By Will Tigley, President of IABC/Calgary

With the holiday season upon us, it’s always nice to sit back, relax and watch some holiday classics. This month as I sit and watch some of my favourite holiday movies from the 80s and 90s, I can’t help but reflect on some valuable communications lessons hidden throughout the messages of joy, wonder and generosity.

My top communications lessons from classic holiday films from the 80s and 90s…

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation – No matter how dysfunctional or quirky your team may be, a good leader can turn things around at the end despite constant disaster.


Home Alone – Never be afraid to take on work all by yourself. You don’t know how resourceful you can be if left alone… however <spoiler alert>: Sometimes having an outside consultant come in can help save the day.


The Santa Clause – Sometimes you unwillingly get roped into a project or a promotion you know nothing about. Don’t despair. Sometimes it can turn out that you’re destined for that role.


Gremlins – If you are given a major responsibility or project that comes with three rules. Just FOLLOW the three rules.


Nightmare Before Christmas – Don’t be afraid of change. In fact, massive cultural change is never easy, but it can lead to some wild adventures and personal learning.


Scrooged – Apparently any TV executive can disrupt a major television broadcast production with no consequences so long as his ten minute long speech is profound and insightful. That’s probably not a helpful lesson – How about, just be generous. No one likes a Scrooge (unless it’s Bill Murray).


Jingle All the Way – Regardless of your determination and resiliency in attacking challenges, you still need to maintain your personal ethics in how far you’ll go to accomplish an outcome.


Die Hard – Slowly, but systematically, eliminate all challenges that stand in your way until you prevail. Just don’t forget to communicate to outside stakeholders – the relationships and information you build can be valuable later on in your story.


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