It’s amazing how human beings work. No wonder we haven’t discovered everything about how our brains function. In amongst the serious (and seriously useful) comment about how business works and what might be done to ensure that it continues to do so, I recently came across an article that, on the face of it, seemed to be deadly serious...
I fervently hope that it wasn’t meant to be, but I suspect that it was. After all, thousands of people put their religion down as ‘Jedi’ in the last census, so why should we be surprised that the Jedi ‘philosophy’ is now being advanced as a serious business proposition? And given the amazing technology on display in Star Wars, can it serve as a model for any aspiring IT business? Just to illustrate the point, what other construction can we put on the following…?
‘So to be a Jedi business, we are really talking about abiding by key philosophies and abiding by them with relentless desire to excellence (sic). As an entrepreneur, I’m proud my business subscribes to a Jedi culture … As Jedi Knight Qui-Gon Jinn once said, “Your focus determines your reality.”’
The author did go on to admit that he isn’t (yet) skilled at moving objects with his mind, but claimed ‘that by setting my mind to the right path, I was able to assemble a team that’s capable of greatness.’ So, that will be setting business goals and hiring good people then?
Then we have, ‘one of the biggest lessons from Star Wars’, to wit, ‘that Jedi have a purpose that serves a greater good’ (that will be CSR then?). Morever, ‘for Jedi business leaders, they understand doing things cheaper or faster is not always the best way to go and establish themselves. Indeed, the purpose of a company on the good side is to teach and train people how to be the best, whilst continually learning and improving upon its own methods.’ That will be CPD then?
We also must ‘remember that customers have high standards and so should you. And striving to be the best will keeps you driven and motivated to achieve that Jedi master status. Luke is cool but Yoda is king. There is always something to learn – be it by gaining lessons from Star Wars or customer insight – and a Jedi business will never rest on its former glories.’ Good customer service anyone? Or does that include slicing up your competitors with light sabres?
Suddenly, the scales fall from my eyes! This isn’t just a ludicrous attempt to draw parallels between normal business behaviour and the wisdom of Hollywood. It’s real and worthwhile. There is surely a market for business consultancy based on characters from the movies.
Let’s think. There is the Dirty Harry model of industrial relations. ‘Do I feel lucky punk?’ will surely lead to years of harmony. If this doesn’t work, there is Godfather negotiating theory – ‘I’m going to make you an offer you can’t refuse.’
For those who are really ambitious, I can wholeheartedly recommend the Titanic book of Executive Ambition, which will surely teach you to be ‘King of the World!’ And who can say if Steve Jobs was inspired when he watched 2001 A Space Odyssey and it’s classic line, ‘Open the iPod doors please HAL.’
Perhaps a bit too close to home is the Wall Street philosophy of ‘greed, for want of a better word, is good.’ Or perhaps not. Yoda is one thing, Gordon Gekko is most definitely another!
Michael Phair, Be-IT Resourcing