Building a Vader-less Empire

 

I find that in most situations I would much rather be the upstart underdog than the well-entrenched incumbent.

I like to be dynamic and nimble, and generally if you are the Empire and your opposition is the Rebellion, you’ve got far too many of your resources tied up in paying staff, keeping track of your massive holdings, and building Death Stars.

Ah, the Death Star. A wonder of technology, in that it could blow up planets with a single shot. Truly amazing, and something that only a super-power like the Empire could have built.

Then again, the Death Star had some massive flaws. It took a long time to power up before being able to fire its primary weapon. It was also relatively easy to sabotage from the inside by a group of prisoners.

Most glaringly, though, it had an enormous weakness that led to its destruction: a vent that led straight to the main reactor, which if blown up with some space torpedoes, would detonate the entire moon-sized craft.

This is not a mistake that only an enormous organization like the Empire would make, but it is the product of bureaucratic-ineffectiveness, something that tends to happen more in larger organizations.

And therein lay a major advantage for any group that is versatile enough to de-structure their company or organization. The Rebellion had a hierarchy, sure, but each branch was capable of being entirely self-sufficient for the entire lifetime of their cause.

If Luke would have had to get sign-offs on his decisions, he never would have found out that Darth Vader was his father…he wouldn’t have made it past the first movie. In many cases executive decisions are best made from the ground, and Luke, Leia, Han, even Chubaka made decisions based on the best data available at the time: theirs.

It’s not like they were anarchists running around willy-nilly, accidentally saving the known-universe. There was a method to their madness, and though they did a lot of the heavy-lifting themselves, they did keep the Rebellion updated and made sure that others could then act upon that new knowledge.

They up-ended the power structure and in doing so altered the fate of billions.

So come on large, over-bearing, over-structured companies! This isn’t new information!

It’s from a long time ago, even if it was in a galaxy far, far away.

22 comments

  1. Wonderful, perfect it is the best tie-in between that movie series and the real world.

    Man this post is so great I would post it on the wall of Company X, but I bet my boss won’t be happy so I will keep that one for my last day here.

    Thanks for the huge smile man, this article is pure gold.

  2. Wonderful, perfect it is the best tie-in between that movie series and the real world.

    Man this post is so great I would post it on the wall of Company X, but I bet my boss won’t be happy so I will keep that one for my last day here.

    Thanks for the huge smile man, this article is pure gold.

  3. I usually hate all the comparisons on star wars but this one, as Alejandro Reyes said, is Pure Gold for sure. As well as your last blog entry.

    You forgot the every day blog experiment, which I think you should try to keep up, even if its at a bit less a rate.

  4. I usually hate all the comparisons on star wars but this one, as Alejandro Reyes said, is Pure Gold for sure. As well as your last blog entry.

    You forgot the every day blog experiment, which I think you should try to keep up, even if its at a bit less a rate.

  5. Hahaha – normally I roll my eyes at all the “What Random Cultural Reference Can Teach You About Unrelated Subject Area” posts, but this one I like. :)

    “This isn’t new information! It’s from a long time ago, even if it was in a galaxy far, far away.”

    Especially loved that closing sentence!

  6. Hahaha – normally I roll my eyes at all the “What Random Cultural Reference Can Teach You About Unrelated Subject Area” posts, but this one I like. :)

    “This isn’t new information! It’s from a long time ago, even if it was in a galaxy far, far away.”

    Especially loved that closing sentence!

  7. Sorry, this doesn’t really relate to any post but I was googling ‘life’ (I was trying to find the showtimes for the 12 part series) and your blog post “Brothers and Sisters, Design Your Frickin’ Life” came up on the first page. 16,600,000 people search for the keyword ‘life’ every month. Congratulations! I just thought that was funny.

  8. Sorry, this doesn’t really relate to any post but I was googling ‘life’ (I was trying to find the showtimes for the 12 part series) and your blog post “Brothers and Sisters, Design Your Frickin’ Life” came up on the first page. 16,600,000 people search for the keyword ‘life’ every month. Congratulations! I just thought that was funny.

