Final Verdict: Big is Bad

For quite some time I have thought about big vs. small – as in big business vs. small business.

I have now reviewed all the evidence, heard all testimony and have reached a verdict: Big business is bad.  Yip, you heard me – big business is bad.  Before you decide to stop reading and read that other guy’s blog about financial derivatives I would like to review the case with you.

I have had the opportunity to work with large businesses and also with small and there is something in the small business with a big heart that is not there in a big business with a small heart.

What I’m getting at is that big business should not be defined by turnover, profit, number of people, etc.  Big business should rather be defined by the desire of the leaders and owners in the business to build something of great value for the rest of society on a large scale.  The other view is when the owners of a small business see their organisation and purpose through the eyes of social benefit and not for profit primarily – BIG heart!

This point of view is what truly differentiates big from small.  So, it comes down to a paradox: In order to have a big impact you need to think small.  Small not in terms of revenue, market capitalisation or stock price, but small in terms of not missing out on the detail of staying true to purpose.  I have personally been part of organisational growth and corporate buyouts and the obvious pattern is one where there is a desire to become bigger it is ultimately driven by quarterly numbers – “BIG”!

Bottom line: Once the desire to do good is substituted for a desire to have more we all loose.  It is the story behind the shift in the global economic landscape, and perhaps a good time for it to happen.  It is a shift in the dominant global paradigm happening right now.  This is a complex, interesting and challenging world and I am happy to be alive.

So, I am calling to leaders and owners of businesses everywhere – will you simply survive from quarter to quarter or will you truly live.

Go from survive to alive!