3 Things Your Business Can Learn From Burns Night


3 Things Your Business Can Learn From Burns Night

Today is Burns Night, a night on which Scots around the world celebrate the life and works of the Poet and national hero Rabbie Burns. Celebrations can vary greatly in size from small groups of old friends, to huge banquets at grand institutions. Regardless of size, a traditional Burns Supper will always be full of great ceremony, and a strict running order must be followed.

But why is Burns Night such an enduring and well-loved celebration? It’s because Burns Night, like much of Burns work, is full of strong positive messages and lessons we can all work from.

So what can your business learn from this age-old tradition?

1. Be grateful for your success

Once the guests are seated at a Burns Supper and have been welcomed by the Chairman, it’s tradition to read the Selkirk Grace. This is a short prayer that gives thanks for the food that is about to be eaten

“Some hae meat and canna eat,

And some wad eat that want it,

But we hae meat and we can eat,

And sae the Lord be thankit.”

There is an important message here for business owners everywhere, and that is to be thankful for what you have, however big or small your business may be. While you might not be the next Steve Jobs, and you might not even be the biggest local business in your sector, if you’re making a living running your own business that’s a massive success. According to studies, half of UK start-ups don’t make it past the first five years, so why not take a moment and recognise the success of your business.

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2. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts

There would be no Burns Supper were it not for Haggis. We’ve all heard of this dish of offal and oats, but many an Englishman has been too squeamish to give it a try.

However, while the English turn up their noses, at a Burns Supper the Haggis is highly venerated with musical accompaniment and even a toast dedicated to the hearty savoury pudding.

The reason for this is because the fine people of Scotland realise the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. While cheap cuts of heart and liver and plain old oats don’t

sound too appetising, when combined with some onion and delicate spices they make quite the delicacy.

But how does this apply to business? Well, take the haggis as an example.

While the individual parts don’t hold massive appeal, when they come together they are exceptional, and that same principle can work for your business. While the individual people or teams in your business can’t run the show on their own, with a bit of care and attention you can turn these rogue individuals into a fantastic high functioning team. Take heed of the haggis my friends.

3. Remembering Friends


Portrait of Robert Burns Ayr Scotland credit Snapshots of the Past

A Burns Supper wouldn’t be complete without its rendition of Auld Lang Syne. This traditional song, which much of the world more closely associates with New Year’s Eve, was written by Burns and as such is sung at the end of a Burns Supper. It is a song dedicated to remembering the past, and particularly long standing friendships.

This message holds an important lesson for any business and that is about the importance of working together. In 2017, thanks to the internet, businesses can sell their wares into any market around the globe, and they can employ the best talent from anywhere in the world. While this has its benefits and makes 2017 an exciting time to own a business, it does come with its risks.

Traditionally, business would build relationships in the local community, by using local businesses and suppliers, and making Gentlemen’s agreements with other local business owners. These relationships benefitted everyone involved and shouldn’t be overlooked. Now businesses have access to global markets it’s easy to chop and change when it comes to staff and suppliers, so it is more important than ever that businesses strive to maintain strong relationships in the local community.

It’s certainly something we try to do here at alldayPA, and we’ll certainly be reflecting on the strong working relationships we’ve built over the years. Why not try it yourself this Burns Night.

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Feature image of Edinburgh Castle by dun_deagh

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