Saturday, April 23, 2011
The Last of the 3-Ring Binders
As I think about packing up next week, I realize that office moves are great milestones for reflecting on how things change over the course of our careers. Each time we move, we throw open the drawers and closets and pull out items we might not have seen in a while. We have to decide what to discard and what to take along with us into the next phase. As a learning professional, one of the staple items in my closet has been a collection of 3-ring binders - the ghosts of training past. Less and less of these end up in the “keep pile” with each move.
Two decades ago, when I relocated from New York to Connecticut for a promotional opportunity, I had a ton of these binders. Some from programs I had designed and delivered; others from classes I had attended. Among them, there was at least one binder from a program that probably had a title like, “How to Cope with Change.” I’m sure I checked to make sure I had it backed up on a floppy disk before throwing it into a dumpster along with many others that would not be making the move with me.
Ten years ago, when I moved from a satellite building into our corporate headquarters a few miles away, I still had many 3-ring binders with me. Among them, there was probably one with a title like, “How to Create and Drive Change.” I’m sure I backed it up on a CD, pulled the out pages and put them in a recycling bin, before offering the empty binder to another department for reuse.
Now as I make the move from four to five, I have only a few 3-ring binders with me from some of my favorite programs, one’s that have helped me greatly over the years. Among them is a program with a title like, “How to Manage in an Ever Changing World.” Since no one is using 3-ring binders these days, I’ll make sure it is backed up to our SharePoint site before separating the paper, plastic and metal parts and placing them in the appropriate bins.
Note: for suggestions on what to do with discarded 3-ring binders visit planetgreen.com.