Saturday, 1 January 2011


We’ll shortly be bombarded in the media by the “anguishings” of economists and gurus about 2010. So I thought I’d start by going instead to the world of film, with which I grew better acquainted over Christmas, for some pointers.

“This is my show” (Anil Kapoor as Prem Kapur the gameshow host from Slumdog Millionaire.)

As he felt his own control oozing away, Prem got more and more frustrated. Yet we’d all better stop trying to run things and start trying to steer them. However much we huff and puff the age of the Fat Controller is over. Events of 2010 proved just how out of control the bullies are.

“Doubt is not a luxury we can afford any more” (Elastigirl from the Incredibles.)

It was Lord Denning who said “people pay us for our certainties not our doubts” and Shakespeare more tersely “our doubts are traitors”. Whilst we have never lived in more complex times with information overload and unprecedented events happening at random we need to have a sense of clarity and an unfailing determination to be decisive if we are to survive. Better to be wrong than die in a sea of vaccilation.

“Your book is going to change the world.” Stanley Tucci (as Paul Child) from Julie and Julia.

As a writer I always believe this secretly although I doubt if it’s true. Yet the optimist that visualises the best result is the one more determined to go for it. Who’d ever start a film like Titanic, Avatar or Lord of the Rings without such an indomitable belief? There’s never been a better time to go for it.

 “Impossible. Impossible. Nothing is impossible. Dig little mouse. Dig.” Matthew Broderick (as Philippe Gaston) from Ladyhawke.

This irrepressible positivism allied to nothing any longer being inviolate, from the corporate reputations of BP and Toyota to the hero to zero slide of various politicians in 2010 (in Nick Clegg’s case from zero to hero to Nero), underpins the new world order. Since nothing is impossible just do it. And remember Rutger Hauer (star of Ladyhawke) in those bizarre Guinness commercials. He said “just keep an open mind”.

Time I’d suggest to watch more films and read fewer Harvard Business Reviews. When truth is stranger than fiction it’s time to go to fiction for inspiration.

This is the first of a series of blogs to mark the New Year – enjoy them.

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