This past weekend was BarCampBank Seattle. We got into many good discussions ranging from the books were reading and why we like them, to technology disruption, to values-based banking (that last topic was mine, surprise, surprise).
At some point in the day, the incredibly wise Gene Blishen said something that I keep mulling over. We were talking about the need for business to be constantly growing, and he said…
It’s not about growth, it’s about development. As people, we grow for our first 18 years and then we stop growing, but we keep developing as people until we die.
I have always been puzzled by the assumption made by most people I’ve ever talked to that the goal of business is to grow, constantly. But I don’t think most companies deserve and demand the scale to be big. Some companies, some ideas, some leaders are better suited to be smaller. Why not crave to be the right size for your ambitions, your market, your desired size, and not be constantly growing?
I believe all companies and organizations, like people, should be constantly developing. Refining what they do, evolving it, learning and improving. That seems obvious. But I don’t think all companies should aim for growth and scale.
What do you think? Am I missing something?