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23-Dec-2-©-1990-20th-Century-Fox-1

What Home Alone can teach us about forward planning

It’s the season of mistletoe, mulled wine and Macaulay Culkin. What business lessons can we learn from the story of everyone’s favourite forgotten child?

You’ll be pleasantly surprised what an eight-year-old’s exploits in 1990 can teach us about business today…

Plan your travel thoroughly
There’s something about a mother forgetting to take her youngest son on a long-distance flight that seems avoidable. We’re not encouraging a McCallister family register, but a spreadsheet or something similar in the workplace could work a treat when planning team away days. Festive travel is often riddled with unexpected hurdles, so carrying out your due diligence is the least you can do.

Don’t underestimate the competition
The cunning Harry begins the film as a well-informed burglar. His reconnaissance missions disguised as a police officer were a wise move in weighing up “the silver tuna” of the McCallister’s home, but he soon came undone by Kevin’s inventive ways. The Wet Bandits didn’t see the paint tin, blowtorch to the scalp, or iron to the head coming. Make your next business move with your competition’s reaction in mind.

Prepare to adapt
Planning to adapt may seem like a contradiction, but it’s important to leave room for change – both when implementing new processes and in your everyday work. A young Kevin was forced to think on his child-sized feet when confronted by Harry and Marv, throwing a Michael Jordan cut-out and mannequin party with a few strings and a record player. The move bought him enough time to draw up plans and put everything in place for the ultimate Christmas booby traps.

Collaboration is key
Kevin starts the film fearing the unknown – namely, his elderly neighbour Marley. However, a chance meeting on Christmas Eve sees the two bond and form an allegiance that topples the Wet Bandits once and for all (or at least until the sequel). Reaching out in the business world could offer similar, and hopefully less violent, results. It seems trust, communication and collaboration are all worthwhile skills in both the commercial and home security sense.

Outsource where necessary
If things get a little too intense, there’s always the option of calling on the help of others to get the job done. Think more remote-worker than work by remote – remember the “keep the change you filthy animal” pizza-boy scene? If it wasn’t for Kevin’s contacts, the snow shovel would have been left on a lawn rather than rescuing him from Harry and Marv. Ask yourself what impact others could have on your business plans and capabilities.

 

Images © 1990 20th Century Fox

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