Merrill Stewart:

When fire strikes a wooded area, the species living there adapt to survive, often using the disturbance to their advantage. If the flames are suppressed, it can actually hurt the adapted species. It’s an intriguing concept. The very thing that tears a forest down is essential to maintaining it.

Fire is an interesting analogy for evolving a businesses. It’s nature’s form of cleansing. We are in a crucial turning point in the world – the industrial revolution has ended, and the established companies won’t be around forever.

We fight and fight to protect established companies and business, yet this death and birth of companies is a natural cycle that fosters economic growth. Joseph Schumpeter called it Creative Destruction:

In Schumpeter’s vision of capitalism, innovative entry by entrepreneurs was the force that sustained long-term economic growth, even as it destroyed the value of established companies and laborers that enjoyed some degree of monopoly power derived from previous technological, organizational, regulatory, and economic paradigms.

It causes short-term losses in jobs and things generally don’t feel “right.” But this is a cleansing process.

If there’s one thing any leader should be aware of, it’s if you’re defending your business model. If you have the right model, it shouldn’t take defending through legislation, lawsuits, or means other than natural success.