Innovation and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

by Braden Kelley

Innovation and Chitty Chitty Bang BangNow that our local Blockbuster has gone out of business, we’ve made the jump and joined Netflix (although I will miss taking trips to Blockbuster with my daughter).

The first disc in my queue to arrive was the venerable, enjoyable Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

I was very excited to share this musical celebration of innovation with my daughter last night.

The story of course puts innovation (and learning from failure) front and center, and is a lot of fun at the same time.

The star object is of course the car, but the best supporting object as it were, is a sweet with holes in it.

At first nobody thinks much of the sweets with holes in them made by one of the Dick Van Dyke character’s inventions (“your sugar is getting too hot” comments Truly Scrumptious), but then he discovers that these sweets with holes in them can work like little miniature flutes and he thinks he is on to something. But, after demonstrating them at the candy factory a mob of dogs swarms the place, and he has to flee the scene (no sale). It’s only at the very end that the sweet failure is again transformed into a treat for dogs and everyone is going to become very wealthy as a result.

It’s a great lesson in changing perspectives, learning from failure when it does occur and also illustrates that sometimes you have to adapt an invention from your intended target market to another one in order to transform the invention into a successful innovation.

But, learning from failure is highlighted in an even more fun (and musical) way in the ‘The Roses of Success’ number.

If you’d like to see the video of the song, here it is:

And if you’d like to give the words a closer look, here are the lyrics (courtesy stlyrics.com):

Every bursted bubble has a glory!
Each abysmal failure makes a point!
Every glowing path that goes astray,
Shows you how to find a better way.
So every time you stumble never grumble.
Next time you’ll bumble even less!
For up from the ashes, up from the ashes, grow the roses of success!
Grow the roses!
Grow the roses!
Grow the roses of success!
Oh yes!
Grow the roses!
Those rosy roses!
From the ashes of disaster grow the roses of success!
(spoken)Yes I know but he wants it to float. It will!
For every big mistake you make be grateful!
Here, here!
That mistake you’ll never make again!
No sir!
Every shiny dream that fades and dies,
Generates the steam for two more tries!
(Oh) There’s magic in the wake of a fiasco!
Correct!
It gives you that chance to second guess!
Oh yes!
Then up from the ashes, up from the ashes grow the roses of success!
Grow the roses!
Grow the roses!
Grow the roses of success!
Grow the roses!
Those rosy roses!
From the ashes of disaster grow the roses of success!
Disaster didn’t stymie Louis Pasteur!
No sir!
Edison took years to see the light!
Right!
Alexander Graham knew failure well; he took a lot of knocks to ring that bell!
So when it gets distressing it’s a blessing!
Onward and upward you must press!
Yes, Yes!
Till up from the ashes, up from the ashes grow the roses of success.
Grow the ro
Grow the ro
Grow the roses!
Grow the ro
Grow the ro
Grow the roses!
Grow the roses of success!
Grow the ro
Grow the ro
Grow the roses!
Those rosy ro
Those rosy ro
Those rosy roses!
From the ashes of disaster, grow the roses of success!
Start the engines!
Success!
Batten the hatches!
Success!
Man the shrouds!
Lift the anchor!
Success!

P.S. If you enjoyed this post you should check out my post – Another Innovation Movie for Kids

Don’t miss an article (4,000+) – Subscribe to our RSS feed and join our Innovation Excellence group!


Braden KelleyBraden Kelley is a popular innovation speaker, embeds innovation across the organization with innovation training, and builds social business strategies that attract and engage customers, partners, and employees. He is the author of Stoking Your Innovation Bonfire from John Wiley & Sons and tweets from @innovate.

No comments

  1. Thank you for sharing this, Braden! I will actually be returning the “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” DVD to my local library today, having watched it twice with my daughter. I was trying to memorize the lyrics to “The Roses of Success,” but my daughter wanted to get on with the movie rather than watch that scene over and over. It’s a great song, and comically inspiring to innovators.

  2. Glad you enjoyed it. It should be required viewing for all innovators. 😉

    In fact maybe I’ll start using it in some of my workshops or speeches. 🙂

    All the best,

    Braden
    @innovate

  3. So glad to find this article. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was and remains my favorite childhood film. Did your daughter enjoy the film as much as you hoped she would? Ian Fleming’s estate recently authorized 3 more sequels to CCBB. I feel ambivalent about this. On the one hand I look forward to more adventures with Chitty and the Potts family plus I like the idea of a younger generation rediscovering this “fine four fendered friend” as well. But I also dread some hacks in Hollywood massacring a childhood cinematic relic.

    And yes ‘The Roses of Success’ is a wonderfully inspiring song even for grown ups.

  4. I’ve heard the book is quite good (more detail), though I haven’t checked it out yet from the library.

    My daughter enjoyed the film as much as I thought she would. She loves all of the kid-friendly musicals. 🙂

    It will be interesting to see what happens with the new books, starting with:

    http://www.panmacmillan.com/chitty/

    In the meantime, keep growing those roses!

    Braden
    @innovate

Leave a Reply