From a story perspective, Christmas is a prolific time of year. As we gather with friends and families we recall the memories of the past and create new stories as presents are unwrapped, as turkeys emerge from the oven (or the Weber BBQ in the Schenk household), as Dads relive past triumphs with a half-century in the backyard cricket and, for some, as family members rub each other up the wrong way
Stories help us reconnect with old memories, relive special moments and learn more about our friends and families. They also help turn strangers into friends.
Here are some questions that might help create a fun and story-filled festive season:
- What was your funniest moment in 2011?
- What was the high point of the year for you? What happened?
- Same question, but the low point.
- What was your best Christmas present ever?
- What was your most memorable Christmas ever?
- The best thing you have done this year?
- Which family traditions from your childhood have you continued with your own children?
- When was the last time you mentally wanted to punch someone at Christmas time?
- When did you realise that Santa is a fake and reindeer can’t really fly?
Its also important to remember one of our favourite mantras – little things make a big difference. Now, I’m the first to admit I am not very good at this but I did something on Friday…a friend had surgery and was coming home around lunchtime. I went to her place and put on the breadmaker so she came home to the smell of fresh-baked bread. She was really pleased and a few days later I overheard her telling her parents on the phone about it…
We’d like to thank all the people we have worked with this year and all our friends, all over the world, who have helped make 2011 a rewarding and successful year.
Best wishes for the festive season and for a happy, healthy and successful 2012 from all of us at Anecdote
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The young father stood in line at the layby counter, wearing dirty clothes and worn-out boots. With him were three small children.
He asked to pay something on his bill because he knew he wouldn’t be able to afford it all before Christmas.
Then a mysterious woman stepped up to the counter.
“She told him, ‘No, I’m paying for it,’” recalled Edna Deppe, assistant manager at the store in Indianapolis.
“He just stood there and looked at her and then looked at me and asked if it was a joke. I told him it wasn’t, and that she was going to pay for him. And he just busted out in tears.”
At Kmart stores across the US, Santa seems to be getting some help: Anonymous donors are paying off strangers’ layby accounts, buying the Christmas gifts other families couldn’t afford, especially toys and children’s clothes set aside by impoverished parents.
Kmart may be the focus of layby generosity, because it is one of the few large discount stores that has offered layby year-round for about four decades.
These secret santas are also creating a knock on effect.
Lori Stearnes of Omaha also benefited from the generosity of a stranger who paid all but US$58 of her US$250 layby bill for toys for her four youngest grandchildren.
Stearnes said she and her husband live paycheque to paycheque, but she plans to use the money she was saving for the toys to help pay for someone else’s layby.
Isn’t it great to be reminded of what the Christmas spirit really means.
The full news article can be found here.
You can only act strategically, day in, day out, if you know your company’s strategy. Here are five things that happen when you really do know it.
- you know when to say ‘no.’
- you get better support from your colleagues–they are trying to achieve the same things
- you can wing it with confidence–the strategy is your safety net
- you can focus on doing the right things rather than just doing things right
- you can act with more autonomy because you know where others are going, and autonomy is motivating