We have seen a dramatic shift in perspective when it comes to capitalism and business over the last decade. What was once thought of as a system that fosters growth and value is now seen as corrupt and greedy. It is because of this shift that Conscious Capitalism has come to the forefront and reminded business owners that there is more to focus on than their triple bottom line. We should be aiming to create businesses that elevate humanity and serve a higher purpose!
To get a better understanding of how we can create organizations that do just that, we sat down with 13 business leaders and asked them to share their ideas with us. If you are looking to transform your business for the better, keep reading and be ready to take some notes!
Define Business Intentions
Before I participated in business, namely in college while studying philosophy, I was convinced that business was by definition meant to exploit weakness. While there are certainly plenty of examples of just that, once I joined the workforce I realized that not all businesses are the same. The dedication and innovation applied to business can also apply to benefiting communities and everyone can win–it does not have to be zero-sum.
Becky Papp, Colman Group
Opportunity Creation For All Stakeholders
Businesses can elevate humanity in profound and pervasive ways. One of the biggest ways is through opportunity creation for all stakeholders –– partners, customers, employees and even future employees. Opportunity can come in the form of delivering quality and value to clients that empower them to achieve a goal or by providing career and skill development to individuals facing adversity. Businesses can also begin to change the face of capitalism so that it’s socially responsible by giving people opportunities to simultaneously make a good living, continually learn inside and outside of their profession, and fully engage in their family life and communities.
Chris Lekander, Wilco Source
Focus on Your Why
When we focus on our why – the underlying reason or transformation we offer our clients – all of our team members are elevated to pay attention to how we make life better for others. Also, when in business, we have a greater voice and platform to encourage others to the greater good. And we have a network to encourage, challenge and find mutual support for the transformational impact we want to have in our communities.
Karin Crawford, God’s Garden Treasures Florist
Supporting People With Pivots
Earlier this year during peak coronavirus outbreaks, we shifted gears to provide RVs to people who needed safe and contained transportation. By providing RVs to people who are especially vulnerable to COVID-19, we enabled transportation from one place to another with minimal risk of potentially picking up or spreading coronavirus.
Randall Smalley, Cruise America
Match Purpose with Opportunity
There is a thread that connects us all, and our basic individual human needs aren’t nearly as different as we might think. That thread of connection is made stronger through storytelling, and through storytelling, purpose is matched to opportunity, and opportunity leads to attainment. If we follow that thread, prosperity follows.
Debbie Accomazzo, Grand Canyon University
Teach a Great Life Lesson
Great businesses are effective in teaching us some of our greatest life lessons. Team leadership, management, and responsibility are three powerful lessons everyone can use. It is also important to be conscious so you are in control of the business and not the other way around.
Clifford Starks, Starks Enterprises
Conscious businesses can also achieve meaningful change by serving as an advocacy platform for important initiatives affecting their stakeholders. By providing tools to propel individual lives, businesses, and communities forward, you are creating an environment where everyone wins. Similar to a flywheel, businesses can redistribute the energy and resources required to fuel innovation, vitality, and greater diversity, equity and inclusion for all.
Heidi Jannenga, WebPT
Rallying Up Your Team
Business can be used to elevate humanity in so many ways. It can generate the capital and jobs to help lift people out of poverty, build wealth for all stakeholders, create meaningful and fulfilling work opportunities for individuals, and be used to inspire massive transformation.
When teams are rallied around a central higher purpose, they not only bring their best selves to their work, which helps transform the lives and businesses of their customers, but they also look for opportunities to extend that outwardly into the community. For instance, when the coronavirus pandemic really took root here in Arizona and stay-at-home orders were issued, our team came together to launch a platform that enabled individuals from our community’s most vulnerable populations to request groceries and other household items be delivered to their homes. They worked around the clock to get it launched within 24 hours and then began volunteering their time to pick up these items and deliver them as the requests began funneling in. This, to me, was a true demonstration of how a business can elevate humanity when they are conscious at their core.
Thiru Thangarathinam, MST Solutions
Setting a Great Example
A business can elevate humanity by simply setting a good example for others, and leading by example and action. Investing time and resources into social advancement isn’t always going to be financially advantageous, but companies that choose to do it anyway will be the ones that people gravitate toward. Starbucks closing all of its stores to hold racial bias training in 2018 is a great example of that.
Zack McCarty, Qwick
Remember that everyone is human. Your employees are human and your consumers are human. Conduct your business as a means to support people and community rather than to “stuff your pockets.” Sponsor a local youth team or donate to schools in your area. There are so many options to become a part of the community.
Vanessa Molica, The Lash Professional
Caring for Employees
Not every business has to be about power and greed. There are so many businesses in the world today that are making a positive impact on the world. Here at Texas Adoption Center, our mission is to work with pregnant women who are considering adoption, as well as adoptive families to help them through the adoption process. Our team is filled with caring people who are dedicated to the happiness and well-being of the people they serve. Any business can elevate humanity with the notion of truly caring for the people that you work with!
Kenna Hamm, Texas Adoption Center
Purpose Rooted in Serving Others
A business can be used to elevate humanity by having a clear purpose rooted in serving others. By having a purpose that is supported and shared collectively amongst your employees, you can challenge the negative stereotype that companies only care about money.
Blake Murphey, Montauk Services
Sit Down and Make a Plan
Businesses and even nonprofits cannot run without a sustainable source of income. However, as a business leader, take a moment to think about what you would be doing with your business if profit wasn’t the main goal. Who would you want to help? In what ways do your values stand true? How involved with the local community would you like to be? Now, put profit back into the equation. Be mindful of all these actions you thought about previously and make a plan to actually integrate them into your business model. Anyone can think about how they want their company to be, but sitting down and making a plan is where things start to happen!
Thylan Le, Markitors