• Marco Bar Goria

7 shows you must see if you work in innovation

Who likes to learn things while watching a movie or tv series? 🙋‍♂️

I went through my bookmarks to dig up 7 shows that go through fundamental principles about innovation. The shows actually cover all kinds of topics but viewed through the 'innovation' lens, I'm sure you'll see the point. If you have other suggestions, please share them in the comments!


What: A 2 season series that goes inside the minds of the world’s greatest designers, showcasing the most inspiring visionaries from a variety of disciplines whose work shapes our culture.

Why you should watch it: If 'Design thinking' is something that you're expected to know, then it can be quite revelatory to see how all these experts have a unique process when working on a project. You won't see any of the stereotypical canvases, rather the underlying principles that guide the whole idea of 'thinking like a designer'.


What: A show on how a series of athletes almost made it to the top, failed completely, but then used that experience to grow into something new.

Why you should watch it: Working on innovation projects should make you comfortable with failure pretty quickly. If that's not the case, it probably means that your organization doesn't allow you to take risks, which are arguably part of the deal when you create something new. All in all, this show describes it best:

"We live in a winner take all society where losing is laughed off, dismissed and shamed. But what do we miss when we turn our back on the lessons that failure gives us?"

Dirty money

What: A collection of real events in which big organizations somehow thought it was totally OK to do something illegal or very unethical.

Why you should watch it: One of the big mantras in the innovation industry is "Empathize with your stakeholders". Today that mantra is becoming broader than that, to include the ecological environment as well. So much so that at BOI we proposed an update to the classic innovation ven diagram.

Why am I talking about that? Because this show presents you with a series of (really bad) stories on what happens when companies don't follow those mantras and their managers just try to gain as much profit as they can.

Lego movie

What: The story follows an ordinary, rules-following, perfectly average LEGO mini-figure who is mistakenly identified as the most extraordinary person and the key to saving the world.

Why you should watch it: Besides containing some good messages for parents, the whole movie can also be interpreted as a massive metaphor of what happens when an organization has too many structures in place and does not let people express themselves, play or experiment. Tim Brown himself (you might know his company, IDEO) was impressed by this movie.

The mind explained

What: Pretty self-explanatory title. It's a documentary series from Vox that explores the mind.

Why you should watch it: If doing qualitative research is part of your job (or you're just expected to do it), this show will give you some interesting insights into how our minds work.

The happy movie

What: A documentary on the experiments that Stefan Sagmeister (famous graphic designer) does to find happiness.

Why you should watch it: Having an 'experimentation mindset' is not that easy to build. But once it's there, you can literally apply it to every part of your life. This movie is a great example of following a design process to explore a topic.

The third industrial revolution

What: Jeremy Rifkin (the guy who wrote 20 books and is an advisor for China & EU) talks about the massive changes happening in society and the inevitable third industrial revolution that will unfold.

Why you should watch it: internet of things, renewable energy, 5G internet, and new economic models are some of the things that are being talked about in this documentary. Your job as an innovator is to create the new and here's a preview of the bigger picture that will (or might) unfold.

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