You may have heard whispers about Conscious Capitalism and the impact it’s having on businesses worldwide. But do you know the real deal behind the concept? We attended the How-To and Benefits of Running a Conscious Business seminar hosted by Kristiana Fox, Founder and CEO of Think Outside the Box to get the down low.
What Is It Exactly?
Let’s quickly answer a question many of you might be asking, and that is, what is Conscious Capitalism? By definition, 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 motivated by higher purposes that serve, align, and integrate the interests of all their major stakeholders. (Source)
The original business model for Conscious Capitalism was from none other than Whole Food’s co-founder John Mackey, whose core values behind the store was to sell the best products, to serve the local community, and to take exceptional care of his employees. John believed that building a more conscious way of doing business would, in turn, create a more successful, more profitable, and healthier economy all around. This concept landed Whole Foods on FORTUNE magazines 100 Best Companies to Work For list for 15 consecutive years.
In her presentation, Kristiana first talks about the failures of traditional capitalism, looking at the way business has evolved since the idea of a more conscious ecosystem has been introduced.
Traditional capitalism often promotes:
- A lack of equality or opportunity
- The exploitation of workers
- A disparity of wealth and income
- Moral and ethical corruption
The transition from traditional capitalism to a more conscious practice focuses on the elimination of these failures and the emphasis on four pillars of conscious behavior.
Real Life Application – How Your Business Can Thrive
The Four Pillars of Conscious Capitalism
- Higher Purpose
- Stakeholder Orientation
- Conscious Leadership
- Conscious Culture
Each of the pillars sets a specific purpose to apply Conscious Capitalism to your business model. We took a deeper look to see exactly how these four pillars work.
Purpose is greater than profit- it’s the reason you invest in your business, go above and beyond, higher great people, strive to produce great work. Of course, making money is important for the success of your business, but it shouldn’t be the only or the most important reason your business exists. Conscious businesses focus on their purpose beyond profit.
Conscious Capitalism is about the entire ecosystem of business – creating value for their stakeholders. because invested, engaged stakeholders will create a healthy, sustainable, successful business. Without this ecosystem of employees, customers, suppliers, funders, supportive communities, there is no chance of real success.
This is a simple concept but one many companies struggle with. Genuine leadership is about the “we”, not the “me.” Leaders are meant to inspire change, encourage innovation, and help the people around them succeed. A conscious leader understands their purpose is to serve, support, and create value in the company while building a culGoodf trust and commitment.
Good company culture has been at the top of job seekers must-have list for years now, and it’s no surprise why. A healthy culture inherently promotes care and communication while building trust between team members and other stakeholders. Perhaps the backbone of Conscious Capitalism, culture returns home the idea that happy people create great success.
Another thing Kristiana highlights is the difference between your mission and your purpose. While both are important, they serve your company differently.
- Your mission is WHAT you want to accomplish.
- Your purpose is WHY you want to do it.
This brings us to the WHAT, HOW, WHY model. These questions may seem a little obvious but they play a vital role in creating a truly conscious business. If you’re invested in creating a purpose-driven company, ask yourself the following questions:
- What do I want to do?
- How do I want to do it?
- Why do I want to do it?
We tried this exercise at the seminar and were surprised to find it more challenging to answer than we thought. The one that may be hardest to answer is why. Why do you want to put in the time, the effort, and the sacrifice needed to make a business successful? Spend some time with this one and answer honestly. Why you choose to do something will set the tone for future success.
So what is the takeaway from this? Creating a purpose-driven company based on the foundation of Conscious Capitalism creates businesses that are authentic, exceedingly ethical, honorable, and prosperous. Put strength and intention behind your company’s mission and purpose, and in turn, create a strategy, leadership team, and culture that follows.
Want to learn more? Visit Conscious Capitalism online to find out how to get involved and apply these principles to your business.
Thank you to Kristiana Fox for teaching this seminar and to CO+HOOTS collaborative community workplace for hosting!