The Star Wars Management Guide

694px-star_wars_logosvgI think over the past many years, I’ve demonstrated a penchant for spurring on and participating in some social experiments.  I like to tinker.  Often, however, these experiments don’t go very far because of a number of reasons.  Sometimes the activity itself is so niche that I can only get a handful of people who might be interested to engage, and it never builds the momentum or the audience to carry an idea forward (my SCORM book idea from earlier this year is a good example).

So, now I’m thinking a bit more broadly and openly.  What if a broader community of geeks, engineers, MBAs and the like were to put together a business book based on lessons learned from Star Wars?  Call it a management guide — heck, even an instruction manual for socially awkward nerds in a non-nerd workspace.

Context

A few weeks ago, I tweeted the idea and was immediately presented with enough response to outline thirteen possible chapters (all from the original trilogy, I’d add).  I’m not the purest I once was, though I would be surprised to mine wisdom out of the prequels.  At any rate, here’s a list of the chapters suggested almost entirely from the feedback in the beginning of August:

  • Chapter 1: “Stay on Target”
  • Chapter 2: “Watch for Enemy Fighters”
  • Chapter 3: “There Will Be No Bargain”
  • Chapter 4: “I Find Your Lack of Faith Disturbing”
  • Chapter 5: “Do or do not. There is no try.” chapter on increasing productivity?
  • Chapter 6: “A Small, One-Man Fighter Should be able to Penetrate the Outer Defenses”
  • Chapter 7: “These Aren’t The Droids You’re Looking For”
  • Chapter 8: “Never Tell Me The Odds”
  • Chapter 9: “Search Your Feelings; You Know it To Be True.”
  • Chapter 10: “IT’S A TRAP!”
  • Chapter 11: “What I told you was true… from a certain point of view.”
  • Chapter 12: “Traveling through hyperspace ain’t like dusting crops, boy”
  • Chapter 13, “I Know.”

Additions…

  • Chapter 14, “This deal is getting worse all the time.”
  • Chapter 15, “He’s no good to me dead.”

Plan

If there is some initial interest, I’ll set up a wiki on my gen1.us domain to let a first set of writers in, and then open it up/expand.

Not that I want to force a hand in the communal/creative process, but I’m trying to put enough boundaries to help move ideas forward and eliminate distractions.  I’m completely open to doing this in different ways.

Example: if I was writing a chapter myself, I’d expect the structure to look somewhat like this:

  • Title of the chapter is the pull quote.
  • First section of the chapter describes the scene in which the quote takes place.
  • Next section of the chapter relates it to one or more workplace scenarios where the scene in Star Wars is a metaphor (or an anti-model)
  • Pepper this with citations from other literature, preferrably non-fiction experts like Covey, Collins, Pink, etc, but not exclusively non-fiction experts.  Any relevant genre to enlighten the point you’re trying to make with the quote would be fine.  Point being: I don’t want to illustrate lessons from Star Wars with lessons from Star Trek.  I’d rather use lessons from Senge than Ferengi (har har).

…but I’m also flexible on this, too.

Goals

I have very few goals I want to get out of this, for me.

  1. Have fun without working too hard (*critical success factor).
  2. Build relationships beyond my normal network (*big personal win here).
  3. Have a site that actually has to go down for maintenance (*still nostalgic for an organic Digg effect).
  4. Get it done 100% community effort (*I don’t write more than one “chapter” worth of material, if that much)

Next Steps

If you’re in, comment below.  If I get more than six comments expressing interest (from six different people), I’ll set up the wiki and we’ll go from there.

59 replies on “The Star Wars Management Guide”