Enough is a wide and stable plateau. It is a place of alertness, creativity, and freedom. ~Vicki Robin & Joe Dominguez
We’ve been trained, or maybe programmed, to believe that organizations must always be in a state of “growth.” Organizations espouse visions of grander size, grander revenues, grander market share, anything and everything “grander.” But to what end?
I was rereading a book that has nothing to do with organizations entitled Your Money or Your Life by Vicki Robin & Joe Dominguez and came across the statement that I used for today’s quote. “Enough is a wide and stable plateau. It is a place of alertness, creativity, and freedom.”
When I read that quote it occurred to me that most organizations (and leaders) I work with would love to be at a place of “alertness, creativity, and freedom.” But most organizations are trying to get to that place by growth, not by pursuing enough.
Robin and Dominguez continue with these thoughts about growth and limits.
There are limits in nature. At a physical level, nothing grows forever. Every plant and every animal reaches an optimal size and then begins mature function, participating in life—leafing, fruiting, responding to stimuli and providing nourishment and competition for other forms of life around it. There always comes a point where the individual or the specific population either collapses or dies off due to lack of resources, or stabilizes at a level that the environment can handle.
Imagine an organization’s vision that sounded something like, “to stabilize at a level that the environment can handle.” In other words, champion a vision to sustain a wide and stable plateau for many years.
Now and then I truly believe that some organizational leaders turn to growth as a vision out of fear. Fear that “enough” is a proposition fraught with more risk than a vision of growth. After all, how can growth be risky? Well, I think that Robin and Dominguez’ statement holds true for organizations. That “there always comes a point where the [organization] either collapses or dies off due to lack of resources [which in this case could be customers or capital], or stabilizes at a level that the environment can handle.”
“Enough” as an organizational vision: a vision that results in alertness, creativity, and freedom— certainly sounds appealing to me.