How far can an organization grow?

Mar 27, 2018

I worked with big and well-established corporations as well as small start ups. There were always discussions on growth. How much should we grow this year? How is our competition doing? What is market expecting? Mathematically speaking, a linear growth is good. An exponential growth is awesome. Both growth trajectories will eventually reach a saturation point for most of the organizations. The best goal that Apple can have is to equip every citizen in this world with a Mac, iPad, and iPhone. By kicking the competition out of the race. The goal is still finite. What does Apple do after equipping every citizen in this world with a Mac, iPad, and iPhone? Toyota can think of achieving a monopoly in automobile industry. Every vehicle that is driven in the world should be made by Toyota. What a goal to have? It is still finite. What does Toyota do after achieving this difficult but finite goal? Can Apple and Toyota think of entering breakfast cereal markets when they are done with their goals? Are these organizations built to metamorphose into new entities that can become leaders in cereal markets? If they can’t, why not? This will sound like a ludicrous proposition. How else can an organization achieve perpetual growth if it is not built to metamorphose? The demand for any product or service is finite. An organization should have the capability and flexibility to take up new products or services as it progresses. What are the factors that dictate an organization’s abilities to grow perpetually? Hard skills that are required? Sales and Marketing efforts? Internal processes? Or the vision that drives the organization? In my experience, I found the most significant factor to be the vision. The growth stops at the boundaries that are created by the vision. I believe organizations should be driven by visions that are not finite. As the organization and the market place evolve, the same vision should have the ability to provide a new interpretation. That leads to a new goal. That leads to further growth. Disclaimer: Brand names used are just examples. No intention to criticize their respective visions.