Grow or die
I understand the sentiment, really I do. There is a real fear that, if we don't grow, we'll be overtaken by those who do grow. Or that we'll become stagnant and stale.
Yet I'm mindful that, if we all grow, we'll surely die (or at least suffer), too. Read Limits to Growth, if you're uncertain about my statement. Note that "limits to growth" in that book is not a statement of an environmentalist's hope; it's a statement of fact. We will face limits to growth. We can choose the nature of those limits (or at least we have had the chance), but stop growing we will. You can't exceed the carrying capacity of an environment forever.
So, if it's true that we all (or most all) want to grow (our companies, our houses, ...), and if it's true that we will face (and are already facing) real limits to that growth, what do we do?
I've written about growth a number of times, but I admit that I don't have all or even many of the answers yet. Perhaps I'll find out more in the next few months, for I'm co-teaching a systems thinking course at Bainbridge Graduate Institute.
If you're not familiar with BGI yet, their vision is "To infuse environmentally and socially responsible business innovation into general business practice by transforming business education," and they've got a good reputation in this area.
As I did when I taught system dynamics at the University of Washington, I suspect I'll learn a lot here, this time with a distinct focus on sustainability and business. I'm really looking forward to this experience. (And, as I did last time, I will refrain from telling you anything that goes on in class unless I have explicit permission, but I may tell you a bit about how I grew.)