This New Year's Eve our family opted for a quiet movie marathon over crowds, and parties. We each chose 1 movie, and perused Amazon to decide what movies we'd watch. The 11 year old went with "School of Rock", an oldie but goodie that never disappoints. The husband rented "The Mountain Between Us". Perhaps he should of read a couple of reviews, because what we thought would be a harrowing disaster movie turned into a love story that made little sense. I decided to go with a free movie and stumbled across one I'd been meaning to see for many years, "Temple Grandin". We definitely saved the best for last!
The movie got me thinking of a time our company, Solar Vision Inc., worked indirectly with Dr. Grandin at Colorado State University. We were asked by the Contractor to produce some window graphics for their newly remodeled Animal Sciences building. One of the graphics they asked for was one of Dr. Temple Grandin's cattle handling designs. When we were working on the graphic about 3 years ago, I'd heard of Temple Grandin but honestly did not fully understand the depth of the importance behind her work. After watching the movie, and doing some internet research on Dr. Temple Grandin, I have a renewed respect for processes in life and in business.
Dr. Temple Grandin at a relatively young age took a well-established process and made it much better. Her process for cattle handling in the beef industry changed the way we process food, by making it more efficient and humane. What if she didn't have autism, would that process have ever been developed? What if she'd taken "no" for an answer? She was different, she was female, what did she know?
Think of all the times you might have dismissed an idea, or process that could make your business or life better because maybe the person suggesting the idea didn't know anything about your trade, or they were too young, or just didn't see things the way you did. Have you missed an important opportunity?
Processes are what can make or break a business or industry. If something isn't working in your business process, can you fix it? If not, can you put your ego aside and let someone else have a look?
I thoroughly enjoyed "Temple Grandin", and I've enjoyed learning more about her afterword. The Business Owner in me found myself focusing on the processes and efficiency of what her mind created, however the human in me found myself intrigued with what the mind is capable of, and how sometimes to easily we dismiss people who don't fit our mold, or make us uncomfortable. Without the beautiful minds of individuals on the autism spectrum, I can only imagine a world with less innovation, technology, and creativity.
As the daughter of someone who works with special needs children, I assumed that I had a good understanding of the subject. However I was very wrong! Watching the movie helped me better understand how someone with a different mind from me sees the world. It's rare that a movie can be enlightening, educational, and pull on your heart strings at the same time. If you have some free time, I highly encourage watching "Temple Grandin".