Unreported Good News: Business Thrives with Compassion and other Spiritual Values
You wouldn’t know it from the major media, but more compassionate, more sustainable and way more ethical capitalism is thriving. Or, as many call it, “Conscious Capitalism.” Now there are some very easy ways to bring yourself up to speed in how the conscious capitalism movement can impact your individual work, your business and/or your finances.
Just What is Conscious Capitalism and Why Is It So Beneficial to Us All?
The conveners of last summer’s conference on conscious capitalism at Bentley University offered these three key elements of conscious capitalism:
- companies have a purpose that transcends profit maximization;
- companies are managed for the benefit of all stakeholders in their ecosystem, not just shareholders; and
- companies are led by spiritually evolved, self-effacing servant leaders.
Companies that practice conscious capitalism embody the idea that profit and prosperity go hand in hand with social justice and environmental stewardship. They operate with a systems view, recognizing and benefiting from the connectedness and interdependence of all stakeholders. They tap into deeper sources of positive energy and create greater value for all stakeholders. They utilize creative business models that are both transformational and inspirational, and can help solve the world’s many social and environmental problems.
Over Half the Fortune 500 Companies Are Already Profiting by Embracing At Least One Aspect of Conscious Capitalism
That’s the view of Patricia Aburdene, author of Megatrends 2010: The Rise of Conscious Capitalism (Hampton Roads 2005). As she recently reported, whereas the unconscious form of profit-worshiping, short-term profits mentality has led to economic meltdown, conscious capitalists are profiting now while creating a sustainable economy that “responsibly embraces all of its stakeholders- – investors, customers, communities, employees, and the environment.”
In her groundbreaking Megatrends 2010: The Rise of Conscious Capitalism, Aburdene reported seven powerful trends (backed up by statistics and compelling stories from many Fortune 500 companies) that are at the core of conscious capitalism:
- The Power of Spirituality – From Personal to Organizational;
- The Dawn of Conscious Capitalism;
- Leading from the Middle;
- Spirituality in Business;
- The Values-Driven Consumer;
- The Wave of Conscious Solutions;
- The Socially Responsible Investment Boom
Missed the Bentley Conference on Conscious Capitalism? See it Free and Online.
The conference featured a who’s who of leaders in the field of conscious business and spirituality in the workplace. Among the themes the conference covered are:
1. The Need for a New Approach to Business
2. Business and Higher Purpose
3. Stakeholder Management and Alignment
4. Feminization of the Culture
5. Work as Calling
6. Conscious Marketing
7. Measures That Matter
8. Contemplative Practices in Management
9. Reforming Business Education
To view the various topics, click here, and scroll down the list of topics and presenters. Click on a program you’d like to view, and you’ll be privy to the wisdom of people like John Mackey, founder of Whole Foods, or Judith Neal, the founder of the Association for Spirit and Work and now director of the Tyson Center for Faith and Spirituality in the Workplace.
Needed: a Way To Better Way to Measure Value
One thing that’s holding the growth of conscious business back is the shyness of many prominent business leaders to speak openly about such matters as spirit and work, out of the fear that such thoughts will be considered flaky or unprofessional. Another is the lack of solid, respected ways to measure the impact of consciousness to the bottom line. This blog recently covered that topic and will cover it often in the future.
What are your thoughts on how conscious capitalism could benefit you and your world?
How do you measure what matters most to you?
As always, many blessings, Pat McHenry Sullivan