Penny Wise and Pound Foolish

Less rules, more profits?


My husband paid a visit to our local bank the other day to deposit a plastic bag filled with coins. This is something he does every few months. Only this time, he was informed that he would now be charged $5 for this transaction. Seems kind of funny that you have to pay your bank to take your money. Especially since they have a coin machine that processes the entire transaction.


The tagline for our bank is “Partners in Our Hometown.” I guess their definition of partnership includes a piece of our account. I’m thinking it may be time to take all of my accounts to a place where there is a bit less partnership and a bit more customer service.

I understand the need to have rules. Without them, we would live in chaos. However, there are many rules, such as the one I just described, that clearly do not make sense. Look closely at your own organizations. Do you have rules simply to have rules? Are your employees empowered to break the rules, when the rules get in the way of servicing your customers? Or are you being penny wise and pound foolish?


Roberta Chinsky Matuson
Human Resource Solutions

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About the author

For more than 25 years, Roberta Chinsky Matuson, president of Matuson Consulting, has helped leaders in Fortune 500 companies, including Best Buy, New Balance, The Boston Beer Company and small to medium-size businesses, achieve dramatic growth and market leadership through the maximization of talent. She is known world-wide as “The Talent Maximizer®.” Roberta, a leading authority on leadership and the skills and strategies required to earn employee commitment and client loyalty, is the author of the top-selling book, Suddenly In Charge: Managing Up, Managing Down, Succeeding All Around (Nicholas Brealey, 2011), a Washington Post Top 5 Business Book For Leaders