I saw the great documentary Man On Wire last week. It's a shoo-in for Best Documentary this year at the Academy Awards. (Update: Man on Wire won Best Documentary)!
If you haven't seen it, do yourself a favor and rent it today (this may be the best advice of this post).
The film tells the story of how Philippe Petit dreamed of walking across the twin towers of the World Trade Center in NYC.
After years of planning, Petit accomplishes his dream and walks across a tightrope that he and a few associates had put up the night before across the span of the WTC towers.
The movie uses archival footage, interviews and re-created scenes to tell the story.
One of the best parts of the movie was the use of archival footage of Philippe planning and practicing for his walk. Shot in still vibrant 16 mm color film, we see how young Philippe was when he planned this walk, how his collaborators fought over major and minor details, and how much planning and rehearsing went into this incredible feat and act of art.
The archival footage when seen in juxtaposition to the present day interviews of Petit and his friends made you wistful about time's passing - but also put you so close to the hearts and minds of Petit and his friends. It was a window that I felt privileged to see.
The movie got me thinking to the great struggle that every organization is having right now.
Whether you are in a corporate or non-profit organization - you are struggling.
Turn the cameras onto yourselves, in meetings, in break times, in quiet moments and in loud ones. Let's be totally and brutally transparent (as Petit and his collaborators were) about how we are making tough decisions, planning, and strategizing over details.
For sheer survival, we all need to plan our next thrilling tightrope walk.
When we finally get to the other side. It will be a great story tell.
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