Growth Is Human

Can business growth and renewal be more inevitable than decline and failure?

After 140 years, Globe Dye Works Co. went out of business. Located in northern Philadelphia, the manufacturer of chemical dyes, treatments and related products was operated as a quintessential industrial enterprise by five generations of the Greenwood family. Earning its motto, “You can rely on Globe”, the company faithfully served its customers, employed thousands of dedicated employees and became the economic foundation for its broader community. After facing intense shifts in the competitive landscape, structural shifts in labor costs and decreased demand for its products and services, the company eventually stopped growing. After a long decline, and courageous attempts by management and employees to reverse the company’s fortunes, Globe Dye finally closed its doors in 2005. Today, all that remains is the company’s gritty, industrial complex that sits along the northeast rail corridor. Now faded and rusted, the company’s iconic logo continues to tower prominently over the red brick buildings, tantamount to a warning sign that seems to say: AVOID AT ALL COSTS!

The location in which you see this short film or operate your company — whether in Silicon Valley, Dubai, Detroit, Mumbai, Shanghai, or north Philadelphia — is of no consequence. Companies of all shapes, sizes and geographies share the common objective to, not only avoid the fate of companies like Globe Dye Works, but to also find ways to thrive and grow. As companies pursue these objectives, they must confront the central underlying question: Can business growth and renewal be more inevitable than decline and failure?