The concept of scale is an important one for innovation and greater success. Just like the mighty oak tree began as a small acorn turned seedling, our success begins with a small-scale idea. This idea goes live and it works. It sees light and wants to grow. This idea scales up and out in different ways. We can apply the concept of scale to find greater success in our life and work. Take one of your best ideas…how can you scale it up or out in new directions?

I recently did a day hike in Vermont climbing Mount Ascutney. The Dartmouth Outing Club’s website tells this story of the mountain: “Mount Ascutney, the weathered core of an old volcano that once towered 20,000 feet into the air, stands alone over the Connecticut River. The name derives from several Abenaki words meaning “mountain of the rocky summit”. In 1825, Vermont’s first mountain hiking trail was cut on Ascutney. Later, while hiking on the mountain in 1909, James P. Taylor had the inspiration for the creation of Vermont’s Long Trail, which eventually spawned both the Green Mountain Club and the idea for the Appalachian Trail.” What a story…and an idea that scaled! It sounds like one single half-day 7 mile hike scaled up over years to a multiple month 2,181 mile lifetime experience that is the Appalachian trail.

Scaling is valuable in business as you are expanding into new markets, audiences, platforms, or regions. In education you may create one session, scale that session up into a week long program, scale that program up into a course, scale that course into 4 different sections, and even scale that course into a minor, and that minor into a major. You can also apply this concept of scaling to your own life or work. What can you scale and how can you scale it? How can you scale up and out?