Learning about Productivity from Hollywood

Group of Multiethnic Busy People Working in an OfficeThe “Hollywood Model” might have a few things to teach us about productivity and where the economy is headed, and how we might structure business models in the future. In movie-making, a large team of people with a variety of different skills is assembled to tackle a large, short-term project that needs to be carried out with seamless efficiency. “This short-­term, project-­based business structure is an alternative to the corporate model, in which capital is spent up front to build a business, which then hires workers for long-­term, open-­ended jobs that can last for years, even a lifetime.”

The “Hollywood Model” is applicable across many industries, and is used from everything from app development to construction. The main reason for the shift is the US transitioning from an industrial to a post-industrial society. Now the focus is on an adaptable, small, skilled and cost-effective team, rather than a large-scale manufacturing model focused on factories, machines and other physical capital to streamline efficiency. This is good news for both capital owners as well as workers, who are valued and in demand for their project-specific skills and are not as often replaced by automation because they are regarded for their intuition and experience; something that machines cannot provide.


Cropped image of man attending conference meeting on laptop at homeInstead, a partnership and increased compatibility between employee and machines or robots is starting to take shape. “The Hollywood model isn’t good news for everybody. It clearly rewards education and cultural fluency, which are not distributed evenly throughout the population. But the Hollywood model does suggest that the winners in the new economy will be much greater than just some tiny 1 percent. It will be tens of millions of Americans, many of whom won’t have advanced degrees in engineering, but will have curiosity, creativity and more tools available to help them connect with their audience, whoever that may be.”

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