Scarcity or Hope of Plenty?
In 1776, we wrote that all people were endowed by their Creator with some inalienable rights including the "pursuit of happiness". That is not a right to happiness, just the pursuit of happiness. This statement is a philosophy of plenty - affirming the hope of the future. Others operated on a philosophy of scarcity. In the same way, some companies operate with a philosophy of scarcity and some companies offer the hope of plenty.
What does it mean to operate with a philosophy of scarcity? When we believe in scarcity, then we operate in fear. In business, it leads to fear of employees doing something wrong and causing more costs. We spend a lot of energy trying to prevent costs as every penny spent means one less for us. There are those businesses that scratch and claw for every dime, undercutting their competition, competing on price only, and basically, having a rough time.
A company that operates in the philosophy of scarcity often finds itself in the "corporate death spiral". They focus so much on the money that they lose focus on what they offer the customer. Often, there is an effort to squeeze suppliers or to find other cheaper suppliers. Trusted and competent employees are let go when costs must be cut. The result is a loss of quality. That tends to lose customers.
There are some businesses where that is a very valid obsession as they operate on a fixed income and only make a profit when they manage their costs. However, any business that has any hope of increasing their sales does better with a philosophy of plenty.
A philosophy hoping for plenty assumes that the future will be brighter than today. It assumes that most changes are not destructive to society. A philosophy hoping for plenty believes that new people joining in the market will bring more customers instead of splitting the existing market into smaller pieces. All new ventures are living in some sort of belief that there is more plenty out there.
A philosophy hoping for plenty also values employees and tries to help them grow. We are more tolerant of mistakes hoping that the employee will learn from those mistakes. We work with suppliers to find new ways to reach new markets so that both us and them will prosper.
As we continue to grow, we realize that our people are the most important asset we have. We share our successes with them and they reward that loyalty with their better efforts. By sharing our hope of plenty, we are far more likely to achieve that plenty.
When hoping for plenty, we are much better able to say no to the things that distract us from our true goals. We rarely fall for the scams and con men who promise much and take from us. We don't need their fantasies when we see a clearer road to sustainable plenty.
Believing for better days ahead gives us the hope to cope with the struggles and set backs of today. We look for the better ways and thus, are much more likely to find them.