Home > Authors on Tour March '10 > Announcing Coupe and Sansolo’s “The Big Picture” Virtual Book Tour, March 2010

Announcing Coupe and Sansolo’s “The Big Picture” Virtual Book Tour, March 2010

Join authors Kevin Coupe and Michael Sansolo, authors of the business book, The Big Picture: Essential Business Lessons from the Movies (Brigantine Media, January 2010), as they virtually tour the blogosphere in March on their first virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book Promotion!

About Kevin Coupe and Michael Sansolo

Kevin Coupe has been a working writer all his professional life. For the past decade, he’s had his own website/blog—http://www.morningnewsbeat.com/—providing what he calls “business news in context, and analysis with attitude.”

In addition to speaking at hundreds of conferences in the U.S. and abroad and reporting from 45 states and six continents, Kevin has been a newspaper reporter, video producer, actor, bodyguard, clothing salesman, supervised a winery tasting room, ran two marathons (slowly), drove a race car (badly), took boxing lessons (painfully), and acted in a major (and obscure) motion picture.

Kevin is married with three children and lives in Connecticut.

Michael Sansolo has traveled around the world one supermarket at a time, yet stopped to climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Great Wall of China, and Pikes Peak. A native New Yorker, Sansolo is a consultant and frequent speaker for the food retail industry, and is a contributing editor and weekly columnist for MorningNewsBeat.com, a daily newsletter on the retail industry.

Sansolo was the senior vice president of the Food Marketing Institute and was editor-in-chief of Progressive Grocer magazine.  Favorite book: The Big Picture (of course), and The Great Gatsby; favorite food: Sal’s Pizza; favorite team: the Mets; favorite movies: read The Big Picture!

Sansolo, his family, and his very annoying beagle live in the suburbs of Washington, DC.

For more information on the book and its authors, visit http://www.brigantinemedia.com/author.php?id=coupe-sansolo You can also find Kevin online at http://www.morningnewsbeat.com/ and Michael at http://www.michaelsansolo.com/

About The Big Picture

Movies are magical. They can release us from the stress of everyday life. But movies also contain valuable lessons to improve the way we do business.

In their entertaining new book, The Big Picture: Essential Business Lessons From the Movies, authors Kevin Coupe and Michael Sansolo show how to use the stories in movies to solve problems in business. From The Godfather to Tootsie, from The Wedding Singer to Babe, the authors use more than sixty of their favorite movies to teach important lessons about branding, customer service, leadership, planning, ethics, and innovation.

Readers learn how to use stories from the movies to communicate clearly with employees, clients, and customers.

Read an Excerpt!

Take 1 – Action/Adventure

Jaws (1975)

Rated L Leadership
Rated P Planning

by Kevin Coupe

Denial is Never a Good IdeaJaws is one of the best thrillers ever made, but it also serves up an example of business behavior that is almost inevitably fatal: denial.

“I don’t think either one of you are aware of our problems,” Mayor Vaughn (Murray Hamilton) says to Chief of Police Martin Brody (Roy Scheider) and Matt Hooper (Richard Dreyfuss) at one point in the movie. “I’m only trying to say that Amity is a summer town. We need summer dollars. Now, if the people can’t swim here, they’ll be glad to swim at the beaches of Cape Cod, the Hamptons, Long Island…”

Sure, Amity needed summer dollars. But what Vaughn ignored was the fact that the town also needed tourists that weren’t worried about being torn limb from limb.
Vaughn’s reluctance to close the beach is an example of the type of short-term thinking that should be avoided in the business world. Vaughn is working under the premise that if the town of Amity closes the beaches because of concerns about shark attacks, it will scare away the tourists on which the town depends. Which is true. But Vaughn ignores the cold reality that if tourists find out that there is a shark in the water and the town allowed people to go swimming, not only will they stay away in droves, they’ll also lose trust in the town’s management and never come back.

