Imagine if you will, a large Jack-in-the-box. No, not the kind that is associated with fast food; but instead a very colorful toy! Imagine it to be about 10 feet high (or about 2 times your height) with the same length and width. The very colorful and giant box is decorated with all sorts of crazy images of your desire and has a crank to one side for winding up the Jack that lazily rests inside waiting to startle you as he wishes. I'm sure you can think of all sorts of interesting ways to turn the crank if you just let your mind wander. My first thought is to stand on a stool with the crank at its highest position; jump onto the crank and let the kinetic energy from the ride down carry it back up. Return to the top and repeat! The music to go along is certainly very much like circus music! Anyway, let's fast forward to the point where Jack comes hurdling out of the box! Let's say that Jack jumps out and in doing so, throws handfuls and really more like cannonfuls of confetti! But let's pretend that every piece of confetti has to be picked up and put back into the box!
You see, this is how I feel about a particular job I am working on, in fact, the phrase in today's meeting that made me think of this metaphor was "we have to put all the pieces back in the box". You might notice now how I jumped right to the Jack-in-the-box imagery. Of course in my imagery I see two or three men in suits running around at the box grabbing confetti like it's money, shoving it where they can to collect it all simply to get it back in the box. It won't matter to them if the confetti gets torn and trampled, so long as it ends up back in the box.