  9. Ah, nevermind, please disregard my post above. Apparently a new feature of google search is ‘results from people in your social circle’. Didn’t know google had that and that’s why your blog came up on the first page. Stupid beta trials…..

  10. Ah, nevermind, please disregard my post above. Apparently a new feature of google search is ‘results from people in your social circle’. Didn’t know google had that and that’s why your blog came up on the first page. Stupid beta trials…..

  11. Yeah, I can see your point here. The Empire is big, powerful but also cumbersome and bureaucratic. But being a Rebel with your tiny blaster isn’t the real thing either – That’s why my vote goes to the Jedi.
    Single, agile, independent and uber-powerful.

    Let the force be with you,
    Mars Dorian

  12. Yeah, I can see your point here. The Empire is big, powerful but also cumbersome and bureaucratic. But being a Rebel with your tiny blaster isn’t the real thing either – That’s why my vote goes to the Jedi.
    Single, agile, independent and uber-powerful.

    Let the force be with you,
    Mars Dorian

  13. @Alejandro: Haha, let me know how they take it on your last day!

    @Andrew: Very true! Totally left out this post-a-day experiment! There are a few others I didn’t mentioned for various reasons, too. The point is to just challenge yourself and your perceptions any chance you get. For me, establishing projects and some method (and a deadline for it to end) really helps me get into the whole idea. For you it might work differently.

    @Jeffrey: Thanks buddy! I’m not big on the ‘How Blah Blah Blah is Like American Idol’ style posts either…they are usually pretty flat and don’t provide any new information…so hopefully this one doesn’t get me that reputation!

    @Richard: Haha, you had me excited (and a tad confused) there for a moment!

    @Kyle: I’m pretty sure Wookies are programmers. Just look at Steve Wozniak :)

    @Mars: Amen to that, brother!

    @Simple in France: I find the same! Thanks for the title-kudos. Thought long and hard about that one, not being a big Star Wars buff.

  14. @Alejandro: Haha, let me know how they take it on your last day!

    @Andrew: Very true! Totally left out this post-a-day experiment! There are a few others I didn’t mentioned for various reasons, too. The point is to just challenge yourself and your perceptions any chance you get. For me, establishing projects and some method (and a deadline for it to end) really helps me get into the whole idea. For you it might work differently.

    @Jeffrey: Thanks buddy! I’m not big on the ‘How Blah Blah Blah is Like American Idol’ style posts either…they are usually pretty flat and don’t provide any new information…so hopefully this one doesn’t get me that reputation!

    @Richard: Haha, you had me excited (and a tad confused) there for a moment!

    @Kyle: I’m pretty sure Wookies are programmers. Just look at Steve Wozniak :)

    @Mars: Amen to that, brother!

    @Simple in France: I find the same! Thanks for the title-kudos. Thought long and hard about that one, not being a big Star Wars buff.

  15. Pingback: 31 Posts in 31 Days | Exile Lifestyle

  16. Hmm, the Jedi turned out to be pretty worthless in the first three episodes. Like a giant bureaucracy themselves.

    But the empire will never go away! It’s the yin to the good guys’ yang.

  17. Hmm, the Jedi turned out to be pretty worthless in the first three episodes. Like a giant bureaucracy themselves.

    But the empire will never go away! It’s the yin to the good guys’ yang.

  18. Darth Vader, if you’re listening, I totally don’t care what Colin says and I’d be happy to be your apprentice. Also, I’d like a lightsaber.

  19. Have you read Moyer’s interview w/Campbell on Myth. It took place on Skywalker ranch, and describe the way Myth can transform our vision of any system to that of the Hero’s Journey (or vision quest).

    There was a “method to their madness”–engagement. Hans thought he was a mercenary, but ended up heroic. Luke was after his “father,” after “destiny”–I think cold cash an afterthought–and ended up saving princess, overthrowing empire.

    Well played, my friend. Gets my nerdcore bloodbuzz going.

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