Now, readers would know that I really lay on the pop culture references pretty thick. I find it works well and makes ordinary, sometimes mundane, topics much more interesting and easy to explain. I’ve used Brittany Spears, Ikea, Kung Fu, Death metal, Dr Phil and countless others.
But I have never used Star Wars references in my post and probably never will. Why? I would like you to take some time to have a good read of this blog. I am having trouble finding the words to convey how brilliant it is.
My own company is a play on words on the much hyped/maligned Six Sigma methodologies, but this is so much more clever!
On this blog, both Darth Vader and Darth Sidious offer advice on strategy, project management and general business leadership and management topics. Some absolutely brilliant content there too, all set against the backdrop of what it takes to manage an evil empire. When you think about it, a Death Star is a pretty serious undertaking and to build it on time and on budget takes some pretty impressive management talent. So, despite whether you are an Empire kind of guy, or prefer being rebel scum, you have to concede that Vader and Sidious know how to manage a team. Sure, they made some mistakes (certainly their disaster recovery and risk management strategy were definitely flawed), but most organisations have a misfocussed attitude to security.
Aside from laughing hysterically when reading their material, I am certain that both Sith lords read the same strategy and management books that I do.
Here are some classic quotes..
In this essay on how performance metrics impact employee behaviour, Darth Sidious cites a recent example
…if your compensation system is based on rewarding people for speed, but product or service quality is severely lacking for some reason – even though you’ve mandated quality, it doesn’t make a difference what you mandate if what you’re measuring doesn’t support that goal (or even worse, is opposite to it).
That may seem like an obvious example, but it’s more common than you think. For the Clone Wars we ordered 100M Clones, and we wanted them ready in time to trick Obi Wan, so the Clone factory sacrificed on quality and what we ended up getting was 35% of the Clones being totally useless.
Now *that* is a real-world example that I can relate to! Here is another gem from Sidious, explaining how the empire maintains a skills inventory to help them understand a team’s strengths and weaknesses.
Say you’re in a team that specializes in using the Force to electrocute captured rebels, or run a Network Engineering team. When it comes to hiring your instinct is to focus on the obvious and primary skill of the team.
Need to fill in an electrocutioner position? Then you’re probably looking for someone who’s learned how to channel the powers of the Force into electricity. Need to fill in a Network engineer position? You probably are looking for a hardcore networking/router/firewall guy.
Probably my favourite article is the Sith version of my "Project Fail" series where Darth Sidious offers advice on strategy, vision and goals. He breaks it down to:
- Corporate objectives – eg "Increase delivery time of star destroyers by 10% over the next 12 months"
- Nested Objectives
- Alignment of Projects
- Executive/Sith Lord Sponsorship – "if an executive sponsor, Sith Lord, finds out you spent a large amount of galactic credits and it didn’t pay off, now you’re in deep water with no one to support you. A Sith Lord is liable to feed you to a Panna Monster in such a case"
I could go on and on, but I could never do the site justice. The thing I really like about whoever authors this site is that they have managed to find the perfect balance between entertainment value with really insightful and clever messages behind the humour. It is a goal I have been trying to attain in my writing also, but I have to take my hat off to Sith Sigma for nailing it perfectly.
If they would have me I’d write on that site about collaboration under the pseudonym of Jar-Jar Binks 😉
Go take a look now. Tell em Jar-Jar sent you 😉 .