20 December 2016
Have you seen Rogue One: A Star Wars Story yet? We held an exclusive screening for the team and clients last week and it got me thinking: Whether you’re a fan or not, I certainly think that we can learn a few things from the Star Wars world that transfer into business.
Whichever film you’re watching, there is no question you’re watching a Star Wars film, right from the start. From the opening ‘A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…’ to the cantinas bursting with extra weird and wonderful beings, to the colours and the music. Add to this the infamous Storm Troopers, Jedi and – of course – Darth Vader, and it’s instantly recognisable. Standing out in this way in such a saturated sci-fi/fantasy market is no mean feat. The rule of simplicity pretty much applies to all successful branding – look at the blue and silver of the Red Bull brand and the ‘gives you wings’ strapline; the red and white of Coca Cola that are so powerful they gave Father Christmas his uniform, or the ‘Just Do It’ white tick on a black background of Nike.
Each of the films have core values, much like we do here at UKFast – something I learned were essential in any business from Jim Collins’ books many years ago. We clearly know the good guys’ values – they’re the same throughout – faith, hope, and a bit of naivety. Whilst these might not be the values you want in business – what are? Which values fit your brand and your culture?
You will often hear me talk about a magic formula – what makes your business your business, and why does that make it great? What do you do and how do you do it successfully? Once you find this magic formula, it should never change! Undoubtedly, it should evolve and grow as your business does, but ultimately, it should keep the same foundations. In Star Wars, at its simplest level, we see this as a common thread throughout storylines: a family/parentage drama, undeniable romance, a tortured hero, a strong female, an unusual or flawed mentor, and of course a terrifying villain.
Do or do not, there is no try!
Whilst we’ve not seen him for a little while, Yoda is undoubtedly a fountain of knowledge in the movies. His quotes are used across the world as key mantras alongside those of Muhammad Ali, Ghandi and Plato, having resonated with swathes of people – despite Yoda being a fictional green character. His main credo tallies with the teachings of mindfulness, which have become increasingly ‘on trend’ over recent years. Being in the moment, appreciating the here and now, and purposefully setting a focus or paying attention in a particular way removes distractions, lowers stress and ultimately makes you more effective as a business leader.
Use technology to your advantage
Where would the Rebellion be if R2D2 had not come through with hidden data to save the day? Throughout each film, we can see futuristic technology being used alongside human expertise and intuition – often not to the best effect, but the theory is there. Nowadays, technology massively improves efficiency, quality, reach and communication in business, among almost every other aspect of running a company day to day. This year has been huge for automation and we’re likely to see even more in 2017, removing the banal admin jobs and enabling people to focus on the roles that they enjoy and thrive at. This is something we’ve employed here at UKFast, automating small processes that take up time, so that our team can spend more time speaking with our customers and creating relationships – something that technology simply can’t do alone!
And finally, faith
Belief in your cause is essential! In Empire Strikes Back, when Luke says he doesn’t believe it, Yoda simply replies: “That is why you fail”. It’s simple but it’s true. Belief is essential in every part of life and business. Positivity builds momentum, belief continues that momentum. Industrialist Henry Ford once wrote: “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right”. Your mind is incredibly powerful and works in ways that I don’t think we fully understand yet, but I do know that when you wholeheartedly believe in a goal, there’s little that will stop you achieving it.