By Kevin Cope, author of Seeing the Big Picture
You should approach growth not as an assumption, but as a well-thought-out decision. —Edward D. Hess
Start-up, growth, maturity, decline: These are the classic stages of a business’s life, although management gurus of various stripes and colors have put their own spin on the idea of the business life cycle. While this is a useful way to think about how a company develops and grows, it’s also misleading, because having one stage labeled ìgrowthî implies that the company isn’t growing the rest of the time. Of course it is—until it’s declining. And while we use the term life cycle, businesses rarely progress from one stage to another in a step-by-step fashion. A company might move back and forth between growth and maturity as new markets or technologies become available. Or a new division within a mature company might exhibit all of the behaviors of a start-up.