Bag of Bags (Issue 1131)

In which we are reminded that corporate amnesia helps our clients embrace change.

“I’ve been packing and putting things aside for Goodwill and like that and, every time my husband walks by, he grabs something and says, ‘You can’t get rid of that, that’s important’…or…’we might need that.’”

We were talking about moving… my dinner partner and her husband are moving to a new home.

“His latest is a spinning world globe, you know, like people might have had on a book case in the 1960s. He pulled it out of the go-to-Goodwill box. ‘When are we going to use that?”, I asked. He has no idea. If he hadn’t seen it, he wouldn’t have missed it. I should have just closed the box.”

“That’s true about a lot of cultural relics.”

“He reminds me of that old light bulb joke, excuse the stereotype: How many Virginians does it take to change a light bulb?”

“I can’t remember.”

“Yeah, that’s the answer to a different light bulb joke. The answer to this one is ‘three – one to change the light bulb and two to reminisce about how nice the old light bulb was.’ He’s even pulling bags out of the bag of bags I was planning to recycle.”

I laughed. “Ohhh, noooo, not the bags of bags.”

“Yes!”, she frumped. “Everybody has a bag of bags and nobody wants to get rid of them.”

“Well, you do need bags once in a while.”

“There’s no shortage of bags in the world, Nick. You can’t carry stuff around forever.”

Cultural relics… reversion to habits…personal nostalgias: Some of our toughest obstacles when we’re supporting clients’ changes or investments to move their organizations forward.

So: How many wizards does it take to change a light bulb? (Depends on what you want to change it into.)

Nick Miller is President of Clarity Advantage based in Concord, MA. He assists banks and credit unions to generate more and more profitable relationships, faster, with business clients, their owners, and their employees through better sales strategies and execution. Additional articles on Clarity’s web site.

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