The end of the year is such a busy time. You’re probably trying to find an Ugly Christmas Sweater to wear to a party, staging the Elf on the Shelf again, searching Pinterest for the perfect holiday appetizer recipe, making sure you spent all of your flexible spending account, pulling in last minute sales and prepping for your performance review at work. It’s exhausting. And while your mind is a jumble with all of the end-of-the-year to-do’s, it’s also the perfect time to reflect and plan.
Reflect on what you did well this year. What big decisions did you make? How did they turn out? What would you do differently the next time around?
That’s easy to say, right? What does “Think Big” even mean? To me, it means not saying no to crazy ideas. It was only a month ago that I wrote about Make a Wish Foundation’s BatKid project. If that wasn’t a case study on Thinking Big, I don’t know what is. Today I saw another great example of Thinking Big. This time, the project was carried out by WestJet, a Canadian airline, who wanted to spread a little Christmas cheer to their customers. Words won’t do the project justice, so watch this video: http://youtu.be/zIEIvi2MuEk
When I see something like this, I immediately wonder what the brainstorming session looked like. “What if we create a kiosk where people can tell a live-via-webcam Santa what they want for Christmas? And then in the short flight between airports, we will actually fulfill those requests and deliver the presents on the baggage carousel.” What?! How could that even be possible? How would Santa know the passenger’s names? How could we buy the presents and wrap them in time? What if we offend someone who doesn’t celebrate Christmas? What if someone doesn’t scan their badge and tell us what they want from Santa? What if someone boards at the last minute and misses out? What if someone wants something outrageous like a new car?
There are so many reasons to shut this idea down. Honestly, the entire idea is a logistical nightmare. But what if you said yes? Would it turn into an epic feel-good piece of marketing genius? It sure did for WestJet. In only 24 hours, their video has had over 2 million views on YouTube.
I’m sure there were serious critical thinking questions raised along the way as they planned this surprise. But critical thinking does not mean saying no. It takes creative AND critical thinking to pull off an event like this…and a lot of guts…and a big budget.
Kudos, WestJet and Make-A-Wish Foundation! You’ve pulled off two of the most exciting and inspiring viral events of the year and inspired my personal 2014 New Year’s Resolution- THINK BIG!
How will you Think Big in 2014?
Editor’s Note: Breanne Harris is the Solutions Architect for Pearson TalentLens. She works with customers to design selection and development plans that incorporate critical thinking assessments and training. She has a Master’s degree in Organizational Psychology and has experience in recruiting, training, and HR consulting. Connect with her on LinkedIn and Twitter for more of her thoughts.