The Jason Bourne Movies as an Insightful Mirror of Corporate America

One of the things I love about the Jason Bourne movies is the light they throw on corporate decision making. Not so much the corruption of the CIA, but simply the ways consequential decisions are made.

I grew up in a corporation that made major consequential decisions via long executive meetings looking at binders of dozens of pages with numbers on the left and commentary on the numbers on the right. With an executive summary at the start and action plan at the end. The execs making the product or whatever decision were thus deeply literate in the assumptions, estimates, numbers and the walk from the last time they looked at this data. They could and did easily helicopter from line item to strategy and back again. They were deeply issue literate.

Then over the years this was replaced by Power Point and that puke making phrase “crisp” which means deeply superficial (oxymoron intended) with complex issues compressed into three bullet points. They say the Iraq Invasion was decided by PowerPoint. “Iraqis will welcome us with open arms” was presumably one of the evidence free bullet points.

And by the time of the Bourne movies decision making isn’t even given the “depth” (ironic) of a PowerPoint. People just decide with no consideration of the data, the assumptions, the alternatives, whether they are being played. And based on my latter day experience in corporations this is how it is. It is like some form of political game in which the strategy (too grand a word) emerges in the mouth of the highest grade in the room and off they go to kill Jason Bourne, or launch an ill conceived product or move their manufacturing to the wrong part of Romania or buy Autonomy for $9 billion or whatever. (Some in jokes in the examples)

Maybe I am just getting old. 🙂

The  Ward Abbot character based on Dick Cheney? Played by Brian Cox.


About creativeconflictwisdom

I spent 32 years in a Fortune Five company working on conflict: organizational, labor relations and senior management. I have consulted in a dozen different business sectors and the US Military. I work with a local environmental non profit. I have written a book on the neuroscience of conflict, and its implications for conflict handling called Creative Conflict Wisdom (forthcoming).
This entry was posted in Conflict Movies, Conflict Processes, Economic Conflict, PERSONAL CONFLICT RESOLUTION: CREATIVE STRATEGIES, Philosophy of Conflict, US Political Conflict, Ways to handle conflict and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s