Quality & Innovation in Fiction and Drama

I like to read fiction, and I like to watch movies. And I like them even more when the story is quality-related or teaches us how to be more innovative. This page is dedicated to those great novels I've read or movies I've seen that have a distinctive quality bent. As you can tell, I haven't found many so far... so let me know if you have anything else I can add! (Email me if you want to recommend something. Once I've read it, I'll post a synopsis here along with a link to your site.)

Unstoppable (2010) with Chris Pine & Denzel Washington

I'm not a big fan of action movies, but there was nothing else on Dish TV the night that this came on, and I was actually done with my work that night. And WOW! What a case study for people who study quality management systems or risk analysis! A great exercise for a class would be to watch this movie, which dramatizes the personal stories while staying true to what really happened during the 2001 CSX 8888 Incident, then examine the investigative report to determine the root cause of the problem.


Bad Luck and Trouble by Lee Child

What happens when a lawless quality control manager teams up with a shady former-LAPD cop, who happens to be the Director of Security for a Pentagon-sponsored missile development project? Lots of murders, people getting thrown out of helicopters, car chases, ransacked offices and hotel rooms, calls on untraceable phones, negotiations with potential terrorists, and a few very secret computer files that hold the key to the whole operation. If you were the CEO of this defense contractor, would YOU have known there was a scam going on? The book even has data that you can statistically analyze yourself.


The Story of B by Daniel Quinn

You'd never guess that there would be a quality-related message in a story about a Laurentian Priest in search of the Antichrist - but there is. About halfway through the book, there is a discussion about vision vs. programs. In other words, when everyone is aligned around the same vision, there's no need for programs or initiatives to be put in place to encourage progress - people will just automatically find their most optimal means to contribute to a company or society. If you NEED programs or initiatives to get things done, this might indicate that there's not a strong enough vision. It's a compelling case.