Movie B-School: Groundhog Day Insanity

3 minute read


For any of our dear readers who’ve stepped foot in our beautiful offices, you know I have a framed photo of Bill Murray on my desk, pointing at me (or whoever the frame is facing), inscribed with “You’re Awesome.” I’m not kidding when I say the person I’d most like to grab a beer with is Bill Murray. He’s hilarious and seems to be a grounded human with a low tolerance for BS. If he were to grace me with his presence, I’m not sure what I would do. We have celebrities in our office from time to time, with who I’m able to maintain a level of composure, but none are the great Mr. Murray – who would likely put me in a state of awe and silence. And maybe a few tears. But that’s enough about me.

One of Bill’s greats (and there are SO MANY) is the classic ‘90’s flick Groundhog Day. Like all of his movies, it produced many great one-liners and scenes to mimic when you’re having a bad day or a rough case of deja vu. In the movie, Bill’s cranky weatherman, Phil, travels to the town of Punxsutawney, famous as the home of the season-forecasting groundhog, for a “special report.” He has been covering it for years and is now reviled by the small town and its special day. After a particularly inglorious day on location, Phil finds himself stuck in a loop of reliving Groundhog Day’s events, right down to the minutiae. While living within the same day, day after day, he attempts to woo his new producer by testing out different techniques and continuing on with the ones that work.

Since he can remember the previous G. Days, he is able to build upon what he’s learned and change tactics for better outcomes. This B-School is about taking risks and listening to the world around you. It’s important to test ideas out, and know what result you are looking for. We easily get frustrated while trying to solve complex problems, because we simply don’t try methods foreign to what we already know, and still expect a resolution.

Movie B-School: Groundhog Day Insanity I North by Northwest Boise

The Dreaded Ned

Repetition does not get us anywhere. It just doesn’t. Phil quickly gets bored of reliving the same day, and out of boredom picks bar fights, steals the official groundhog, and generally causes chaos within each day. Soon, he realizes he can use his situation for good (good for himself, anyway) and begins learning about his co-worker.

Movie B-School: Groundhog Day Insanity I North by Northwest Boise

Drink to World Peace

While trying to impress the producer, Rita, enough to like him, he takes mental notes of what she loves and which behaviors disgust her. At the bar, for example, Phil spends the first time learning what her favorite drink is, then orders it for himself at the next opportunity, followed by finding out what she always toasts to. In the next bar scene, he of course toasts to her usual (“world peace”) and receives that special sparkle in her eyes.

Phil kept fine-tuning his method to reach the outcome he wanted: A date with the fair Rita. As the famous Albert Einstein quote goes, “Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

Movie B-School: Groundhog Day Insanity I North by Northwest Boise

In summary, to achieve great things you must first make adjustments to your method, then  follow the results, and finally, redirect your strategy until you reach the outcome you’re looking for. And if you’re reading Mr. Murray, I think you’re the bees knees. XOXO, your lifelong fan.

(Images via, via, via, via)


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About the Author

Stephanie Norell is the Marketing Director for North by Northwest’s Boise office. She loves horror movies and Pinterest, adores the classic film Xanadu, and “enjoys” disseminating her thoughts for trolls to discuss online.


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