As I get increasingly old, Christmas traditions become more important. No I am not going to refer to the British failure to deal with snow and ice. I am thinking of something much closer to my heart, the peculiar British tradition known as pantomime. You know the sort of thing, girl falls in love with girl, transvestites abound, ghosts creep up behind you, fairies wave their wands and it is all deemed suitable for a family audience.
Pantomime has many lessons for business leaders (oh no it doesn’t! Oh Yes it does! Isn’t that a bit tenuous? Oh no its not….). For example King Arthur demonstrates the value of leadership, Snow White examines the benefits of leftfield collaborations, Cinderella shares the secrets of successful rebranding and Dick Whittington shows how simple tried and trusted solutions can crack new markets.
Of course there are many of you who are of the opinion that the world at present is one gigantic pantomime or at the very least a farce. Incompetent business leaders, bungling bureaucrats and bickering politicians have caused many of us to hold our head in our hands and wonder at the craziness of it all.
And yet that does both these forms of entertainment a great disservice. Good pantomimes, like good businesses, require skill, imagination and hard work in order to succeed i.e. put on a great show and get punters to part with their hard earned money. A pantomime that was put together by the incompetents, bunglers and bickerers above would not be funny and would fail as totally as everything else they seem to do in their day jobs.
I guess there are many people out there who are looking to put the year of 2010 “behind them”, even though 2011 will bring its own worries. To them and everybody else out there I wish you a very merry Christmas and a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.