Businesses have to engender trust in their customers. Violate that sense of trust by ignoring the obvious facts—or even just the likely trends—and the repercussions can be both serious and long lasting.

Mayor Vaughn obviously never learned from the management at Johnson & Johnson, who, when faced with evidence that Tylenol had been tampered with in 1982, immediately pulled the product off the shelves. The Tylenol executives figured that they could survive the short-term hit, but would never survive the backlash if they denied the seriousness of the problem. When a new tamper-proof version of Tylenol came back to store shelves, there remained a sense of trust on the part of the consumers because Johnson & Johnson played it straight.

To be fair, although Mayor Vaughn generally is painted as the bad guy in Jaws because he ignores the sharp-toothed reality swimming just off shore, almost everybody is in some sort of denial. While this denial drives the plot forward, it also offers a primer on how to not deal with serious or even not-so-serious business situations.

Think about it. Quint, the great shark hunter played to crusty perfection by Robert Shaw, continues to chase the enormous great white shark with a small boat and just two crewmen. That’s world-class denial.

Hooper, the oceanic expert with a passion for sharks, shows a sense of denial several times when he gets into the water with the shark. Sure, he’s getting into an anti-shark cage, but the evidence is pretty strong that it isn’t going to be nearly “anti” enough.

“You go inside the cage”? Quint asks. “Cage goes in the water, you go in the water. Shark’s in the water. Our shark.” And then he sings: “Farewell and adieu to you, fair Spanish ladies. Farewell and adieu, you ladies of Spain. For we’ve received orders for to sail back to Boston. And so nevermore shall we see you again.”

About the only main character who doesn’t seem to be in denial is Chief Brody, and even he has a moment of self-delusion when he’s asked why, if he is scared of the water, he lives on an island. “It’s only an island when you look at it from the water,” he says.

Yeah, right.

But it also is Brody who has the movie’s primal moment of clarity. It’s when he’s shoveling bait into the water and gets his first close-up look at the shark’s massive body, black eyes, and very, very sharp teeth.

“I think we’re going to need a bigger boat,” he says.

Truer words never have been spoken.

In business, as in Jaws, denial can get you eaten for lunch.

Take 4 – Comedy

Babe (1995)

Be Different

Rated RB Rule Breakers

by Michael Sansolo

There is a phrase that should never be uttered in business. It consists of the seven forbidden words:
“That’s the way we’ve always done it!”

You know you have heard the phrase and it is possible that you have even said it. The cumulative impact of the phrase is a non-stop assault on creativity, innovation, and rule breaking—the very activities virtually every company should encourage.

There is a cure for this unbridled corporate conservatism in the form of the delightful movie Babe. Every time the phrase “That’s the way we’ve always done it!” is uttered, force that person to watch Babe. In fact, watch it yourself. It’s worth it.

On the surface, Babe appears to be a child’s movie. It isn’t, although it is great for children, too. It’s the story of a pig, Babe, who is the runt of the litter destined for the slaughterhouse. Babe is saved from this fate when he is given to a local fair to be handed out as a prize, which is won by taciturn farmer Arthur Hoggett, wonderfully played by James Cromwell.

Once at Hoggett’s farm, Babe does something unusual: he stops behaving like a pig, for the simple reason that he doesn’t know he’s a pig. He consorts with all manner of animals like Ma the old sheep, Ferdinand the duck, and the litter of sheepdogs living in the barn. With his polite manners and naïve ways, Babe becomes a friend to all the animals, many of whom do not get along and clearly do not respect each other. (Hmmm, sounds more like an office with each passing moment.)

Farmer Hoggett begins to notice Babe’s social abilities when Babe divides all the chickens in the yard into groups of similar colors. Soon, Farmer Hoggett gives Babe a chance to show his stuff at the most important animal job on the farm, herding the sheep.

