Like the nation (and soon, the world), we’ve got Star Wars fever over here at URG! I haven’t seen the newest one just yet (so no spoilers in the comments!), but have binge-watched the classic episodes to get up-to-speed.

Besides Darth Vader’s legendary asthmatic wheeze, much of the franchise’s lore is built around this concept of the “Force”. Obi Wan Kenobi speaks of it; galactic swashbuckler Han Solo questions it. But what is it?

The most detailed description comes from famed-yet-unassuming (cuddly and green!) Jedi Master Teacher, Yoda: “[M]y ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is. Life creates it, makes it grow. Its energy surrounds us, binds us. Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter. You must feel the Force flow around you. Here, between you, me, the tree, the rock, yes, even between the land and the ship.” (Episode V)

As Yoda describes, the Force is a self-disciplined power, connection with other humans and things, and a higher self. As various characters demonstrate, it is a guiding energy and rallying cry for those who embrace it.

Do you have the ‘Force’?

What ethos or spirit drives your organization and team members? What energy is imparted to your clients/customers (implicitly or explicitly)?

Have you spent time reflecting on what means the most to you and your stakeholders? Have you articulated your values around these discoveries? Better yet, are these concepts a passing mention in your company brochure or does your team make decisions or deliver services in accordance with your organization’s principles?

There are many examples of the ‘Force’ at play in the corporate world. Many companies go to great lengths to make their mission and values live and breathe including elevating their ‘employees’ to more meaningful roles: Starbucks’ Jedi Warriors are baristas; Disney has its Cast Members. On the other hand, many companies do not embrace this and experience discord, lack of focus and seriously decreased productivity.

Every group seeking to accomplish a goal and make an impact should take time to carefully consider what motivates you to do the work you do. The beginning of the year is an especially good time to do this! When crafting your values, consider the following: 

  • The What — What is the grand possibility or outcome your company seeks to achieve? Eradicating homelessness? Transforming the food truck industry? 
  • The Why — Why is this goal important to you and what is the deeper meaning that it holds for your principals or the people you serve?
  • The How — Values reflect the non-negotiable principles that you (the founder), your company or your key employees embrace. How do you want to deliver your products and services? What energy do you want to exist around your business or impart to your customers/clients? Fun; learning; dignity; power; hope? For inspiration, identify companies whose values inspire or repel you. This will give you some indication of the values that are important to you.

Set your organization on a more concrete path to success and impact with compelling marching orders that influence every action your organization takes. May the Force be With You! (Ok, I had to say it!)

Share your values or thoughts with us in the comments section!