The Strategy of Christmas

Tom GibbonsStrategy2 Comments

For those of you reading this that celebrate Christmas I was wondering how your strategic plan for making this Christmas the best ever was going?

It seems kind of weird to talk about having a strategic plan for Christmas but for many of us it is a very important time of the year, one that takes a lot of planning and organizing, perhaps even a lot of money.  We think about it months in advance, we need others to participate and agree on things and we really want it to be successful.  Sounds an awful lot like work and most of us don’t think it’s at all weird to talk about having a strategic plan for work.  So what’s the difference? 

 I imagine if we all thought a little bit we could come up with a pretty long list of what the differences might be but I also think most of the things on that list really aren’t differences at all.  They are just ways of thinking that make work seem so very different.

We don’t do a strategic plan for Christmas since for most of us it’s about being together with people and hopefully having a good time.  Hmmmm…. that sounds a lot like work too.

With Christmas we do a lot of planning of the ‘things’ we can organize; when dinner will be, when we will visit whom, when we open presents etc.  Then we kind of cross our fingers and hope everything goes well, that everyone is able to get where they want to be, and that everyone gets along.  It seems that when we cross over into our organizations we need a little something extra, just to make us feel more sure everything will work out just fine.  And perhaps that is the most important reason of all for strategic plans.  Is it a good reason?  I’m not so sure.

Christmas and work aren’t all that different really.  People being together and trying to make that time the best it can be, however ‘best’ might be defined.  A lot of unnecessary stuff we do at work can stop being done if we thought about work in this way.  And even if we still had to do a lot of that stuff we would see it in a different light.  We would focus on the experience of being together, we would focus on the diversity of what ‘best’ might mean and if it is possible.  We would realize that our patterns of being together are what our organizations are.

There is one big difference between Christmas and work though.  You don’t seem to have nearly as much choice with who you will be with at Christmas.  Good or bad, we have lots more choices at work.

Hopefully your Christmas is a great one, even if you didn’t have a strategic plan.  And hopefully next year at work you can think about work as the patterns of your interactions in being with people and how important and full of choice those interactions are.

Happy holidays from all of us here at TMS Americas!

2 Comments on “The Strategy of Christmas”

  1. Awesome Tom. Great “Food for Thought” at this time of year and as we think of new beginnings for 2011.

  2. And a wonderful holiday to you too! Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy New Year to you all! Thanks for your continued blogs and teleconferences! Warm Regards and Holiday Cheer, Janet Matts

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