Development and growth

Image: flickr » teressa92
Image: flickr » teressa92

Growth is an increase in size or number; development is an increase in competence.

Standard of living is an index of growth, but quality of life is an index of development. Either growth or development can occur without the other. Rubbish heaps grow but do not develop. Professors can develop without growing.

Growth does not necessarily involve an increase in value; development does. A company can grow without increasing its value but it cannot develop without doing so.

Values are the concern of ethics and aesthetics. Therefore, they are necessarily involved in the conversion of efficiency into effectiveness. The production of data, information, knowledge, and understanding are primarily functions of science.

The production of wisdom, which presupposes all four, is primarily a function of ethics and aesthetics because it involves the conscious insertion of values into human decision making and evaluation of its outcomes.

Wisdom. Effectiveness is a product of wisdom which enlarges both the range of consequences considered in making a decision and the length of time over which the decision is believed to have possible consequences. By taking long—as well as short—run consequences into account, wisdom prevents sacrificing the future for the present.

For example, our technology enables us to keep terminally ill people alive at great cost. But is this the right thing to do in the long run? Is it wise? Might the same resources be better used elsewhere?

Wisdom is required for the effective pursuit of ideals, and therefore is required of leadership. Leaders must also have a creative and recreative role in the pursuit of ideals, and these are aesthetic functions.

Source: A Systemic View Of Transformational Leadership, Russell L. Ackoff.

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