That’s where Babe the pig and Babe the movie shine. By breaking all the rules—“the way things are,” as the animals remind him—Babe becomes an outstanding herder. Although the dogs consider the sheep too dumb to understand anything other than a nasty approach and the sheep consider the dogs too stupid to talk with, Babe bridges the divide with friendship and manners. Slowly but surely, even the most reluctant animals begin to understand the wisdom of Babe.

Babe is a simple story, but it contains an important lesson. Think of how many businesses have stuck to the way things always are and completely missed the opportunity to become something entirely new, bigger, and better. Some have taken those opportunities:

• MTV didn’t invent video or records, but pulled them together into an entirely new cable channel. CBS, in contrast, owned a television network and a record company, but missed the chance.
• Barack Obama did not discover social networking, but his advanced use of the concept of Internet connections helped his fundraising and campaigning. John McCain’s presence on YouTube or Facebook was a fraction of Obama’s.
• Google wasn’t the first company to offer a search engine for the Internet, but its speed and efficiency helped create a cyberspace dynamo that dwarfs AltaVista, Yahoo, or even Microsoft.

MTV, the Obama campaign, and Google all had their Babe moments. They ignored “the way things are always done” and built astounding success by identifying possibilities and filling them with a value proposition that viewers, listeners, and shoppers learned to love.
Babe connects on many levels. The parallel of animal and human behavior has been shown often in the movies, from Charlotte’s Web to Animal Farm. But Babe delivered a winning story told in a creative style and with a lesson that could stand the test of time. In fact, the movie was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture, an uncommon honor for a “children’s” movie.

Be on the lookout for those seven deadly words of business, those seven words that limit your horizons and suck the creativity and spirit out of your people. When someone says, “That’s the way we’ve always done it!” launch a counter-attack with the story of a pig that refused to accept things the way they were.

Read the Reviews

“The connection between the movies and business wisdom has been there all along. It took Kevin and Michael to bring it into sharp, digital-age focus.”
– Gerry Lopez, CEO, AMC Entertainment Inc.

“The Big Picture will open your mind about the power of storytelling, whether it’s for a speech, a business presentation, or a one-on-one with a business associate or a member of your family. Great job, Kevin and Michael. You have given me a new reason to go to the movies.”
– Jim Donald, CEO, Haggen, Inc. and former CEO, Starbucks Coffee Company

“This wonderful book proves what I have always believed: Movies teach us everything we need to know in business if we would only listen.”
– Beau Fraser, co-author, Death to all Sacred Cows and Managing Director, The Gate Worldwide

“The Big Picture updates the old adage that a (movie) picture is worth a thousand words. A very worthwhile book.”
– Stu Upson, Executive Director, United States Bowling Congress

“Stew Leonard’s loves stories. We are a story telling organization. That’s why The Big Picture will be staple in our management’s library at Stew’s. I loved it and it’s a must read!”
– Stew Leonard Jr., CEO, Stew Leonard’s

“This is the kind of useful and enjoyable book business people like me need to share in our companies.”
– Robert Phillips, President, California Tortilla Group, Inc.

“To enjoy a film is a treat! To add to that by learning a valuable business lesson from that film is a profit. To be steered to achieve both a treat and a profit by reading The Big Picture is a true adventure!”
– Senator Feargal Quinn, founder of Superquinn and former President of EuroCommerce

“Michael and Kevin have written an informative and useful business book that’s also fun to read and easy to apply. What a creative approach to business.”
– Thom Blischok, President, Consulting & Innovation, Information Resources, Inc.

Coupe and Sansolo’s THE BIG PICTURE VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR will officially begin on March 1st and end on March 26th. You can visit Kevin and MIchael’s blog stops at http://www.virtualbooktours.wordpress.com/ during the month of March to find out more about this great book and these talented authors!

If you are interested in participating in his tour, please contact Cheryl Malandrinos at cg20pm00(at)gmail(dot)com. A limited number of copies will be offered for bloggers to use as giveaways.  These will be available on a first come, first serve basis.

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