Tag Archives: conscious capitalism

Creative capitalism

“I hope corporations will dedicate a percentage of their top innovators’ time to issues that could help people left out of the global economy. This kind of contribution is even more powerful than giving cash or offering employees’ time off to volunteer. It is a focused use of what your company does best. It is a great form of creative capitalism, because it takes the brainpower and makes life better for the richest, and dedicates some of it to improving the lives of everyone else.” – Bill Gates


Conscious Capitalism Manifesto

Why does Conscious Capitalism need a manifesto?

The definition of manifesto from the Dictionary.com is simply this: “A public declaration of intentions, opinions, objectives, or motives“.

According to Lifehack, writing a manifesto is a great way to clarify beliefs, examine motivations, create personal policies,  describe what kind of world you’d like to live in, and write down your goals

A manifesto is not set in stone. There is merit in using it as a starting point for conversation, obtain input and review the document on a regular basis.

There have already been many attempts at writing a Conscious Capitalism manifestos, but agreeing on one would facilitate a conversation around some key questions such as: What is conscious capitalism?  and how to make it more mainstream?

According to Raj Sisodia,  and John Mackey, “Conscious Capitalism” is not an oxymoron”,  capitalism is a remarkably powerful system for meeting people needs for survival and success and done consciously, it can be a noble way to lift people out of poverty while managing natural finite resources.

Conscious Capitalism is a game-changer, it requires the creation of entirely new systems and ways of doing business. It requires creating systems  from a higher level of consciousness than the level at which the problems were created. It requires to change the corporate culture and leadership. It’s about basing the organisation on love rather than on fear. On win-win relationships rather than on zero-sum mentality. It’s about abundance rather than scarcity. It’s about giving meaning to money. As Raj Sisodia  and John Mackey wrote in Conscious Capitalism: “Despair = Suffering – Meaning”. As holocaust survivor, Viktor Frankl wrote in Man’s search for meaning, “human beings need meaning”. It’s about not being scared of conflicts but seeing them as gifts. Conflict brings issues to the surface to give us a chance to heal them, as such they are great opportunities for personal and spiritual growth. Conscious Capitalism is about adding value. It’s about making sure that  that each stakeholder receives more value than they’re contributing. It’s about valuing generosity rather than greed. It’s about encouraging sharing rather than selfishness. It’s about encouraging change rather than maintaining the status quo. I’s about embracing our deeper issues, rather than repressing and denying them. It’s about displaying courage rather than cowardice and  taking “unconditional responsibility” for creating our reality, and shifting from “victim consciousness” to what Fred Kofman calls “player consciousness” in his book “Conscious Business: How to build value through values”.

Conscious Capitalism is about connection rather than separation. It’s about cultivating detachment rather than addiction.

It’s about valuing authentic relationships rather than seeing people as disposable. Conscious Capitalism is about sustainability and people and planet rights rather than trying to generate profit at all costs.

Conscious capitalism is based on the triple bottom line, which recognises financial, social and environmental accountability. It recognises the rights of all stakeholders, not just the shareholders.

Conscious Capitalism is about intrinsic rewards rather than extrinsic ones.

Conscious Capitalism is about embracing the unknown rather than having certitudes.

Conscious Capitalism is chosen, not forced, it’s about empowering the stakeholders that want to work with you to do so and support, in their own way, the development of conscious business and the deployment of conscious business practices…

What does Conscious Capitalism mean to you? What would you like to see happening to make it more a part of business as usual?


(Photo credit:  Manifesto via http://marketingwithaheart.com)


Conscious Capitalism Companies in Australia

There is a growing community of  business people and companies in Australia that are  dedicated to changing the state of capitalism so that it truly  elevates humanity and contributes to a better world. Their activities may differ but all of them apply the Conscious Capitalism principles  of Higher Purpose, Stakeholder Orientation, Conscious Leadership and Conscious Culture.

 Below is a snapshot of the companies leading the way:

1- Whole kids

Whole Kids is Australia’s leading brand of organic, healthy kids snacks. Founded by James and Monica Meldrum, the company is committed to nourishing healthy kids.

