So, unless you have been living under a rock there is a major movie release upon us (queue light saber sound effects). Hands up if your Facebook feed hasn’t at least once popped up with a Star Wars-related article, picture or clip… Even for those haters of sci-fi out there!  It doesn’t matter if you are not plugged in to social media, there isn’t a shop window, commercial TV channel or bus stop that isn’t enticing you to Reawaken the Force.  Considering it is what many are talking about and that I was a child of the George Lucas era, how could I not take this opportunity to embrace my inner geek and discuss it?

It is fascinating to think that the first of the Star Wars movies released almost 40 years ago was at a time when sci-fi was not a major movie genre. The 70s were synonymous with disaster flicks (who can remember the classic ‘Earthquake’!). And that it became such a cult hit and, even today is capturing the attention of a brand new audience.  Star Wars is now a saga where there are three generations of one family sitting down to watch this latest instalment.  Now I do need to stress this is not a movie review as, being completely honest, my own preference of movie genres would probably make any of you question my authenticity. However what I want to comment on is the courage of a team of people – namely the actors, producers and financial backers – that actually took a massive risk back in the late 70s to develop a movie that was out of step with what was popular culture. How did that one person have the initial courage to sell an idea, to gain backing, to take what could be described as a leap of faith? Leaders or innovators are a rare breed; to manage them can be interesting as they are always challenging the norm, wanting to do something that seems very left field yet have this innate ability to break the mould (cliché I know but all I could think of).

As a CEO of a hospital and aged care service, I now find myself asking how to nurture the George Lucas’ in my team? What can we do differently that stops us thinking of competing with our competitors and doing something completely different altogether?  Life is no different as I think of the times I have taken the safer path as opposed to doing something completely different.  So when you are next approached by a friend or work colleague that puts forward something completely out of step with today, stop and ask yourself: “Is this my Star Wars moment?”. In keeping with the theme and in closing how could I not leave you with the classic Star Wars line: “Live long and Prosper”!!?

Ok I just love the fact that over half of you reading this just gasped in horror or became outraged at my ignorance with the rest of you blissfully unaware! Of course I know that was from Star Trek, hello I had a Star Wars bedspread for years!

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