Five company lessons from popular Christmas films

by Sadie Jones

You can learn, from the best,

Improve the business whilst you rest.

As you’re settling down for Christmas this year, why not use your favourite holiday films as inspiration to improve your business? As you may know, most films come with subliminal messages, well, here are some messages we’ve identified that could help your company rise to even greater success in the New Year.


Polar Express: Seizing the right opportunities


At the very beginning we see Chris, our main protagonist, get on the train. Admittedly, it would be an incredibly short film if he was more interested in making a hot chocolate and climbing back into bed.

The Polar Express tells us that seizing opportunities is important in any case but when it comes to your company, seizing the right opportunities will be where you are able to build your success. It’s okay to be little hesitant at first, why wouldn’t you be? Especially if it’s something completely unknown. But, just like Chris in The Polar Express, the risk could pay off massively.

Whilst grabbing these chances is a very appealing course of action, it’s important to be able to differentiate between possible progressions and growths for your company and the completely pointless opportunities that will prove to be a waste of your time.


Elf: Know and stand by your brand and its values. Different is better.

From the very beginning Buddy struggles with his sense of identity. Is he human or an elf? Despite being different to the average person, his personality shines through and everyone around him ends up loving him. Even his own father disapproves of his behaviour but ends up embracing his uniqueness.

Having a USP is branding 101, so why would you not want to stand out? Now, before we move on, this doesn’t mean you have to be the loudest person in the room to get noticed. Just like buddy, let your company stand out for best the best it can be. The best part about having your own unique style is that people will not only remember you, but you and your company won’t appear to be trying too hard to stand out.


Grinch: A sense of community is key to successful expansion

With the Grinch’s idea of ‘social interaction’ being causing chaos in the Whoville village it was the Who’s sense of community and kindness that eventually got the Grinch into the holiday spirit and wanting to be a part of welcomed into the town.

It’s important to build a sense of community within your company. It will not only increase productivity and make for pleasant work environment, but this will reflect on how people externally view your company and its values. The loyalty of your employees will shine through to potential clients and candidates and will overall reflective positively on your company.


Home Alone: An innovative mind is better than fancy equipment

You don’t need fancy equipment. Being innovative with basic skills like planning and problem-solving is key. When faced with the problem of two big dumb burglars, Kevin stepped up and used what he had laying around in the house to protect it. From toys to feathers. He planned and executed the perfect defence. Fending off Harry and Marv until the police finally arrive.

When looking for the perfect candidate to fill a position, it’s not just the degree and experience you should be paying attention to. Most of the time you can tell when a candidate is keen to improve within the role and having already perfected a lot of their soft skills, they would welcome the chance to be perfectly trained to fit your role. Just like Kevin’s knowledge of his house and the objects within it, a candidate could make outstanding progress when starting with just the simplest of skills.


Die Hard: Your background doesn’t matter when you can show persistence, determination and courage.

John McClane in Die Hard gave us the ultimate masterclass in how perseverance is the key to success. With the battle of wit and determination on his side against money and experience, McClane took on all of Hans Gruber’s men and eventually became victorious.

This is exactly how your company should be. Be smart and aware but on-the-ball when it comes to your work and clients. Yours or the clients background is insignificant to the bigger picture when the opportunities comes to show off your skills and passion for your business. It’s the dedication to your industry that will ultimately be your shining glory and win the hearts of clients and candidates, just like how John fixed his marriage.


So, next time you watch a classic Christmas film and think you should be working or being productive, just think… You could be learning more than what you think.