Businesses and Superheroes – are two things that don’t mix in the comic book world, with the latter being partially responsible for constant property damage on the former. But thankfully, in the real world, we don’t have to worry about that; instead, the superhero genre has become a great source of fun and learning in the 21st century.
I am not only talking about learning life lessons from MCU characters but also major business takeaways from the blockbuster success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The success of Marvel has become a case study in many offices and classrooms. Marvel is not only built on the back of its less popular characters (believe it or not, Ironman wasn’t this iconic before Robert Downey Jr played him), but it has consistently delivered quality after quality products since its launch in 2008.
Even with some hiccups in the middle (looking at you, Hulk and Thor), Marvel has bounced back with twice the energy and given a performance to remember. This performance speaks not only on the screen but also in the record-smashing earnings that the Marvel movies have collected.
Let’s look at the 8 business lessons that can be learned from the Marvel Cinematic Universe and its characters:
Nick Fury: The right ‘A’ team can define success
The infamous Nick Fury had the right idea. Whether it’s in movies or in real life, putting together, the right people can define success or failure for the company. Even though the Avengers had gone through their own fair share of ups and downs as a team, when the chips were down, they have always shoulder to shoulder in the fight — which is exactly why Nick Fury had made the team, “To deal with things we never could.”
This can be seen in the success of the Marvel movies themselves. By bringing individuals that genuinely care about what the movie says, that are passionate about their art and craft — Marvel was able to create success like no other.
Tony Stark: Innovation will keep you ahead of everyone else
One of my favorite things from across the Marvel movies has been the depiction of a typical engineering mindset that can be seen in the progression of the Ironman suits.
Every iteration has updates or innovations that are a direct result of a previous encounter that highlighted a lack in the suit’s makeup. Not only that, but Tony Stark’s tendency to innovate has enabled him to stand toe to toe with Wizards, Gods, Superhumans, and Giants.
Again, using the example of Marvel, the cinematic universe has been unafraid to innovate when things don’t seem to work out. The company has not only stuck with things that worked but has also brought novelty to the Marvel characters by using different genres as a tool to breathe life in the superhero genre.
Thor: Learn from your mistakes
Both the movies and the characters are great learning opportunities for business leaders inspired by Marvel. Even though Thor is a centuries-old god and entitled to a throne, he hasn’t ever been afraid to learn from his younger or lessers.
It is a bitter lesson that the young god has to learn when his father casts him out of his home, that his worthiness doesn’t come from a title he hasn’t earned but from his actions that do.
For the MCU, Thor 1& 2 were a major flop after a series of successes, which became a major learning point for Marvel. The company pivoted genres in the third movie and brought in people (first two points!) that completely turned around the character and story giving them the platform to launch a fourth solo movie for the character.
Doctor Strange: Don’t be afraid to change/fail
In the first movie, Doctor Strange – a man of science and rationality – has his worldview shaken by encountering the unexplainable. In pursuit of health and happiness, he has to abandon each and every belief that he holds dear. Business leaders know this lesson well. In a world that is changing, fear of it can hold back the most brilliant from progressing.
One more takeaway that Doctor Strange leaves us with at the end of the movie is failing isn’t everything, even though it may feel that way. In fact, it is general learning from marvel characters one can take that failures are stepping stones to success.
Black Widow: Agile and flexible systems can get you far
Agile and flexibility of systems is all businesses can talk about nowadays. It is recommended practice because it helps businesses to adapt to unforeseen circumstances, of which there are many.
Black Widow is the perfect example of what agile and flexible behavior looks like. She has adapted to different country regimes, life situations and fights with extreme adroitness. Even her fighting style is an excellent instance of those qualities switching according to the opponent she is facing. These qualities can carry even small businesses through situations that might topple a bigger organization.
Kate Bishop / Hawkeye: Chase after your dreams / be proactive
There are a hundred reasons not to do something. Family, friends, circumstances, lack of resources, everything could tell why you shouldn’t do something. But if you are searching for a sign to chase your dreams, then your search is the signal to do so. Kate Bishop is an inspiration for all business leaders who are doubting their capabilities, experience, and skill to pursue their dream – if you really want it, then go and get it. Don’t wait for anything.
She-Hulk: Different situations call for a different you
Business leaders come across a variety of situations in their work. Some they have seen before, and some they haven’t. It is easy to lose control of emotions in these situations and panic. Jennifer Walters in the She-Hulk series teaches us how to instead use even your negative situations to your benefit. Taking a step back and deciding how to respond is one of the first lessons a leader learns in business.
Avengers: Communication can solve most things
The last major takeaway that needs to be learned from the marvel characters is one of communication. The whole fiasco of the Civil War could have been avoided if leaders on both sides had only communicated their issues and expectations to each other. This could have perhaps even led to a better response at the time of the arrival of Thanos.
In fact, studies say that most employees complain about their business leaders not communicating enough and never overcommunicating. If you think you are repeating a message more times than necessary, let me tell you it is not. It will only help avoid complications in the future.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe has been serving iconic stories and characters that not only entertain but also teach life lessons to business leaders. It’s no wonder that the success of MCU continues to inspire so many business leaders today.
- What is Marvel’s MCU mission statement?
Marvel’s mission statement is: “A vision as far-reaching as our stories.” Amazingly simple but also very ambitious, it communicates to everyone on staff and their part in achieving it.
- What makes the MCU successful?
The Marvel Cinematic Universe, arguably the most profitable franchise ever, achieves the ideal balance by choosing for seasoned inexperience, capitalizing on a strong core, consistently changing the formula, and fostering customers’ curiosity.
- What is Marvel’s MCU business model?
Marvel Worldwide Inc is an illustration of a “products” business model. The business develops intellectual property for its parent company, Marvel Entertainment LLC, in the form of comic book characters and plots that are marketed directly to readers via retailers’ physical or digital outlets. Additionally, Marvel Entertainment uses this intellectual property in its own motion pictures and grants licenses to other businesses (e.g., TV networks).
- Who was Marvel’s MCU first superhero?
Human Torch. The character made its debut in the first story of the now-classic comic book Marvel Comics (1939). The fictional superhero character was created by artist Carl Burgos. He also wrote the first original story.