This book was published in 2013, written by Co-Ceo of Whole Foods Market John Mackey and Harvard Business School professor Raj Sisodia. I especially liked the following paragraphs that appears on page 269-270 of the book. The Chapter is entitled “The Power and Beauty of Conscious Capitalism” and the sub-heading that I quote is “The Choice Businesses Face.”
Unconscious businesses focus on creating as much financial wealth for their investors as possible. Everyone and everything else is a means to that end. And yet they increasingly fail to accomplish that which they so single-mindedly pursue. The cycle is predictable. Leaders proclaim repeatedly and proudly that their focus is profit maximization. This sends a loud and unmistakable message to everyone the organizations touches; they too must focus on maximizing their own profits. Team members decide to give as little and take as much as possible. Suppliers try to squeeze and cut corners where they can so that they can maximize their own profits. Governments and local communities think about how they can extract as much out of the business as possible. Customers feel no hesitation in taking advantage of the company whenever they can. Everyone becomes a taker and not a giver to the system. This erodes and eventually destroys a company’s ability to create value for each other and, through that, value and fulfillment for themselves.
A conscious business aspires to create financial, intellectual, social, cultural, emotional, spiritual, physical, and ecological wealth for all its major stakeholders: team members, customers, investors, suppliers, and an end, an instrument of value creation as well as its beneficiary. The well-being of each is intimately tied in with the well being of all. Trade-offs are largely eliminated, and the business system flourishes and grows of its own accord. Everyone is a willing, enthusiastic, and grateful contributor to the undertaking, serene in the trust that their caring, loyalty, and diligence will be amply reciprocated in numerous ways.
The difference between these realities is large and consequential. The choice is ours.