they are all willing to sign up to that makes their endeavour worthwhile.
And there are no marks for saying it’s about making money. Making money in business goes without saying. It’s like saying people must breath. And any idiot can make loads of money if you screw enough people. T’was ever thus.
That’s why the kid running a protection racket in the playground was rich. But was he clever? No, just a little thug.
And there are lots of thugs in business. Are you one of them? If not, are there thugs on your board? If so get them off. And this film might help.
Because there’s one thing a thug can’t stand and that’s consensus on a matter of principle.
Their narcissism and cowardice are wholly exposed when faced with the light of a shared objective, which stacks.
Does your board have a shared objective beyond making money which stacks? If not you should put that fact at the top of your Risk Register.
Some say Carillion went under, not because it ran out of cash, but because it lost its sense of shared purpose which led to it running out of cash.
Finally, the film is a textbook study on how organisations should work with their in-house counsel: the latter should be fiercely independent and the former required to justify constantly their actions to the in-house counsel.
These reasons aside, your CFO should approve the jolly if only because this writer loves Streep. She can do no wrong. And if she’s in a film it must, by definition, be worth seeing.
Tom Hanks isn’t bad either. And Spielberg knows a thing or two about pointing a camera.
What’s not to like?