David Wyld on Technology Lessons from “The Grey Fox”

This post, written by David Wyld, originally appeared on Public Spend Forum

It’s the Academy Awards this weekend, and so it is a great time to shine a spotlight on the best movies. Much spirited discussion—and even a wager or two—can ensue at the office coffee station or at an Oscar party this Sunday night as you and your friends debate the merits of whether American Hustle or 12 Years a Slave are more deserving of the Best Picture Award.

For those of us involved in tech-related areas, when you think of the best technology movies ever, various sites have put together their “Top 10” lists. So, if you’re looking to add some movies beyond the obvious, like The Social Network, Minority Report, Iron Man, or even WALL-E, you can make a very good list for your Netflix queue by following these:

Now, as a professor, I’m a big proponent of using video content with my management students, and do so to encourage (ahem, require—online discussion amongst classmates). In fact, you can see and share my entire, 100-day semester collection of management and career tip videos from real business and thought leaders by going to My Management Course and clicking in the “2014 My Management Course Forum” Section. And yes, in today’s fast-paced world, I catch flack from my students when I recommend a Ted Talk or even a minute-long video from OnlineMBA.com’s Minute MBA collection, rather than one from Fast Company’s excellent 30-Second MBA series. What can one say, as students are indeed learning early the undeniable truth that “time is money!”

So, needless to say, we no longer require our students to watch a movie in class—although those sessions were always my favorite classes, whether as a student watching or as a professor simply hitting the “play” button. However, to my students and to you as readers of Public Spend Forum and Spend Matters, I’d recommend that you seek out a small, mostly forgotten movie from the days before every movie had robots, zombies, natural disasters, martial arts, or better yet, a mix of all of the above elements. I’ll forewarn you that for today’s short-attention spans, the now 30-year old “The Grey Fox” is a rather slow movie—lovingly slow some would say—or as Vincent Canby phrased it in a review for The New York Times, the film is “is a gentle, intelligent, very leisurely paced western.” However, it is considered a classic, even if it’s hard to find (it’s not on Netflix  or Hulu at present)—but well worth seeking out for the timeless message about changing with the times—in one’s life and one’s career. In fact, it’s one of the few movies EVER to earn 100% on the “tomatometer” at Rotten Tomatoes...

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