“The purpose of business is not to make a profit.” ~Peter Drucker
Some may think this is a radical statement. Raj Sisodia, co-author of The Healing Organization: Awakening the Conscience of Business to Help Save the World and 10 other books including the groundbreaking Conscious Capitalism: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business and doesn’t find this statement to be far-reaching at all.
I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Sisodia recently at Georgetown University as part of Conscious Capitalism Washington DC chapter event. He was joined by David Gardner of Motley Fool. Sisodia spoke about finding his purpose in life: to educate businesses and leaders to build a better world for us all. He wants to reconnect our collective human energy and spread the word that the success of society and humankind is dependent on looking out for each other.
Having studied and researched capitalism for many years, Mr. Sisodia provided many examples – proof if you will – of how capitalism has allowed humanity to flourish in recent history. For almost 1400 years, the world GDP per capita hovered around $450. It wasn’t until the Italian Renaissance when the number started to improve. By the Industrial Revolution in 1750, 350 years later, it finally exceeded $650, while today it hovers worldwide at over $10,000 and in the US alone, it hovers at over $56,000. Since the birth of our nation and the rise of capitalism, an individual’s standard of living worldwide has risen over 1500%!
The case was then made that if you take that momentum and instead of having a business for business-sake, you consciously create a purpose for a business which includes all stakeholders, leadership and culture, not only can we continue to improve individual situations, but we can cause society to thrive worldwide.
Breaking it down into four categories, mimicking the Conscious Capitalism tenets: Purpose, Stakeholders, Leadership and Culture, Mr. Sisodia explained how businesses can create more conscious goals. What goals? To strive to alleviate suffering in others; to take care of their employees — their greatest assets — and all stakeholders; to educate themselves as they can’t grow past their own leaders’ levels of consciousness. It matters how businesses make their money. Integrity matters. Stewardship matters.
“Everything runs on human energy and passion.” ~Raj Sisodia
There are many companies that are already choosing to be conscious — Whole Foods, Southwest Airlines, Patagonia, Starbucks, The Container Store, Panera Bread and many others, large and small.
As Mr. Sisodia encouraged, we are all on the same planet and we all have a responsibility to the collective success of humanity. Each individual has the ability to grab onto the power that voluntary action and free will create. Creating/running a business for the right reasons opens up the doors to infinite possibilities and success.
Are you ready to be more conscious?
—Sandy Young, C3MD Leadership Team