What is Conscious Capitalism

Pictured above- Conscious Capitalism Co-Founder, Raj Sisodia with Mindful Market Founder, Jim Kupczyk

The idea of Conscious Capitalism has been around for about 20 years.  The foundational book, published in 2013, that captures the core ideas and spirit is Conscious Capitalism: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business, by John Mackey (cofounder of Whole Foods Market) and Raj Sisodia (thought leader in Trustworthy Business Behavior).

I met Raj Sisodia at a wonderful Global Healing Collective summit near Denver Colorado in 2018. We chatted for about 10-15 minutes.  When he presented his lecture a couple days later, I was drawn to his passion, ethos and the idea of people over profit.  I was also deeply honored that he mentioned Mindful Market in his lecture and follow-up Q&A!

What is Conscious Capitalism?

  • It’s a philosophy, along with a set of guiding principles and best practices based on the simple idea that business is about more than making a profit.
  • It is an approach to business built on a universal truth that people aspire to meaning & purpose, to flourishing & fulfillment.
  • Profit is a good thing, and can be made using ideas like trust, collaboration and compassion.
  • Business is good, ethical, noble & heroic.
  • Conscious Capitalism is a movement.  It’s the future.  It’s now.

Conscious capitalism principles:

  1. Higher Purpose
    • Businesses should exist for reasons beyond just making a profit
    • Profit is a means to the end of purpose for conscious companies.
    • What impact do you want to cause?
    • What difference do you want to make in the world?
  2. Stakeholder orientation
    • Conscious based businesses care about everyone in their ecosystem. ALL stakeholders, not just investors and customers.
    • Depending on your business, stakeholders can include: employees, customers, suppliers, investors, the planet, community, society & humanity
  3. Conscious leadership
    • Conscious leaders focus on “We” not “Me”. They put people first, which results in high levels of engagement, motivation & commitment.  They inspire positive transformation and bring out the best in those around them.
    • They keep the business focused on its higher purpose and support the people within the organization to create value for all of the organization’s stakeholders
    • Conscious leaders drive transformation while also achieving superior financial performance and long-term value creation
  4. Conscious culture
    • A conscious culture fosters love and care and builds trust between a company’s team members and its other stakeholders.
    • Conscious organizations intentionally foster cultures with high levels of trust, authenticity, accountability, transparency, integrity, loyalty, fairness, personal growth and genuine caring

Above video – Raj Sisodia, speaking at the Global Healing Collective Summit.

Is conscious capitalism sustainable?

The nucleus of conscious capitalism is composed of mission & purpose, an emphasis on ALL stakeholders and a long-term perspective.  I believe the power of conscious capitalism creates exceptional and sustainable long-term value.

  • Businesses that recognize, embrace and never lose sight of their purpose, provide a reason for all stakeholders to care deeply about the success of the company.
  • Engaged employees create lasting and profitable AUTHENTIC relationships with customers, suppliers and co-workers.
  • Happy customers are often loyal customers.
  • Long-term investors realize tremendous return when businesses are stakeholder-centric.
  • Companies that actively & authentically support their community and environment which they do business receive strong support in return.

Is conscious capitalism profitable?

  • Treating suppliers like family leads to higher quality products & services, leading to happier customers and larger profits
  • Facts prove that a conscious company is a much more profitable company because associates enjoy working and are more productive
  • Raj Sisodia looked at 28 companies he identified as the most conscious — “firms of endearment” as he termed them— based on characteristics such as their stated purpose, generosity of compensation, quality of customer service, investment in their communities, and impact on the environment.
  • The 18 publicly traded companies out of the 28 outperformed the S&P 500 index by a factor of 10.5 over the years 1996-2011. And why, in the end, should that be a surprise? Conscious companies treat their stakeholders better. As a consequence, their suppliers are happier to do business with them. Employees are more engaged, productive, and likely to stay. These companies are more welcome in their communities and their customers are more satisfied and loyal. The most conscious companies give more, and they get more in return. The inescapable conclusion: it pays to care, widely and deeply.- source https://hbr.org/2013/04/companies-that-practice-conscious-capitalism-perform

Conscious capitalism and mindfulness

Mindfulness is awareness.  Conscious Capitalism, at its most fundamental level, is the integration of awareness and capitalism.  Conscious businesses are aware or mindful of all stakeholders in their ecosystem. I believe that the make-up of a conscious business is interwoven with the fiber of mindfulness.

Mindfulness breeds resilience, compassion and emotional intelligence. Mindfulness initiatives within the workplace help leaders and employees reflect effectively, master stress, focus sharply at the task at hand and recharge quickly.

Conscious based businesses that practice mindfulness will be exponentially successful.

Conscious capitalism movement

I recently joined the Conscious Capitalism NYC chapter.  Conscious Capitalism International now supports at least 40 Chapters around the world. Some of the revered leaders at the annual conference, include: Great Place to Work’s Michael C. Bush; REI’s Jerry Stritzke; The Container Store’s Melissa Reiff; Greyston Bakery’s Mike Brady; Vanguard Group’s Jack Bogle; “Start With Why” author Simon Sinek; Lifeway’s Julie Smolyansky; The Energy Project’s Tony SchwartzKIND’s Daniel Lubetzky; THINX’s Miki Agrawal; The Motley Fool’s Tom Gardner; Dansko’s Mandy Cabot; Barry-Wehmiller’s Bob Chapman.

Conscious Capitalist Credo

“We believe that business is good because it creates value, it is ethical because it is based on voluntary exchange, it is noble because it can elevate our existence, and it is heroic because it lifts people out of poverty and creates prosperity. Free enterprise capitalism is the most powerful system for social cooperation and human progress ever conceived. It is one of the most compelling ideas we humans have ever had. But we can aspire to even more.

Conscious Capitalism is a way of thinking about capitalism and business that better reflects where we are in the human journey, the state of our world today, and the innate potential of business to make a positive impact on the world. Conscious businesses are galvanized by higher purposes that serve, align, and integrate the interests of all their major stakeholders. Their higher state of consciousness makes visible to them the interdependencies that exist across all stakeholders, allowing them to discover and harvest synergies from situations that otherwise seem replete with trade-offs. They have conscious leaders who are driven by service to the company’s purpose, all the people the business touches, and the planet we all share together. Conscious businesses have trusting, authentic, innovative and caring cultures that make working there a source of both personal growth and professional fulfillment. They endeavor to create financial, intellectual, social, cultural, emotional, spiritual, physical and ecological wealth for all their stakeholders.

Conscious businesses will help evolve our world so that billions of people can flourish, leading lives infused with passion, purpose, love and creativity; a world of freedom, harmony, prosperity, and compassion.”

Conscious capitalism liberating the heroic spirit of business

I knew, while Raj was speaking, that Conscious Capitalism tenets are innate in my being and make up the ethos of Mindful Market. It was a moment of truth for me. I remember having this revelation during Raj’s lecture and being stoked that the core of Mindful Market’s values are actually “a thing”.  There is structure.  I can learn more.  I can advocate.  I can help provide direction and a solid foundation to all of our wonderful customers. Mindful Market can serve more effectively.  I am grateful and honored to be part of this organization and movement. 

At Mindful Market, we lead with love.  There is no other way.

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