Balance between growth and maturity

I am Yoshida, president of Yamada Shusei Ltd., a professional apparel garment repair group in Nagaoka City, Niigata Prefecture.


Sick on a journey,

Over parched fields

Dreams wander on.

        Matsuo Basho



This haiku was composed at the age of 51 by Matsuo Basho. It was Basho's last poem before his death.


If Basho himself was not aware that this was his resignation, it is likely that he had recovered from his illness and still wanted to continue his journey, but at the same time, however, there is a sense of deep resignation and sadness in this haiku. Also, although the dry field is a lonely landscape in the dead of winter, it also expresses the hope for the budding spring that will soon come.


Aside from the interpretation of his works, as a manager, you can learn about Basho's view of life and his strict attitude toward haiku, as he usually lived with an awareness of death.


Just as "life" is paired with "death," "growth" is a concept paired with "decline. And "maturity" is what is kneaded through the ups and downs. In general, "growth" refers to quantitative change, while "maturity" refers to qualitative change. For example, an increase in sales and profits is an indicator of growth, but building a brand or investing in human capital is an indicator of maturity.


For small business owners, growth of their companies leads to increased competitiveness and market share, while maturity of their companies leads to stability and sustainability. Both are important, but unreasonable growth can increase risk, while seeking only maturity can lead to missed opportunities for innovation and change. Therefore, it is important to find the right balance between growth and maturity.


It is not something that can be done overnight, but we want to make sure that we do not leave any regrets halfway through each of the following: the end of a day, the end of a year, the end of passing the baton of the business to a successor, the end of a lifetime....