Saturday, November 25, 2006

Management lessons from our Christmas Fayre

Today I had the pleasure of running a stall at our church Christmas Fayre. My small contribution was to sell greeting cards. Annie was Santa's Buddy!

I am delighted to say the Fayre was a great success. The goodwill and ‘giving’ of free time by dozens of people always amazes me. What inspires me too is the simplicity of it all as a management project. There was no 50 page written strategy about how all this should fall into place. There was no complex action plan. There was no complicated flow chart diagram. It was achieved mainly through word of mouth – asking people to do things, trusting that they will do those things and then leaving it to them.

Oh dear, I thought to myself, (as I saw this 'smooth operation' achieve all its targets) .... if only management was that simple in our big organisations.

Then I thought … why CAN’T it be that easy?

Moving on…

One interesting observation is that my experience today reminded me again that for men, shopping is ‘a job’ and for women, shopping is ‘an experience.’

The men who bought cards came to the stall looked at two or three cards and then bought those they wanted. Some of the women who came up to the stall looked – I kid you not - for 15 minutes at hundreds of cards .. and walked away not having made a purchase.

It is joyful that men and women are different - very, very different.

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