FHR Film Fest 2019 - What’s your story?

This Year’s Film FestWinners

Some of the most famous movies of all time have required a serious time commitment from viewers. “Gone with the Wind” (which premiered in Atlanta on the site of today’s Georgia-Pacific headquarters), “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly,” two of the “Lord of the Rings” installments and “Dances With Wolves” are all nearly four hours long.

Imagine if Rhett and Scarlett only had a minute and a half to tell their story. That’s the approach Flint Hills Resources took with its first-ever FHR Film Fest.

Following the rollout of the new Koch Vision and Guiding Principles last summer, FHR decided to try something new. Employees were invited to create 90-second “films” that “creatively capture and share positive examples of MBM® in practice.”

“We saw this as a new and creative way to reinforce, think differently about, and personalize our new MBM Guiding Principles,” said Jeff Ramsey, FHR’s president and CEO. “It’s all about collaboration and knowledge sharing, and reinforces our new FHR Vision.

“We want to cultivate a culture where all employees understand and continuously improve their application of MBM and internalize our new Guiding Principles. We also wanted some additional tools for helping leaders mentor and coach employees on how to apply MBM. When two of our learning services specialists, Jonathan Workman and Heather Adams-Wedel, proposed the idea of using a film festival as a way to capture and communicate our MBM success stories more effectively, we agreed it was worth a try.”

Prior to launching the event, the film fest team contacted a variety of subject matter experts. “We spoke with Paul Melory, the executive director of the Tallgrass Film Festival here in Kansas, and a company in Denver called Slalom that hosts internal learning festivals,” Workman explained. “We also spoke to people within Koch with related experience, like Glen Capek, the director of multimedia communications for Molex,” said Adams-Wedel. “Our very own Koch Communications Marketing team came up with the logo and created all of our digital and printed marketing materials.”

Social media played a big role in the communication strategy for this event. Employees were told they could learn more, follow the process, or ask questions using Yammer and Stream as well as traditional email. FHR also created a specialized PowerApp to provide information about the film fest. It made it easy for employees to submit their films from right inside the app.

Ramsey and the FHR leadership team were pleasantly surprised — and impressed — by the results. Dozens of employees across the organization — some working singly, others in groups — responded by making a wide variety of mini-movies that were “shot” using smartphones and edited using free apps available on their phones or computers. Some FHR employees used charts and graphs, others used animation. Some narrators were on camera, others were unseen. One group even used “3D acoustic pictures” to tell their story.

A panel of judges reviewed all the entries and chose five featured films. These films were screened for all Koch employees at Film Fest 2019 in Wichita on April 17. For those who could not attend in person, the event was streamed live to Koch locations worldwide, and later posted on DNET. After each film was shown, its creators and participants were interviewed by Jonathan and Heather. Then the audience was given the chance to have a question-and-answer session with the creators. When the Q&A ended, the film was shown one more time.

When Charles Koch got wind of this unique project, he gave it two thumbs up. “What is great about this is that it required employees to focus specifically on their application of MBM, rather than their intellectual knowledge of our principles and mental models. This wasn’t about using buzz words, it was about getting real results. That’s huge.”