We're members of NOBL, an organizational design collective that helps leaders align company culture to strategy. Every month, we take a break from helping real organizations change to discuss fictional leaders and organizations from movies and TV: What works? What doesn’t? And most importantly, we talk about the simple tools they (and you, our listeners) can implement to make the workplace better.
Managing First-Time Managers from Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist
As a newly promoted manager at San Francisco startup SPRQPoint, Zoey must build team spirit, placate a demanding boss, and navigate office relationships—all while people break into song and dance around her, expressing their innermost thoughts and desires. Whether you’re stepping into a leadership role for the first time, stepping up into a new role, or managing a new leader, you’ll learn:
- How to transition from a peer- to leader- relationship with former colleagues (2:47)
- Where to find training and coaching for leaders (16:10)
- How to manage a first-time manager (20:35)
- How to retain great talent on your team (31:40)
- How to come back from a big, public mistake (34:24)
- Ways to identify leadership potential (42:36)
Trust and Workplace Surveillance in The Circle
When Mae gets a job at Amazon/Google/Facebook stand-in The Circle, her work quickly becomes her life: constant customer feedback tracks her performance, tiny cameras follow her every movement, and her social profile keeps her engaged with other employees. As companies demand ever more from their employees, it’s a chance to discuss:
- Customer-centric teams and feedback (2:18)
- Building trust and the “trust triangle” (10:35)
- The problems with “mandatory fun” at the office (15:21)
- The line between employee engagement and cult-like culture (24:27)
- Increasing accountability on your team without increasing surveillance (27:50)
- Dealing with micromanagers (29:37)
Working in a Culture of Fear: Monsters, Inc.
While the monsters of Monsters, Inc. might think they’re in the business of scaring children, they’re the ones who should be scared: their workplace is a culture of cutthroat competition, toxic colleagues, cover-ups, and misplaced company values. This delightful children’s movie is really an opportunity to uncover the impact of fear on organizations; dealing with toxic colleagues and whistle-blowing; maintaining personal integrity in toxic workplaces, and more.
How Not to Murder Your Coworkers: The Lighthouse
Quarantine making you stir crazy? Can’t take one more Zoom meeting with colleagues? Then you’ll appreciate the predicament facing the two characters in The Lighthouse: stuck on an island for four weeks, living in close quarters, with no one else to distract them from their endliess chores. We discuss:
- How to start a relationships with colleagues on the right foot (3:50)
- The risks of having no separation between work and life (10:30)
- Managing conflict and the stress of social isolation (19:24)
- Mental health in the office (32:02)
- Bonding with colleagues in stressful times (41:40)
Startup Culture in "Silicon Valley"
When developer Richard comes up with a new technology for file compression, he finds himself suddenly launched into the heart of startup culture in Silicon Valley. We take a look at the early stages of Pied Piper, and what it means for:
- The difference between purpose, mission, vision, and values—and why they matter (3:53)
- The different stages of culture at startups, and how to scale your team effectively (14:45)
- The four different types of company cultures (17:40)
- Hiring for culture fit vs. culture add (23:20)
Workplace Sexism and Female Leadership in Working Girl
To work her way up the career ladder, Tess McGill will have to overcome casual sexism and backstabbing bosses, all while navigating a relationship with her business partner. It’s a fascinating look at how women’s roles in the office have evolved—or not—since the 80’s, including:
- How sexism and classicism in the workplace have changed since the 80’s. (3:10)
- The unique challenges female leaders face, and how women can support women in the office. (10:28)
- Managing inter-office romantic relationships. (20:49)
- Taking career risks and growing as a leader—including an invitation to NOBL’s new leadership retreat. (23:34)
Customer ReviewsSee All
Great way to learn about leadership, organizational design and management in an easy format. Thanks NOBL! You’re changing the world by educating people how to work better.
Great show - thoughtful conversation among intereting people. Can't go wrong.
so much good stuff!
I love this premise! So many movies are set at work and in a leadership context, but when you stop and examine the choices these workplaces are making, you get so many aha moments!