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What is Conscious Capitalism?

Updated: Dec 4, 2019

Too many businesses are focused on what they can get. Can they get more customers? More market share? More revenue? More followers? You get the idea. Few businesses ask what they can give away (no strings attached). Even fewer focus on who they are. Conscious Capitalism is a way for a business to be better and more successful. It is anchored to the idea of building and creating great work cultures that create wins for all stakeholders.

The concept of Conscious Capitalism is to be purposeful as a business. We first heard about Conscious Capitalism through the Motley Fool. For those who are unfamiliar with the concept, David Gardner's discussion of Conscious Capitalism is worth listening to in its entirety.

You don't have to be a nonprofit to be committed to doing good. We met with the owner of The Ripple today in Kansas City. He envisions his platform as a Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace for connecting purpose-driven entrepreneurs. The Ripple is working to turn a profit while doing good.

Conscious Capitalism is the idea is that successful businesses are socially responsible at their core. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) isn't part of what they do. It's part of who they are.

In the spirit of Giving Season, take a minute to read the Conscious Capitalism 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.”

If you have time, Firms of Endearment is an excellent read on what it means to be a purpose-driven organization and why it matters to an organization's long-term existence.

Today’s best companies get it. From retail to finance and industries in between, the organizations who recognize that doing good is good business are becoming the ultimate value creators. They’re changing their culture and generating every form of value that matters: emotional, experiential, social, and financial. And they’re doing it for all their stakeholders. Not because it’s simply politically correct, because it’s the only path to long-term competitive advantage.

These are the firms of endearment. Companies people love doing business with, working for and collaborating with as partners. Since the publication of the First Edition, the concept of corporate social responsibility has become embraced as a valid, important, and profitable business model. It is a trend that has transformed the workplace and corporate world.  This Second Edition updates the examples, cases, and applications from the original edition, giving readers insight into how this hallmark of the modern organization is practiced today.

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