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Strategies for taking over the Galaxy!

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React to Change or Pivot

By Devyani Lamba & Ryan Whittaker

When one of the Directors asked us for help with an event, little did we know that in a few weeks time we’d be discussing strategies for taking over a galaxy!

Reflecting back on this experience, there are some things we’d like to share about the tool, its application to an iconic movie series that’s been part of most our childhoods and some tips that might help people when looking at using the VMOST. These lessons or tips are not exhaustive but the ones we came across whilst pulling together the Star Wars Mission Boards.

The first question we asked ourselves was;

Was it easy to use the VMOST Mission Board for a cultural example?

Surprisingly, yes! It was easier to apply it to a cultural example of this proportion as it naturally lent itself to the Mission Board. We almost wondered if a VMOST was behind the success of this legendary storyline (insert cheeky grin). In addition to making the most of a perfectly good excuse to watch the Trilogy again, there were some lessons we learnt along the way:

  • Adaptable tools: Key lesson learnt was that this tool is not restricted to business use cases and can work quite nicely in other areas of our lives too. This creates an opportunity for us to experiment with other tools from our BAD Toolkit using similar examples. One of our Directors actually used the VMOST tool for building their house!
  • Scalable application: Whilst we had an amazing time crafting our Mission Boards for the big Galactic Empire and the small scale Rebel Alliance, we hope that we’ve proven that such tools are scalable; with easy implementation within a team, department or the full organisation.
  • Increased shared knowledge: Another unexpected learning was that we learnt more about Star Wars as we translated the events into our missions, strategies and tactics. In the real world that would mean that as people come together to form their VMOST, a by-product of that will be increased shared knowledge about the each others’ roles.

What are some of the challenges we faced that could happen to you at the workplace?

  • Retrospective VMOSTs: The Star Wars timeline, as impressive as it is, was a rewarding challenge to slot into our VMOST tool. How do you build a Mission Board for things you’ve already achieved or are on the way to completing? You start right from the top, categorise your tactics and layer it up with your roadmap timelines to see how far you’ve come. It’s also great to look back and see how much of what you did was reactionary – did you have to build a 2nd Death Star because someone blew up your first one? Where have you been investing mostly, people or tech?
  • SMART Objectives take time: Writing SMART objectives is never easy, especially when you are looking to destroy a planet-sized metal ball aka the Death Star. We found some of our objectives unrealistic but went with them keeping in line with the science-fiction nature of our content.

PS – As a thank you to the BAD Toolkit for letting us get involved, our SMART objective for writing this blog was to make it 75% cheesy and generate 100% smiles in less than 5 minutes of reading.

  • What’s the Strategy again? Strategies that can equally represent all the tactics under them? Try coming up with the headers when you’re in the business of taking over a Galaxy. It’s okay to plot your tactics and identify some new strategies or re-word them after.
  • Finding a home for your tactic: We debated some tactics before assigning them a category as it wasn’t always clear whether something was a feature or a deliverable and this could easily happen in the business world too. It’s good to fully understand and agree as a group on your tactic categorisation.

If you ever find yourself staring at your favourite DVD and wondering what the VMOST will be for that plot or you’re simply looking to transform your workplace, here are some top tips from us (and perhaps the Jedi):

  • The Mission Board should be one of the most alive pieces of documentation at the workplace. The more visual and tangible, the better.
  • The greatest teacher, failure is – Yoda is right! You won’t get it right the first time, probably not even the second time but having everyone involved and giving it that airtime will get you to the finish line.
  • Lack of faith IS disturbing – Involve people from the start or you risk alienating them to the Mission Board when it comes to actually delivering the work.
  • And finally, the Force will be with you always – if not, give us a shout!


Star Wars, Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace; Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones; Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith; Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope; Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back; Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi; Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens; the Star Wars Expanded Universe; and all logos, characters, artwork, stories, information, names, and other elements associated thereto, including but not limited to the Death Star, Light Sabers and Wookies, are the sole and exclusive property of Lucasfilm Limited.

The BAD Toolkit is in no way affiliated with or endorsed by Lucasfilm Limited or any of its subsidiaries, employees, or associates. The BAD Toolkit offers no suggestion that the work presented on in this talk or any other medium is “official” or produced or sanctioned by the owner or any licensees of the aforementioned trademarks.