They created their business based on Conscious Capitalism principles and are committed to live and breathe their social and environmental purpose every day through:

  • Healthy products – by making the most natural, wholesome and environmentally sustainable food for children and families.
  • Healthy people – by nurturing the health and wellbeing of their customers and people in a way that is respectful and responsible.
  • Healthy planet – by working to provide a sustainable environment for current and future generations, and to restore planet’s health.

Our purpose is underpinned by our commitment to operating our business on the fundamental philosophy that business needs to exist for a deeper purpose beyond profit.  We believe that businesses must contribute positively to a more sustainable, more equitable and more respectful relationship with their local communities, stakeholders, environment and wider society.

2- Swisse

 Swisse culture starts with the belief that if the focus is on people, passion and principles, profits will naturally follow.

They have shortened the order of their priorities as – ‘people, principles and passion before profit’ – referred to as ‘The 4 Ps’.

The Four Ps

People : Swisse staff are given an extra ‘Health and Happiness’ day of leave each month to spend time with their families or friends, a fortnightly massage and free personal training and yoga classes. A healthy, fresh lunch is provided daily for all staff at their  foundation Australian offices in Melbourne and Sydney. They also include customers and partners under ‘people’. Making sure to  over-deliver on promises and build long-standing relationships is an important goal at Swisse.

Principles are all based around what will make the world and their workplace a healthier and happier place. They have a couple of catchy sayings that help guide their choices such as: ‘Morals before money’ and ‘Customer care before profit share’.

Passion They want their people to love their work, because they believe there is no engine to drive a business like a group of passionate people pointed in the same direction.

Profit They consider that results would not be what they are if they didn’t have the three other Ps right.

At the core of Swisse philosophy is a belief that the conventional approach to health can be improved upon. They believe that people should focus on maintaining and sustaining their wellness, rather than only seeking help when their health is suffering. They also believe that wellness is linked to how we spend our time, what we put into our bodies, and how we approach life. Positive thinking, positive relationships, healthy food and healthy activities are all part of living a healthy, happy life.



Conscious Capitalism history

“When capitalism started, nature was abundant and capital was scarce; it thus made sense to reward capital above all else. Today we’re  awash in capital and literally running out of nature. We’re also losing many social arrangements that bind us together as communities and  enrich our lives in nonmonetary ways. This doesn’t mean capitalism is doomed or useless, but it does mean we have to modify it. We have to adapt it to the twenty-first century rather than the eighteenth. And that can be done. 
How do you revise a system as vast and complex as capitalism? And how do you do it gracefully, with a minimum of pain and disruption? The answer is, you do what Bill Gates does: you upgrade the operating system.” says Peter Barnes in Capitalism 3.0.
So what operating system did we get in the first place, why did we use it, how many upgrades did we already have and how can we go about finding something that’s adapted to our needs now?
The term capitalism is often attributed to Karl Marx.  The Latin root of the word is capitalis, which refers to “head” and is related to the trade and ownership of animals,  which is the way that wealth used to be measured: The more heads of cattle, the better. 
Capitalism is essentially an economic system based on the private ownership of the means of production,distribution, and exchange, and characterised by the freedom of capitalists to operate or manage their property for profit in competitive conditions (Collins 
English Dictionary).

Conscious Capitalism is a term that was first coined  by Nobel Peace Prize recipient Muhammad Yunus. In an interview , he was quoted saying: “I’m encouraging young people to become social business entrepreneurs and contribute to the world, rather than just making money. Making money is no fun. Contributing to and changing the world is a lot more fun.”

 Kip Tindell (CEO of the Container Store) and John Mackey (co-CEO of Whole Foods Market) co-founded Conscious Capitalism Alliance in 2007. The term “Conscious Capitalism” is now a trademark of Conscious Capitalism Inc, the organization behind Conscious Capitalism Alliance.


Conscious Capitalism principles



Conscious Business: How to Build Value Through Values

When asked by The New York Times “What book should every business executive read?”, Sheryl Sandberg – COO of Facebook and author of the new book “Lean In”, answered “Conscious Business” by Fred Kofman, Co-Founder and Academic Board President of Axialent.

