Successful Documentaries and Investments: What They Share

Wednesday, April 1
5:15 pm - 5:55 pm, Conference Room (Ballroom A)

Speakers: Lynn Novick

Insights on powerful narratives from Emmy Award-winning documentarian Lynn Novick 

At first glance, there would seem to be little connection between documentary film-making and investing in an industrial company. But the connection exists — and is stronger than you might think.

Before making an acquisition or divestment, PE leaders tell themselves a story. I don’t mean they create fiction. However, coming to a business decision involves weighing certain facts and assessing possible outcomes. Ordering that thinking into a logical and compelling reason for taking action is essentially forming a narrative, or a story. To make those stories more accurate and successful, we’ve asked a world-class storyteller, award-winning documentarian Lynn Novick, to be our IndEx 2020 keynote speaker. 

Finding great stories, deciding if and how they can be told, and then telling them powerfully is what Lynn Novick does. She is the Emmy- and Peabody Award-winning documentary producer and director who has collaborated with Ken Burns on Baseball (1994), Frank Lloyd Wright (1998), Jazz (2001), The War (2007), Prohibition (2011), The Vietnam War (2017), and College Behind Bars (2019).

Lynn believes that better story formation leads to more successful outcomes, whether the story turns into a documentary or an investment in an industrial company. As a master of process as well as content, she will explain:

  • Her criteria for what makes a good story. 
  • How she and her team decide which story is worth their investment of time and resources.
  • How her own experiences and those of her documentary subjects have helped her to separate facts from the ever-present emotions that color decision-making. 
  • Whether you have sufficiently diverse viewpoints to make good decisions.
  • What to do when you uncover truths that run counter to your thesis.

Like the millions of viewers of her work, attendees at IndEx 2020 are bound to come away from Lynn Novick’s presentation better informed and perhaps even moved.