The Handle And The Suitcase

Here is another insightful DCulberhouse essay about the leadership process and connecting the process and the people, connecting action and meaning as we move forward. Really wonderful! I think I will check every idea I latch onto to make sure the handle of my ideas is fully connected suitcase of results I need to carry forward!


“It is up to the individual to remember that it’s okay to use the handle, just as long as you don’t forget the suitcase.”   -Ed Catmull,  Creativity Inc.

Ed Catmull, the President of Pixar and Disney Animation shares a visual in his new book, Creativity Inc. where he asks us to “imagine an old, heavy suitcase whose well-worn handles are hanging by a few threads.”  He describes the “handle” of that suitcase as those defining principles, phrases, processes or mantras that we expound and rely upon, believing they will carry us through.  Whereas, he shares how, “the suitcase represents all that has gone into the formation of the phrase: the experience, the deep wisdom, the truths that emerge from the struggle.”

It is here that Catmull shows the disconnect that can happen in many of our organizations.  “Too often, we grab the handle and – without realizing…

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