Although we introduced her to you as our new President in our December 2021 blog, Liz Richardson actually stepped into the role of President for the Conscious Capitalism Central Maryland Chapter (C3MD) in August 2021, and she hasn’t looked back since!
Co-founder of Indigo Ink Digital Printing, Inc., Liz is a Columbia, MD business owner of 19+ years and has been a member of C3MD since 2017. Although her business has grown over the years, focusing on building client relationships within the Baltimore/D.C. area remains a driving purpose. It’s that same purpose that guides her in her role as C3MD President. We had the opportunity to ask Liz a few questions about her journey to conscious capitalism and what she hopes to achieve in her role as President.
What was your first recollection of the term “conscious capitalism”?
Though the term wasn’t used explicitly, I was first introduced to the concept when I read Yvon Chouinard’s book, Let my People go Surfing (2006). I thought of it as “conscious business” until I read an article written by Jeff Cherry, of the Conscious Venture Lab, who referenced John Mackey’s book, Conscious Capitalism (2013), which I then ran out and purchased and read immediately.
Beyond what’s on the website, what does conscious capitalism mean to you?
It wasn’t until I became a business owner (and really, not until several years in) did I start to really understand and appreciate just how interconnected we all are, and just how important business is to our entire economy, our democracy, freedom, and our way of life. I also started to understand how much of an impact businesses of all sizes have, for better or worse, on the community (and beyond), and that as a business owner, I am responsible for that too. And I’m not just talking about environmental and social responsibility — though this is important, too — I’m talking about the opportunity to have healthy, balanced, and meaningful lives.
I’m of the belief that most people, business leaders included, do try their best to do the right thing most of the time. However, the Conscious Capitalism movement has done a lot to help educate and enlighten leaders and organizations that can leverage these ideas to make a positive difference.
Which pillar resonates with you the most?
I always find this question difficult to answer because for me, I don’t think of them as separate. It’s all important and it’s all interconnected. One doesn’t work well without all the others. Having said that, I do believe that having a healthy and meaningful culture brings the most joy to my life and has been a focus of mine, especially in the last few years.
Can you share your thoughts about your approach to C3MD in 2022?
For more than 10 years I’ve been learning about conscious business principles and working toward applying these lessons in my own life and business. There is no shortage of books, materials, classes, and resources for those who are interested and willing to take the time. However, for much of that time, what was missing for me was a local community of businesses doing the work. When I stumbled upon C3MD in 2017, I felt a tremendous amount of relief. I found a community of like-minded leaders and felt hopeful that this was the support group I was looking for. In some ways, it was. I will forever be grateful for the experiences I’ve had, what I’ve learned, and the friendships I have made along the way.
That being said, I think we can do better in the area of support. What do I mean by that? In a nutshell, I see our work as creating the space and opportunity for open dialogue. A place where everyone is encouraged to share the good, the bad, and the ugly about what it is really like on the ground doing this work in daily business life. This is not necessarily easy work, and we should be open about that. There are plenty of opportunities for business owners and business leaders to “be taught” and “get talked at” … and far fewer opportunities to engage in open dialogue and foster a conscious business community.
As president, my vision is to focus on the first eight words of C3MD’s mission statement, “Our Chapter, C3MD, is a purpose-driven business community” – and my purpose is to simply foster a meaningful “conscious business community.”
We’re excited in 2022 to continue Coffee & Collaboration virtually. These are conversations around the four tenets, where leaders can bring stories, observations, issues, solutions and gain valuable insights from our community. We’re also looking forward to hosting some in-person events this spring and summer. Check back to the events page on the website for updates, and sign up for our newsletter to receive news each month.