3 Human Resources Lessons From Star Wars (spoiler free!)
In the great galactic battle against evil that is Star Wars, it’s easy to attribute the triumph of good to the Force. But maybe–just maybe–it’s actually the product of smart HR that allows scrappy heroes and heroines to make the most of limited resources. Perhaps poor HR is ultimately the downfall of the Empire and First Order, despite technological and military advantages. If you think we’re onto something, check out these top (spoiler-free!) HR takeaways from the series.
A Good Brand Needs A Face Darth Vader, Kilo Ren, and Stormtroopers wear masks in part as an intimidation tactic. The goal is to not be seen as human. Executives sometimes inadvertently achieve the same effect by being faceless. By not offering as kind of human face or aspect to the public, brands do this, too. While facelessness may be great for inspiring fear, it’s terrible for motivating employees, and it’s terrible for connecting with customers. Be human–attach faces to names, both internally and as part of marketing strategy.
Don’t Scheme Against Your Boss In general, the “upper management” figures on the Dark Force aligned side seem to have very little respect for each other, either competing for favor with whoever’s at the top, or trying to overthrow whoever’s at the top. We see multiple Dark Force aligned characters who seem particularly inclined to usurp whoever it is next up on the chain of command.
For example, Vader subtly undermines the Emperor long before killing him, and in the latest installment, we see General Hux trying to more or less push his way in front of Ren to look good in front of their “big boss” Supreme Leader Snoke. This creates (or exacerbates) a toxic leadership culture, one where managers are regularly paralyzed by contradictory orders and waste resources that could be contributed to a greater mission dealing with internal turmoil. In contrast, the Rebel Alliance has a more unified leadership team, allowing them to be more agile and more creative with less resources.
Encourage Input From All Your Team Members Not only do the “good guys” in Star Wars trust each other–they listen to each other. Rebel Alliance meetings include all team members: generals, pilots, tech experts, droids, risk-averse diplomats, risk-ready former smugglers, etc. Usually, there are representatives from all levels of the chain of command. As a result, it’s easier for the Rebel Alliance to innovate, to spot hidden opportunities, and to consider consequences from all angles.
Plus, the whole team has a more comprehensive understanding of the plan, and because of this can more easily figure out how to improvise effectively if necessary. See — it doesn’t take a Jedi mind trick to facilitate a more successful, synced up team. Having one clear, comprehensive system to manage onboarding, time tracking, payroll and more is a great way to start; contact us to get started today!