One of the pleasures in a child's life is to track their progress of growth on a wall with pencil markings. Our desire for growth begins early and doesn't stop with childhood. Growth evokes a spirit of optimism for a promising future. Whether we are running a business, getting an education, raising children, or tending a garden, growth is a key measure of success.
Today's organizations also want growth, particularly at a time when it seems so hard to come by. Growth is a signal of a healthy business. It draws in stockholders, gives confidence to stakeholders, engages employees in new challenges and pursuits, and appeals to customers. Growth is a sign we are doing the right things for today and the future.
“If it's not growing, it's going to die.”
Michael Eisner, former CEO of Disney
Growth is in the eye of the beholder
Organizations seek to grow in different ways at different times. Companies might target market share or revenues, focus on profitability or geographic footprint.
But growth doesn't always mean size.
In a world that is questioning the limits of growth, growth can mean an organization has broader impact on people while using fewer resources, creates bigger innovations from fewer projects, builds a stronger reputation and a larger community, or does more good with its current assets.
Most organizations want something more. They don't want just growth ...