Category Archives: Christmas

Christmas inc

Around this time of the year I start to think about Santa Claus. Nothing unusual about that, I guess.  Nice senior guy, dressed for the part, managing his resources, sorting out his PR…….

Yes, being me I inevitably start dwelling on Father Christmas’ exceptional management skills……..

Mr Claus runs a vast empire, employing many (small) people, manufacturing, packaging and delivering an enormous quantity of goods, all done with a personal touch and in a timely and unique way with a really effective PR to back it up.

  • The goods are tailored specifically to each customer because he has taken the trouble to ask them what they want, remembers what they have had, and has kept an eye on their developments over the past year, even asking their bosses about their behaviours and trends.
  • He makes sure that his little customers know he is keeping an eye, and always asks for written requests where possible so that they have to think about it and write to him personally, so they remember him.
  • He has a very special and unique memorable image
  • Other organisations buy into his image because it also reflects well on them – this gives him even more publicity and opens up interactive relationships
  • Those little customers will continue to buy into him even when they are much much older, because his image and the warmth associated with him lingers on and is stimulated over and over again by the images he posts and the warmth he emanates, and the use of his image by those other organisations.
  • His enthusiasm and good natured chivvying keeps his army of employees motivated and busy
  • His reminders to them of the consequences of their activity keeps them focussed – how could they resist his smiling descriptions of the customers happy young faces when they open the goods?
  • And the need to get the job done on time is always clear, with the date writ large in their minds, and those of their little customers, so there is no confusion or debate about the timeline.
  • His descriptions of the consequences of NOT getting the job done are equally motivating……….those poor little disappointed faces…….
  • He ensures plenty of exercise and good hearty food for his workforce to keep up their energy and spirits
  • He make sure everyone knows what their own special job is, and that it is indeed special
  • He makes sure the Reindeer are well fed and happy
  • He takes a personal interest in the progress of the work, the arrangements for packaging and
  • Personally delivers every single one of the goods himself.
  • He also makes sure that his customers know he has visited and delivered personally by using specific feedback tools – in our house he always eats the carrot and drinks the whisky so we know it was him, because that was what he asked for.
  • He is the one that will be blamed and carry the can if anything goes wrong because he is the visible face – he “owns” the outcomes.
  • AND – his appearance always heralds a celebration and some good feelings for his customers.

In short, he has promoted himself and his organisation throughout the year with images and emotions that people will enjoy and remember; he has connected with his customers personally and uniquely; he reminds them that he knows them and cares about them; he looks after his workforce and motivates them with positive images but also makes sure they understand what they are doing and why and what will happen if they don’t complete; there is a clear timeline and action plan; he makes sure his workforce know that what they do matters; he lets his customers know about his personal interest in a fun and memorable way. And we all associate him and his organisation with fun and pleasure!!

I guess we could all use a little Father Christmas management style from time to time.

One last thing: if he is the Boss, he must sometimes have to do some of those things that make us mortals less popular, like sacking people, disciplining people, correcting work. But we never see that – it is done somewhere else out of sight, without showing people up, and without bringing down the mood of the workforce. There is a lesson there for some of us…………

Happy Christmas!!!

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