11 movies with strategy ideas for your business

    11 movies with strategy ideas for your business

    Movie time, everybody!  Now, we have a question for you: where do you find inspiration for your business? Your teammates, peers, other entrep...

    Movie time, everybody! 

    Now, we have a question for you: where do you find inspiration for your business? Your teammates, peers, other entrepreneurs’ success stories… Sure, but there’s more. We think of movies as yet another robust source of strategy ideas. Dramas and comedies, based on true events or completely made up, movies are here not only for entertainment. In fact, if you look at some stories at a different angle, you are set to find some guidance for growing your business. 

    Below, we’ve gathered a list of 11 movies that will give you great strategy ideas for your company. So, sit back, choose a movie from our list, and note the insights that will help you grow as an entrepreneur.

    11 movies with strategy ideas for small business owners

    1. The Imitation Game

    11 movies with strategy ideas for your business

    Director: Morten Tyldum 

    Year: 2014

    What if your invention could help your country win a war? The 2014 historical drama tells the story of Alan Turing, a talented mathematician who is given a task: to create a machine that will help Britain intercept fascist messages during the Second World War. Turing, first poorly accepted by his colleagues as he’s different and too straightforward, soon gains their respect. Eventually, they manage to decode Nazi messages, which gives Britain an advantage.

    A great story of leadership, self-sacrifice, and courage. The movie stresses that no matter how talented you are, it pays to have a great team by your side. Indeed, a genius loves company.

    2. The Devil Wears Prada

    11 movies with strategy ideas for your business

    Director: David Frankel

    Year: 2006

    The plot of the movie follows Andie, a young aspiring journalist, who joins the team of Runway magazine. There, she gets to work with Miranda, editor-in-chief, who is very demanding and cynical. As Andie develops her career at the magazine, she discovers the path to success is beset with obstacles, the need to rethink her principles, and even risk her private life.

    The movie gives a lot of food for thought for aspiring entrepreneurs. How do you balance your private life and your career? Can you give up on your core principles to get promoted? In a busy corporate lifestyle, is there still a place for good human relationships? Watch the movie to answer these questions for yourself.

    3. Home Alone

    11 movies with strategy ideas for your business

    Director: Chris Columbus

    Year: 1993

    When it comes to strategic planning, Home Alone is a movie to look up to. Kevin, the youngest in a big American family, is left alone in their big house for Christmas as his family departs to Paris. As he enjoys his loneliness, he encounters thieves who want to rob the luxurious house. Kevin shows bravery as he decides not to give up and, instead, develops a comprehensive plan to protect the house and himself.

    In the movie, Chris Columbus managed to give a good lesson to all aspiring businessmen: plan what you do and do it thoroughly.

    4. The Intern

    11 movies with strategy ideas for your business

    Director: Nancy Meyers

    Year: 2015

    The 2015 movie tells the story of Jules Ostin, a young CEO of About the Fit, a fast-growing fashion startup, and Ben Whittaker, a retired executive. As life becomes boring for Ben, he decides to apply for an intern position at About the Fit. Jules first pays little attention to Ben, being too wrapped up in trying to have her business up and running as she manages lots of things herself. Later, the two develop a good relationship, and Jules understands she doesn’t have to be that hard on herself, and can rely on others’ help. 

    The movie brings about lots of issues. How can female entrepreneurs ace today? Is there a way to integrate the elderly into the job market? Does experience ever get old? Watch this movie for an amazing Robert de Niro and Anne Hatthaway duet. 

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    5. The Martian

    11 movies with strategy ideas for your business

    Director: Ridley Scott

    Year: 2015

    In this movie, Ridley Scott depicts a NASA team on a mission to Mars. They seem quite successful until they… forget their teammate on Mars. Mark Watney appears stuck on the planet, short on supplies, and unable to contact his team or the NASA center on Earth. Applying his botanical knowledge, he manages to start growing potatoes on Mars soil, as he also establishes a connection with the NASA team to coordinate his rescue mission.

    The beautifully directed movie stresses how good team communication, support, and boldness can get one out of the hardest life situations.  

