What kind of growth does the world need?
BriefLetter - Issue 11/2013

Franz M Schmid-Preissler

The topic growth is widely talked about. There is talk of growth on a company level or of growth politicians keep an eye on. There is talk about industry growth, national and international growth and many other kinds of growth. However, what is meant is always a more on growth in comparison to the already achieved growth and in general it is always about the quantitative growth.

Of course we need growth because this is how we can successfully meet the challenges of change, prevent standstill and ensure that a rapidly growing world population is able to survive and we are able to share something with the newcomers. We have to take a very discerning view on the topic growth. In the First World it is imperative to encourage qualitative growth. Today and in the future we will have to make do with less and we will have to compensate the lesser with the better. This surely not very simple process assumes that we are reassessing our actions and learn to differentiate the useful from the useless. We have to question anyone asking for more, what they want to achieve with their demands. Growth successes have to be questioned critically and praise and accolades should be used responsibly. I do not want to sow the seeds of mistrust or be distrustful. For me this is about encouraging people not just to speak of growth in a short-term manner, to publish short and attractive figures in the glistening light of the media, in a time where situations are quickly expressed only in black and white and with figures that can hardly be verified.

The First World needs qualitative growth so that we can afford quantitative growth in the Second and Third World. Mostly in Africa, Asia and Latin America, those continents where poverty and hunger dictate the lives of people, they need fast growth, also quantitative growth, so that they get back on their feet economically and a tolerable social climate can develop.

The social market economy that developed in Germany after World War II, where the economy is shaped by a social conscious and a social responsibility towards society is definitely suited as a model for a global world, where qualitative and quantitative growth form a whole. One is not conceivable without the other. However, we have to look at it clearly separated and master it with a well thought-out understanding of roles.

In my understanding, the world certainly needs both kinds the qualitative and the quantitative growth. The same applies to companies. In highly developed markets, companies need qualitative growth strategies. And in markets of the Second and Third World it is absolutely reasonable to implement quantitative growth strategies. Whereas a timely change over should not be overlooked, because in the end, when we have a world without profound differences, we all have to live according to the same principle “less is more”, so that for the generations coming after us there will remain some of the wealth of the world for all to share.


SchmidPreissler SchmidPreissler Strategy Consultants

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Editor: Dipl. Soz. Maximiliana Schürrle

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