Being a huge Star Wars fan, and just seeing that Rogue One eclipsed the $1 Billion mark at the box office worldwide, I still carry with me the profound feeling of inspiration that I had the first time I saw the film. There are two major themes from the movie that you can use to dominate your arena, regardless of what business you're in.
1. Coalitions are always better than flying solo
The rebellion knew that the task at hand was large, the risk was high and they needed to gain support. If this group was to defeat the Empire, they needed to gather as many factions across the galaxy as possible. While the coalition consisted of different people (and droids) from diverse backgrounds, they were focused and clear on one thing. What was the one thing that propelled them to push forward? Purpose! Even though each had a different story, the "why" was the element that united them. Their common purpose answered the question, “Why are we doing this?” It was a strong force propelling them forward no matter the cost.
Bringing together all divisions of your company in support of a defined purpose or common goal (usually sales) is paramount for success in today's competitive landscape. From the CEO on down, there needs to be one defined purpose driving everyone to the same end. "To create that purpose, [everyone must] understand the ‘why’ of the operation."1 The universal "why" needs to be clear and concise to everyone on all levels. Clients are important. Revenue is necessary. Employees are essential. If you do not value your clients (from the past, present and potential), that will translate into little to no revenue. Little to no revenue ultimately means no employees. Happy clients, sufficient revenue and valued employees are integral to a successful business. Without all three, the company can not exist.
This mantra, when demonstrated by leadership and practiced throughout the company, will permeate and weave itself into the fabric of organizational culture. "Every leader needs to internally and externally reflect the company's [goal while being] the strongest advocates."1 This culture will encourage each division of the enterprise to support business initiatives no matter the scale. Having company-wide support for strategic new business initiatives, even if it is something as significant as taking on "the Empire" and defeating a "Death Star," will then just be standard operating procedure.
2. Thriving companies have BIG IDEAS
Did you just say that we are going to go into the most heavily fortified complex in the Galaxy to steal the plans to the Death Star? Sure, just another Tuesday in a Galaxy far, far away! Even though the enemy had a weapon that could destroy a planet (an entire planet!) with one blast, the resolve of the coalition was solid. They did not back down from the seemingly impossible challenge even though it seemed like a crazy idea for which they had little support. What caused such powerful resolve? Where did that kind of passion originate? Answer that, and you will scratch the surface of the kind of emotion that needs to infuse itself into the culture of thriving companies.
The foremost part of the formula is a BIG IDEA. Pair big ideas with action, and the first component of the formula is well on its way. "Early matters more than you think,"2 when dealing with big ideas. It is one thing to do what everyone else is doing and do it well. It is another thing entirely to push towards the Death Star together and know that you have what it takes to beat it. Nevermind that no one has done it before or that it seems impossible. Get behind that purpose, garner support and move forward!
The second part of the formula is the belief in the big idea. You will always find that growing companies, regardless of industry, have big ideas. Along with these big ideas, there has to be belief. The coalition could not have taken on the battle if they did not believe in themselves. They could not have garnered support if they did have the ability to transfer some of that belief to others. Whether the belief comes from clients, employees or the community, a successful business must be able to transfer enough belief in their big idea to press on towards goals and communicating results. Sometimes the drive and belief of one person has to be enough to carry the purpose until everyone else catches on. When it comes to big ideas, you have one of two choices: get behind them or watch them go. Adversely, you will find that struggling companies follow the status quo while shrinking into obscurity. They will not be taking on the Empire anytime soon.
The final part of the formula to dominate your arena is marketing these big ideas. Wait, we were just talking about defeating Empires and taking down Death Stars; what does marketing have to do with that? Ok, I hear you. The coalition certainly was not involved in a typical campaign by any stretch of the imagination. If we, albeit loosely, think of marketing as communicating a company's message through various mediums, then we can start to see the connection. Big ideas have to be promoted even if all you do is get your message out to engender support and help transfer belief to others. Big ideas are necessary for companies to thrive, and marketing is the key to helping transfer belief to the community, potential customers and even investors. All of this activity spurs growth and leads to domination. Companies can approach marketing by doing outreach or attracting a targeted audience. The most important thing to remember when delivering your message is to keep it connected to the original purpose.
For questions or comments about this article or to reach out to learn how Mindgrub can help enact your digital innovation purpose, contact us here.
1 "6 Steps to Building a Strong Company Culture - Entrepreneur." 22 Jun. 2016, https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/277727. Accessed 8 Feb. 2017.
2 "Gary Vaynerchuk and the Currency of Attention - Convince & Convert." http://www.convinceandconvert.com/podcasts/episodes/gary-vaynerchuk-and-the-currency-of-attention/. Accessed 8 Feb. 2017.