Scaling up a business can be a daunting task. What makes your business successful at one level may be different than when working at another level. Different inputs are required in order to make things work.
Why do people not talk as much about “scaling down” in business? My sense is that people and organizations only think of scaling down when there is a problem and they need to simplify their operation. I certainly see this with people on a personal level given the popular culture interest in minimalist living and mindfulness. I don’t think scaling down is bad, but rather as a kind of refocusing of one’s efforts.
Culturally, modern humans are wired to think in terms of going up or going down. For instance, you are either moving up the career ladder or down it. It’s in our language, too: you are either increasing or decreasing; or getting larger or getting smaller.
People talk less often about moving laterally or side to side. It’s a less obvious choice because what is happening next to us may not be fully apparent. When focused on what is directly in front of and behind us, we are tuned in to that reality. What is happening next to us may be less apparent because we can’t always see it and how those options could be incorporated into our worldview.
Things may appear blurry on the periphery of our vision and focus. This is why it’s important to gain different perspectives, to see the big picture, or to understand other cultures–it helps people see what’s happening next to them. And it can help you grow your business.
[Photo: Reflection of a chandelier in a window at night.]