Conscious business, explains Fred Kofman, means shining  awareness on every area of your work: in recognising the needs of others and expressing your own; in seeing the hidden emotional obstacles that may be holding your team back; in making good decisions under pressure; and even in delving into such spiritual questions as “Who am I?” and “What is my real purpose here?”

In Conscious Business, this visionary teacher and consultant to Google, Microsoft, Yahoo! and other leading companies presents the complete training manual in the breakthrough techniques he has shared with over 20,000 executives on four continents.

  • Take responsibility for their lives
  • Don’t compromise human values for material success
  • Speak their truth with honesty and respect
  • Listen to others with humility
  • Resolve disagreements attending to all concerns
  • Honor commitments impeccably
  • Accept their emotions and express them constructively

These concepts are common sense, but they are not common practice; they challenge deep-seated assumptions we hold about ourselves, other people, and the world, and require a fundamental shift in consciousness.




Is it time to be disruptive about your generosity? Find ways to impact lives and transform your business!

In a world where businesses seem obsessed with profit, what is the business case for generosity?

When we give, we think that we make a difference in the life of others, the reality is that they make a difference in our lives by making philanthropic power accessible to all. Understanding this is revolutionising business as we know it.

We live in an interconnected and interdependent world, so the actions of the few have an impact on the whole system. It is not about how much you give, it’s about the impact that is created. Even a cent can make a difference when you know how and where to give it. For that, you need to know what values you stand for and define your purpose: If your intention is to make more money so you can give more and have a greater positive impact on the world, you can uplift humankind to unimaginable levels of prosperity, peace and happiness, while having a thriving, ever developing business. As  Daniel Pink says in his book DRIVE, “The move to accompany profit maximisation with purpose maximisation has the potential to rejuvenate our business and remake our world”

A new wave of really inspiring companies  such as the Container Store,  Trader Joe’s, Patagonia and Whole Foods Market advocate that doing good and being generous need to be embedded in the business structure. They consider that business can be a vehicle for social change, and they are finding creative solutions that are economically and socially sustainable to encourage people to be disruptive about their generosity.

A recent documentary called “Not Business as Usual”  tracks the changing landscape of business with the rising tide of conscious capitalism through the stories of local entrepreneurs  such as Fairer, Lunapads, and Institute B,  who have found innovative ways to bring humanity back into business.

These companies found out that adopting a responsible ethos actually attracts talent. Everyone needs a reason to get out of bed in the morning to do what they do. Considering the amount of time that we spend in work, it makes sense that we should enjoy what we do and feel rewarded whilst doing it. Employees who work for conscious companies love what they are doing. They know that every single cent raised can make a big difference somewhere in the world. They aim to be part of creating a legacy and leaving the world a better place.


Raj Sisodia, the author of “Firms of Endearment” wrote that today’s greatest companies are fueled by passion and purpose, not cash. They earn large profits by helping all their stakeholders thrive: customers, investors, employees, partners, communities, and society.

Seth Godin says that we are transitioning into what he calls “the connection economy” in which value is created by the connections we make and not by industrialism. And connections in the new economy are fueled by a focus on two specific aspects of humanity – generosity and art.

When you help others, it becomes part of your brand story, what you tell the market about yourself.

But how to be generous?  According to Paul Dunn from Buy One Give One , the word charity doesn’t always elicit warm feelings, so he asks to be careful about the words you use to connect to your audience.

An idea to consider is embedded giving. It’s a form of charitable donation in which an act of philanthropy is built into a larger financial transaction so that even the smallest business can contribute to social change in a big and completely new way. 

According to Paul Dunn, giving generously creates 3 special things around your business: Impact, habit and connection: Making giving habitual creates a  reference point, reminding people of why they do what they do.

Generosity, done consciously, has the power to transform business and change lives. However, giving generously is  not about expecting anything in return, but rather about focusing on the right action without being unduly attached to outcome. Giving generously is about transforming yourself before you transform others or as you transform others.

What could you personally do to be disruptively generous today?

 Lina Mbirkou

(Photo credit:  via )