Corporations are probably the most influential institutions in the world today and yet many people do not believe that they can be trusted.
Conscious Capitalism is a philosophy based on the belief that a more complex form of capitalism is emerging that holds the potential for enhancing corporate performance while simultaneously continuing to advance the quality of life for billions of people. The Conscious Capitalism movement challenges business leaders to re-think why their organisations exist and to acknowledge their companies’ roles in the interdependent global marketplace.
Today’s best companies get it. From Zappos to Whole Foods, the Container Store to Google: they’re generating every form of value that matters: emotional, social, and financial. And they’re doing it for all their stakeholders.
Not because it’s “politically correct”; because it’s the ultimate path to long-term competitive advantage. Conscious Capitalism differs from Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) by virtue of its origins from within the company as an expression of an overall perspective on how to conceive and build a business, rather than as a response to external notions of what counts as “socially responsible” or external pressure. Conscious Capitalists are unapologetic advocates for free markets, entrepreneurship, competition, freedom to trade, property rights, and the rule of law. They recognise that these are essential elements of a healthy, functioning economy, as are trust, compassion, collaboration, and value-creation. Conscious Capitalism is the system-level effect of a substantial number of companies practicing the four tenets of a Conscious Business as defined below:
Conscious Businesses adopt a higher purpose that transcends profit maximisation. A compelling sense of purpose can create an extraordinary degree of engagement for stakeholders and catalyse tremendous organisational energy.
Conscious businesses are managed for the simultaneous benefit of all of their interdependent stakeholders, including customers, employees, investors, suppliers, the environment and the larger community in which the business participates. By creating value for each stakeholder in various and often differing ways the whole system advances.
Conscious Leaders adopt a holistic worldview that moves beyond the limitations of traditional machine metaphors for business. Conscious Leaders see that profit is one of the important outcomes of the business, but not the sole purpose. Most importantly, they reject a zero-sum, trade-off oriented view of business and look for creative synergistic win-win approaches that offer multiple kinds of value simultaneously to all stakeholders.
The culture is a conscious business is captured in the acronym TACTILE: Trust, Authenticity, Caring, Transparency, Integrity, Learning and Empowerment. The culture of a conscious business can be felt immediately upon walking in its doors.
Tell the stories of Conscious Capitalism and in doing so, inspire Australians about what is possible when we take a more human approach to business.
Build and grow a learning community of like-minded business leaders, academics, consultants, thought leaders and individuals who are committed to the practice and advancement of Conscious Capitalism.
Provide our community with the support and resources it needs to grow and flourish.
Anyone who has met Bill will be able to tell you that he is passionate about creating businesses that are built for the long term. In 2010, Bill was named 2010 Entrepreneur Of The Year in WA, an acknowledgement of the extraordinary work he has done in creating his business acQuire, a data management company that supports the natural resource industry.
Back in 1989 when Geoff Manchester started a little business called Intrepid Travel with his mate Darrel Wade, they were just looking for an excuse to keep travelling. That little business has well and truly grown up, and now Intrepid Travel is Australia’s largest adventure travel company.
In 1978, at the age of 25, John borrowed $10,000 from his father and raised an additional $35,000 of equity investments to co-found Safer Way Natural Foods with Renee Lawson. Two years later, in 1980, he and Renee teamed up with two other young entrepreneurs to create Whole Foods Market, a 10,000 square foot store on Lamar Boulevard in Austin.
Until five years ago, Jono Fisher was working in a well-paid but unfulfilling job. What was meant to be a short break from work ended up being the spark that changed his life. In 2008 Jono founded Wake Up Sydney (now called Wake Up Project), an events and media company dedicated to inspiring change in our world through fresh, creative and entertaining ways. Wake Up Project is also a thriving community of over 10,000 individuals who are committed to a simple mission ... inspire a kindness revolution through creativity and conscious business.
Naomi Simson founded one of Australia’s tech success stories RedBalloon in 2001. From just an idea and persistence, www.redballoon.com.au has now served close to 3 million customers. She is a champion of great workplaces and her entrepreneurial energy focuses on RecogniseEveryDay.com.au - a Saas business inspiring businesses to love their people.
Raj Sisodia is the Franklin Olin Distinguished Professor of Global Business and Whole Foods Market Research Scholar in Conscious Capitalism at Babson College. He is also Co-Founder and Co-Chairman of Conscious Capitalism Inc. He has a Ph. D. in Marketing from Columbia University. Raj is co-author of the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller Conscious Capitalism: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business (Harvard Business Review Publishing, 2013).