What hospital CEOs can learn from how Marvel makes movies

Marvel, which has released 23 films grossing more than $17 billion total, can teach other industries a thing or two about how to run a successful organization. 

In an interview with Harvard Business Review, Spencer Harrison, PhD, an associate professor at France-based business school INSEAD, spoke about his research on what business lessons other industries can adapt from the movie franchise.

Dr. Harrison and other researchers interviewed directors, lead actors and writers to gain a better understanding of the inner workings of Marvel's strategy. What Dr. Harrison learned is Marvel hires directors who have so-called "inexperienced experience."

That is, "Marvel does something that is very counterintuitive," when onboarding, Dr. Harrison said. "Instead of hiring people that are going to be really good at directing blockbusters, they look for people that have done a really good job with medium-sized budgets, but developing very strong storylines and characters."

Rather than "onboarding," Dr. Harrison said Marvel is "in-boarding." New employees aren't brought into the organization to be told what to do, but rather bring their outside learning and experience into the company.

"So, you're in-boarding that person's outside experience and fundamentally changing the way the organization thinks about what it is it's doing," Dr. Harrison said. "You're actually letting the employees create an imprint of the organizations. So, they're stamping the organization with their outside knowledge."

At the same time, leaders at Marvel maintain a core group of people that stay on from movie to movie, but allow people around the periphery to shift around. Dr. Harrison said this "allows new ideas to flow in and new energy to flow into each one of the productions."

Read the full interview here.

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