Lessons from London: #1 Sticking With Tradition

I was recently in London for the first time to speak at a conference celebrating movement in all its applications.  I use movement theory with executives which was a little different from many of the participants. Leadership development and subconscious behavior are not always seen as naturally pairing together! After returning home, I have decided to share some reflections on what I learned from my London experience which relates to leadership development. This is a blog series called “Lessons from London!”

Lesson #1- Sticking with Tradition

Early in my visit I was treated by a dear British friend to a traditional British Pantomime. She was more excited to watch me experience a “Panto” than she was to see it herself. I was quite surprised that I had never heard of this tradition as I have studied theater for most of my life.

​The Pantomime is a show performed only at holiday time and has a long tradition of style and songs. The Historic UK website says, “Pantomime is a marvelous and wonderful (if a little eccentric!) British institution.” Basically anything goes for a good Panto! The show is geared for kids and are based on well known tales, but it has much humor for adults and my performance had everything from English folk tunes to Gloria Estefan music to a cover of Cake by the Ocean! Popular TV, stage and screen stars play the leads with lots of song, dance and cross dressing. And make sure you shout out at the actors! Audience participation is required.

What does this have to do with management consulting? Bottom line-sometimes it’s okay to stick with tradition. Yes, I said it! I know there are MANY articles about embracing change in business and how tradition is regarded as a bad word synonymous with antiquated and behind the times. (I couldn’t really find any good articles arguing in favor of tradition.) This makes me wonder if companies aren’t constantly purchasing new software or hiring new consultants just for the sake of change! Are companies giving new initiatives enough time before deciding whether they are successful or not? If something that has worked for a company for years or if a newer initiative is working, why change it just for the sake of change?

The Pantomime was a hit in the 14th Century and has remained a sell-out event. It is part of the culture no matter how silly it may seem to outsiders. The same is true of some traditions within a company culture. This is not to say parts can’t be updated to meet the current times (there was plenty of pop singing and dancing in my panto show), but corporate leadership does not have to feel pressured to reinvent the wheel every year with a new system for employee reviews or new data tracking systems just because there is some “latest and greatest” product being pushed on managers.

That said, if your company could use some tradition reimagining, don’t hesitate to bring in a consultant (like me) to assess what is working and what needs tweaked.

Moving Image Consulting trains and consults with clients to improve their communication for maximum impact, profit, efficiency and collaboration. Find them at www.movingimageconsulting.com