Inspiring Innovation Films: a Top Ten List

I got the question from a high level executive earlier this week: What are the best innovation films? He was looking for clips he might use in innovation education. This article intends to be a great place to start in finding appropriate clips — and maybe a way to find a bit of inspiration when your innovation energy is lagging.

It’s a great idea. Film clips engage, inspire, and teach. It’s logical to illustrate innovation teaching points with film clips because nearly every film is a transformative story that roughly parallels innovation processScreenwriters are taught to write stories where the plot arc emphasizes transformational change in an active visual way. Directors love scripts with scenes that show how change happens. Why? Because that change action engages audience in several ways — emotionally, visually, and with sound. It’s very whole brained and it’s how people learn. In making innovation teaching points, appropriate video clips are a refreshing alternative to dry case studies, PowerPoint slide dumps, or lectures. Film clips can also be useful as stimuli for idea generation. But what films and what clips within those film?

This list isn’t about the best films in a cinematic sense. It’s more about the potential for instructive innovation clips. There is also an Honorable Mention list. But first…

If you’re an innovation educator seeking to use film clips, you might want to check out The Marketing Teacher — this is a great source for legal film clip usage. Otherwise YouTube has most of the clips I mention below.  I’m sure I’ve overlooked deserving films — so please add your comments so we don’t miss a hidden gem. 

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