(Business leaders: In the spirit of the holiday season, here’s a silly post that poses some serious questions to consider as we approach the new year. Enjoy.)


We all know that elves have been building toys for Santa Claus for centuries. Jolly Old St. Nick has created perhaps the most reliable and enduring business operation in human history.

With that in mind, I’ve pinpointed a few best business practices that the elves consistently follow. These principles naturally lend themselves to business questions that are worth answering.

My hope is that by considering the elves’ business principles and their corresponding questions, you will be better equipped to create an enduring operation, too.


They are constantly learning and adapting

Two hundred years ago, the elves were making toys out of wood, then they switched to tin, then to plastic, and now they’re making a lot of digital toys like video games.

As the years progressed, coding became an essential elf skill, LEGO pieces got more complicated, digital products became more prominent, and the simple wooden toys of old were increasingly in less demand.

As a result, the elves had to constantly learn and adapt to the changing toy demands. As many-a-child has discovered on Christmas Day, the elves successfully met this challenge.

It is now estimated that 80% of elves now understand a coding language, allowing them to create the necessary amount of video games, robots, and other programmable toys.

Questions for your business: Is there any new skill you and your team should be learning but aren’t? If not, how do you plan to address this in the New Year?


They maintain a healthy working environment

The elves must immediately address all interpersonal issues that occur. Given that there are hundreds if not thousands of these workers operating in the same environment, this is imperative.

Question for your business: Are you ensuring interpersonal issues are resolved, or are you allowing workplace hostilities to fester like spoiled egg nog?

They foster a culture where they feel appreciated

For most companies, singing Christmas carols and drinking cocoa during working hours isn’t going to be productive. But for the elves, this seems to work. Assuming the elves consistently feel compensated for what they do, these little amenities likely go a long way to helping them feel appreciated.


Question for your business: Are there any changes you could make to your workplace to ensure your team feels appreciated?


They understand their brand messaging

Every elf understands the messaging behind the whole North Pole operation. Each elf can name:

  1. The problem they solve: Children don’t know how to get toys for Christmas
  2. Why they are the solution: The elves make those toys and Santa delivers them
  3. What success looks like for their customers: The children are happy for a whole day with their new toys

As a result, each elf has the potential to be a successful sales representative for the North Pole.

Question for your business: Does everyone on your team understand the problem you solve, why your company is the solution, and what success looks like for your customers? If not, book a call with me today. I’d love to help you clarify your messaging.

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