#4 Harmony instead of hegemony.

Harmony is a key element in caring for bonsai, where perspective, shape, size, and setting combine to create an integrated and strikingly beautiful whole. The same harmony can apply to business, provided we implement the “strategy of enough.”

We’ve developed a sense of what is enough business. “Enough” implies balance and equilibrium. “Enough” to pay our bills, have a rich work environment, and make a profit to invest in further development. “Enough” grasps the interdependence implicit in relationships, where we – suppliers, customers, and business – are all in this together, and no party seeks to
dominate the other.

Yet “enough” runs counter to the drive of shareholder-based capitalism, which drunkenly seeks ever greater returns, turning a blind eye to how the instruments of those returns can destabilize the ecosystem of the economy, as witnessed with mortgage-backed derivatives in 2008. An insatiable appetite for greater gains creates an imbalance in the very ecosystem in which the business lives. This is “business as kodzu!”

Implicit in the Bonsai Business Model is a grounded sense of “enough,” where we strive for growth and development. In development, we aim for “more” but a different more. This “more” is expressed in the qualities of our business, not only in the quantities.

We aim for depth, not size. An inside-out approach to business looks at the concerns expressed and heard, the caring we exhibit, the connections made, and the commitments kept. A more that seeks to contribute rather than to dominate.