A Long time ago……
The “Jedi Generation” are people defined not by age, but by commonality in belief and behaviour; a unity of cause and altruism energising their lives.
Star Wars charted the fall and rise of the Jedi Order, a sect of highly gifted individuals seeking to maintain peace and equilibrium across the galaxy whilst battling the internalised personal conflict possession that great power creates.
Having grown up watching the movies (repeatedly), it strikes me the parables told across this epic saga may actually hold clues as to the trajectory of the business galaxy too.
Moving from self-sufficiency, ‘organisations’ were created and evolved into large corporate monoliths operating empirically. There was strength in unity and uniformity.
Power and knowledge became centralised and shared sparingly and with the ‘gifted few’. Fear was wielded as a powerful motivational tool by the Emperor and his trusted Commanders (note the distinct absence of any women in the higher echelons of the Imperial ranks echoing the lack of women in senior positions in the business galaxy.)
The Dark Lords of the Sith, gaining power initially through consent then refused to yield once it was in their grip. Such regimes ensured orders, no matter how questionable, were executed without hesitation, the consequences of disobedience too great for the individuals tasked with doing ‘thy bidding.’
Dawn of the “Jedi Generation”
A new generation, tired of oppressive cultures and monopolised benefits and aided by some wise but elusive veterans, bode a return to the ancient art of spiritual and cerebral engagement whilst seeking to create and live in work / life harmony.
These people are the emerging “Jedi Generation!”
Just like in the saga, the “Jedi Generation” is ready to wrestle power away from the Empire and use this for much wider and more dispersed benefit.
Power to influence
Rather than pontificate their wisdom to the masses and expecting blind compliance, this new generation will understand the power of influence and work hard to use their team’s internal motivators to act for the benefit of the team.
The Jedi Generation will continue and extend the mantra “Sell, not tell!’
The objective will be to create emotional and intellectual engagement with their colleagues and companions. Unlike the mythical Jedi, this “consensus” will be achieved through ethical and moral alignment between organisational and individual goals rather than coercion.
Similar to the ‘Rebel Alliance’ that forms across the saga, the “Jedi Generation” will bring their skills to bear in pursuit of a common goal or strategy before once again disbanding and pursuing their own personal and/or professional goals.
Collaboration will feature heavily in short bursts and multiple roles will become the accepted (expected?) norm for gifted people. The “Jedi Generation” must work tirelessly to achieve harmony and not restrict their efforts to a single team, cause, or environment.
Using the ‘Force’
In the way the mythical Jedi rely on the ‘Force’ to guide them; the “Jedi Generation” will rely on their highly attuned political and emotional intelligence to read situations to guide their actions and reactions with incredible accuracy and react to achieve exceptional results.
As demonstrated in the saga, the Jedi command is mobile, dynamic and fluid. Leadership responsibility is spread across a number of the Order or a single, consensually appointed leader at any given time before the position is ceded and a new leader steps forth.
This truly is situational and servant leadership.
The group will recognise congruence in their leader and the alignment they create with their own personal beliefs.
Armed with their MSc; PhD; 3G; formal and informal power; extended reach through the web and increasing discontent with the incumbent empirical management, “The Jedi Generation” is coming; whether you’re Sith or Jedi, the battle in business dawns.
Colin Millar is Operations Manager for the CRBS in Scotland
He is an Official Ambassador of the Chartered Management Institute and EFQM Business Excellence Practitioner & Assessor
Email | LinkedIn | Twitter | Facebook | Skype: colin_b_millar
Image Sources: farm1.static.flickr.com
- The Jedi Path: A Manual for Students of the Force (geektyrant.com)