The Ebenezer Scrooge Effect

Here we are in the final days of the year - two weeks to go. I cannot help but to think of the Ebenezer Scrooge Effect. We have all seen the movie, A Christmas Carol. I wonder who has read the book? I did years ago, and remember very little.

A Christmas Carol was written by Charles Dickens in 1843. It is about a man who prefers finds redemption from his cold-hearted, tight-fisted manner through visits from the Ghost of Christmas Past, Ghosts of Christmas Present, and the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come. The Ebenezer Scrooge Effect has little to do with ghosts. It refers to the impact that Christmas has on companies and people.

The Ebenezer Scrooge Effect refers to the complacent behavior of companies during the season. Nobody wants to work, much less work at 110%. Nobody talks about the lack of productivity during these final two weeks of the year because they are fearful of being labeled a Scrooge, or in parlance, an asshole.

Lets face it. Christmas is stressful. On top of all of your regularly over-scheduled daily routine events, shopping, parties, house decorating, and other seasonal responsibilities pile on to create stress. When we try to marry these additional time demands with the idea of finishing the fiscal quarter strong, we are overwrought with anxiety and conflict.

One way to combat the Ebenezer Effect is to
use the time for constructive planning and team building. And, the very best time to plan for the Ebenezer Effect in 2013 is right now. Look at 2013 on your calendar. Christmas and New Years fall on a Wednesday - dead smack in the middle of the week. The 23rd, 26th, 27th, and 30th will be wasted days of little productivity. I recommend that you use those days to get the company together and make plans for success in 2014.

When you are planning, leverage the spirit of Christmas. It is a time of year when we forgive; a time of year when we are more accepting; a time of year when we are more optimistic; a time of year when we play well with others. This is also a great time of year to get your files in order. Clean out your desk. Empty your office. Get caught up.

Merry Christmas everyone!

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