Many companies are focused on growth as the top priority.  If not growth, perhaps, then maybe at the moment it’s just survival.  But the size of the company, in dollars and people, is the top measure.

If you’re a public company and have sold your soul to the merciless stock market, well, you pretty much have no choice.

But for the rest of us, we get to choose whether growth should be the primary measure of success.  So let’s ask WHY.

Why is growth desirable?  Perhaps it’s because it gives you more control over your future.  Well, it does and it doesn’t.  The larger your company, the more government oversight kicks in.  Competitors start gunning for you.  Decisions become harder to make because of the larger number of employees.

Why is growth desirable?  Maybe you believe that only the largest companies survive.  That may be true to a certain extent in some industries, but there are many others where specialization and proximity to customers are more important than size.  My background is mostly in high tech, supposedly a prime example of this theory.  But Apple should have been crushed at many points in its history.  It survives – and thrives – because it had a unique value for customers and has become very, very good at what it does.

Why is growth desirable?  For some, it’s the seemingly innate desire to beat the competition.  In this mindset there can only be a single winner.  But the neat thing here is that you can choose which playing field you’re going to compete on – products and services, target demographics, location – and become a winner in something wide or narrow.  This allows for many, many winners.

So ponder this:  Growth is only a tool to achieve something else.  What is that?  And what if you could achieve that without having to grow so much?