    6. The Pursuit of Happyness

    11 movies with strategy ideas for your business

    Director: Gabriele Muccino

    Year: 2006

    The 2006 biographic drama follows Chris Gardner, a salesman, who invests everything he has into portable bone-density scanners. But they aren’t easy to sell to the doctors, and Chris has to go to great lengths trying to make a living. In the meantime, he cares for his young son, Christopher Jr. and gets to see his marriage collapse due to the amassing financial problems. He soon, however, manages to get the position of a stockbroker, which eventually leads him to owning his own multi million brokerage company.

    The movie demonstrates how perseverance can help you achieve anything you strive for, no matter how tough the challenges are. Chris inspires with his sincerity as he tries to overcome life’s challenges, keeping his goal in mind. 

    7. What Women Want

    11 movies with strategy ideas for your business

    Director: Nancy Meyers

    Year: 2000

    What Women Want is a 2000 romantic fantasy comedy starring Mel Gibson and Helen Hunt. Nick Marshall is an advertising executive, striving to get promoted at the Sloane Curtis advertising firm. After he is knocked unconscious after falling into a bathtub with a hand dryer, Nick discovers he’s gifted with a superpower — he reads women’s thoughts. This leads him to highs and lows both in his career and private life.

    That’s, perhaps, what all business people want — to hear the thoughts of their customers. Indeed, wouldn’t it be great if you could just know what your clients are really thinking? 

    8. Twelve Angry Men

    11 movies with strategy ideas for your business

    Director: Sidney Lumet

    Year: 1957

    What if your decision could cost another person their life? Twelve Angry Men is a 1957 drama that follows 12 jurors as they debate the fate of a young defendant. Initially, eleven men think the defendant guilty and think he deserves the death sentence. Only one of the jury opposes, suggesting they should debate more on the case. As the film unfolds, Juror 8 manages to convince other jurors to rethink the decision, one by one. The defendant is eventually found not guilty and released. 

    Twelve Angry Men is a brilliant story of the art of negotiation and persuasion. In addition, it’s a beautifully directed movie with all-time star Henry Fonda as part of the cast. The movie is worth watching for insights on group behavior, too.

    9. The Wolf of Wall Street 

    11 movies with strategy ideas for your business

    Director: Martin Scorsese 

    Year: 2013

    How do you make your way from a broke aspiring stockbroker to one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the US? The plot of the movie follows Jordan Belford, an extremely charismatic stockbroker who is led by one single goal: to succeed. Together with his neighbor, he establishes Stratton Oakmont, a firm employing a pump and dump scheme which eventually brings the team high income. Jordan’s path is tied with growing checks, extravagant lifestyle, and personal dramas.

    The movie teaches how stubbornness, great pitching, and charisma can lead to success — and advises what to do with it when you have it.

    10. Coco Before Chanel

    11 movies with strategy ideas for your business

    Director: Anne Fontaine

    Year: 2009

    Directed by Anne Fontaine, the movie shines a light on the life of one of the most successful female fashion entrepreneurs, Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel. Graciously played by Audrey Tautou, Coco is making her way through life and business. She discovers her talent as a designer as she reinvents women’s dresses and creates hats. In the meantime, Coco is faced with many challenges in her private life.  

    In the movie, Coco tries to be independent in what she does, by disregarding help from others, and always keeping her core goal in mind. 

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    11. Moneyball

    11 movies with strategy ideas for your business

    Director: Bennett Miller

    Year: 2011

    Moneyball is a sports drama about Billy Beane, general manager of the Oakland Athletics. Having a limited budget, he needs to gather a team for 2002. With the help of Peter Brand, a young economist from Yale, he develops a sabermetrics model to evaluate players. His team later wins and loses games as he learns more about Brand’s method and team management nuances. 

    The movie shows how entrepreneurs can act on low budgets, which is common for many businessmen. With the help of smart strategy and thorough data analysis, one can pave their way to success.


    We hope you enjoyed this list and already know what to watch today. And if you’re unsure if you should be spending time on this, we’ll tell you one thing: it’s not procrastination since you’re getting valuable insights from movie protagonists and learning from their mistakes.

    Now, what movie would you add to this list?

    Mariia Shnyrkova

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