Filmmaker Ken Burns on Lessons in Innovation and Collaboration

HBR IdeaCast

Mar 29 2022 • 29 mins


As the acclaimed documentarian releases a new two-part PBS series about Ben Franklin, he describes how the U.S. founding father transformed himself from teen runaway to newspaperman, then inventor, then political elder. He explains what current leaders can learn from how Franklin approached business, scientific discovery, and his fellow nation-builders. Ken Burns, whose films have covered everything from the Civil War to baseball, also shares insights on how he and his teammates get their own groundbreaking work done.