Thursday, November 4, 2010


Opacity prevents change.

Read On:
I love words. Consequently I have disciplined myself to utilize the dictionary whenever I come across a word with which I am unfamiliar or uncomfortable. Today, in an op-ed about the current state of affairs in America, the author wrote: “Opacity kills.” I then learned the concise definition of opacity is dullness. I immediately made the connection to two blogs I wrote about the subject of status quo;
The Waiting Place and A Lesson From Charlie Bottomline, status quo, doing the same old thing, breeds mediocrity; to me mediocrity is a form of opacity that prevents change.

Recently I received a Pitney Bowes direct mail piece for their new Mailstation 2™ digital mailing system. Made me question: 1.) Marketing is moving to Web 2.0 and utilization of social media tools. What is the market potential for their product; and B.) I hardly use snail mail anymore. Why was I included in their target market? Answer: Pitney Bowes suffers from opacity.

Don’t be the last to change with the times. Remember, opacity prevents change.


  1. Excellent concept, Jimmy. I would like to see you go further in the analysis of this word and concept, and how it can be actively implemented in our business activities. I'm reflecting on it now...

  2. “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson


  3. A very good point Jimmy. I am helping clients to avoid this trap and realise that old methods are showing diminishing returns which are certainly going to accelerate if they don't make the necessary changes to keep up with the world.

  4. Jimmy, If you look at what Pitney Bowes is doing it is operating multiple markets and is indeed using social media tools. On the traditional mail front the company is looking to maximise its product offering allowing its customers to maximise the value they get from their mail messaging. I can't guess why you received a direct mail piece from them. Could it be that your details have been sold on?

  5. Thank you everyone for your comments. Tom: Looking forward to your relfections. Matt: Love the quote. Dan: I always value your readership from half way around the Globe. Jonnie, I will make it a point to look Pitney Bowes up this weekend to elarn more about what they are doing. I am not sure why I am on their list either given the information that is out there on my company and type of business.

  6. I work with so many B2B and service companies trying to differentiate, but when you push them to have a personality to stand-out, they get nervous and prefer the 'opacity' route. That's why so many companies sound the same.