dMASS is not about austerity or self-denial.  It is about harvesting the most useful benefits from the least resources...Leadership in business is delivering more benefits to customers with fewer tons of resources. 

The vet recently told me my dog is "gravitationally challenged."  I was mortified.  While mass and weight are not technically the same thing, on this planet the mass of something can be measured by the degree of gravity's influence on it - by its weight.  Here I am advocating dMASS and my dog is obese.

For a long time, I have lectured about the comparability of what doctors call an obesity epidemic spreading around the world and our economic obesity epidemic.  If you prefer politically correct terminology, our cars are gravitationally challenged.  So are our buildings and our manufactured products.

The comparison between metabolic and economic obesity is more than just a literary device.  Nature is organized energy patterns and processes that are manifest at different scales.  When a doctor helps someone plan a diet, the trick is not just reducing food mass intake; it is also important to ensure nutrition.  A good diet is nutrient-rich.  That means that the essential benefits of eating can be obtained from less total food mass intake if that food is nutrient-rich, rather than nutrient-poor.  Jared Diamond is just one of many scientists to point out that some cultures developed faster because the available native foods were higher in protein and other nutrients, so less time had to be spent harvesting, transporting, and processing food to get what was needed from it.

I look at the economy in the same way.  dMASS is not about austerity or self-denial.  It is about harvesting the most useful benefits from the least resources.  We need to re-design our products, our organizations, and our buildings and infrastructure using this simple principle.  We need to harvest many more benefits from every ton of resources we use.  This is only hard to do because we somehow came to think of mass and benefits as inherently proportional.  They are not.  We have confused the products we create with the benefits they deliver, the massiveness of the buildings we build with their function.

If I want my dog to be healthy, it won't do to simply give her less food.  The same is true for economics.  Leadership in business is delivering more benefits to customers with fewer tons of resources.

Read more:

Designing to eliminate mass for competitive advantage – where things are headed

Lightweighting: dMASS design in action

How to overcome resistance to change with innovation

And others under the Design category.

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