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Introduction to Conscious Capitalism

The 2008 economic recession and the Occupy Wall Street movement that developed as a result led to a heated discussion about income inequality and wealth distribution around the world. One of the issues in the focus of this discussion was capitalism and whether it’s a fair or rather a corrupt economic system. While this debate might never reach the point of exhaustion, business leaders in the US are now pushing for a more society-oriented capitalist approach known as Conscious Capitalism.

So what is it? Conscious Capitalism is a business approach promoted by the Conscious Capitalism Movement that was founded by John Mackey, co-CEO and founder of Whole Foods Market, and Raj Sisodia, a Marketing professor at Bentley University.

Conscious Capitalism is based on four key principles designed to guide businesses that want to adopt this approach:

Higher Purpose: While creating profit is definitely one of the main goals of any firm, it should not serve as the only reason for the firm’s existence. The conscious capitalism movement compares profits to the production of red blood cells in the body; they’re vital for life, but there is more to life than just producing them. Businesses should focus on a purpose beyond profits—a purpose that will provide the business (and its stakeholders) with meaning and inspiration and will serve as a guiding light for the business’s journey.

Stakeholder Orientation: Instead of solely focusing on producing ROI for their shareholders or investors, conscious businesses aim to create value for all the players in their ecosystem. The Conscious Capitalism approach suggests that engaging and empowering all stakeholders (customers, suppliers, employees, funders, and communities) is crucial to the sustainability and resilience of any business operating within the ecosystem. This holistic vision sees the business world as a web of internal and external connections between businesses, people, and communities that cannot and should not be separated.

Conscious Leadership: Conscious leaders strive to realize the higher purpose of their organization while empowering and inspiring their employees and fellow leaders. They focus on “we” rather than “me” and lead their team by example. They design the culture of the business so it will be in line with its purpose and promote values of trust and care.

Conscious Culture: Organizational culture guides and shapes its strategy and therefore is critical to any business process, from day-to-day operations to deep changes. The business’s culture is the glue that bonds stakeholders to one another and connects stakeholders to the business’s purposes. A conscious culture is one that is based on trust and value creation and is aimed at bringing stakeholders together by focusing on their mutual interests and beliefs.

At its essence, conscious capitalism is a win-win approach that benefits both businesses and society. Sound familiar? Definitely! PlanetSoho does exactly the same thing. Why should it be any other way? If businesses and individuals viewed the world as it really is, a holistic inseparable network of bonds, they would realize that taking each other into account and utilizing the advantages of each member of the network comprise the high road to a prosperous economy and society.

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