business news in context, analysis with attitude

This commentary is available as both text and video; enjoy both or either ... they are similar, but not exactly the same. To see past FaceTime commentaries, go to the MNB Channel on YouTube.

Hi, Kevin Coupe here and this is FaceTime with the Content Guy.

I recorded this commentary from the outside of the Shubert Theater on 44th Street, just west of Broadway in New York City, where Mrs. Content Guy and I were lucky enough to score a couple of tickets to Aaron Sorkin’s adaptation of Harper Lee’s “To Kill A Mockingbird.”

Now, I’ll offer my review of the play tomorrow in “OffBeat.” Today, I want to talk about one of the business lessons that I think one can learn from the play.

Before seeing it, I listened to an interview with Sorkin, who has about as terrific a resume as any writer could hope for - “A Few Good Men” (the play and movie), The American President, “The West Wing,” Steve Jobs and Molly’s Game are just a few of his credits.

In the interview, Sorkin said that one of the challenges of writing a new play based on a classic novel and beloved movie was figuring out how to bring something new to it. In the book and movie, the central figure - the character who goes through a narrative arc - is Scout, the daughter of Atticus Finch, the lawyer who defends a black man accused of rape in a Southern town during the 1930’s. But Sorkin wanted to shift the focus from Scout to Finch, which meant figuring out a compelling character arc for Finch that would remain faithful to the originals.

I think that’s a great lesson for businesses. If they want to bring something different to their material, it is important to come at it from a different point of view, a different perspective. Come at it from a different angle, put somebody else in charge who has an unorthodox approach … and hope that the result will be something with differentiated appeal.

To be honest, I don’t even think most companies have a choice. anymore. At least, not if they want to be competitive.

That’s what is on my mind this morning. As always, I want to hear what is on your mind.

KC's View: