It got me thinking about Crowe’s creative risks and what benefits came out of this box office dud. Of course, when the financial stakes are this high, studio heads and viewers are less forgiving of risks that tank.
Managing creative risk is about scoping and prioritizing the risks associated with the project. You can’t effectively fund and run a project until you know what your risks will cost – financially, politically, business, or career wise.
Crowe got confused about the risk he really wanted to take. He squandered his energy, funds, and passion and wound up delivering a watered down version of his original vision. He might have thought that making a film outside the proverbial studio box was the same as playing to the box office formula.
There’s a good lesson for business professionals in Crowe’s dilemma.
A formula doesn’t replace taking risks, but provides you with a blueprint for reducing the learning curve for avoiding the wrong risks.
How often do you review failed attempts or personal setbacks? When you look over your shoulder, ask yourself five questions:
- What three things could you take from a recent setback, tweak, and repurpose for later?
- What setbacks did you experience and which ones were you directly responsible for?
- What decisions were you proud of making, both for the process and its outcome?
- What types of stretch goals and risks did you make regardless of their outcome?
- Which risks did you shy away from and for what reason?
No doubt Crowe will go on to make memorable films with images that burn into your mind long after the movie ends. But he may want to figure out the risks he truly wants to take and then take them for the right reasons.
© 2006 DA McCrorey