At its heart, business is about humanity. As an integral part of human society, capitalism is interwoven throughout all of our lives and can spearhead incredible innovations while making a crucial impact on far more aspects than just the wallet. Used as a proper tool, capitalism can redefine the world by influencing wealth in a variety of areas, from intellectual pursuits to ecological to spiritual. What is the ideology that encourages this higher elevation beyond the financial sector? Conscious Capitalism.
What is Conscious Capitalism?
While a tool can be used for a single purpose, those with the right creativity and knowledge can optimize the usage of that tool to realize its maximum potential and create a wide variety of different products. So it is with business.
What makes Conscious Capitalism such a powerful implement in the toolbox is its ideology that encourages increased awareness. Rather than focusing on a single aspect, we look at all avenues where innovation can unlock the unbridled potential of the human journey. How can we improve the world and society through free enterprise capitalism? Harnessing the power of this way of thinking is key to making changes that impact society in a positive way.
Recognizing the thoughts and desires of all people touched by business ventures, including the shareholders, is a key component of this capitalism evolution that endeavors to satisfy everyone, build wealth beyond the fiscal, and provide everyone with the opportunity to grow and flourish.
The Four Tenets of Conscious Capitalism
It is pretty easy to make claims and grandiose statements that sound appealing, but lack any real substance. Any credible philosophy requires a strong foundation and game plan to make sure that it is meaningful, rather than empty words. The quest for Conscious Capitalism is a journey – an adventure if you will, but there is a roadmap to guide the way.
That roadmap is built from four tenets that serve as the compass to guide us to business evolution and improvements of untold magnitude, limited only by limitations we place on ourselves. Fortunately, it’s an easy map to read, and if you view these tenets as the foundation it is meant to be, you can elevate your business to capitalism nirvana, finding the higher purpose to create ethical value.
1. Higher Purpose
As the first tenet, finding your higher purpose is central to reaching the enlightenment of Conscious Capitalism. Your higher purpose is your businesses’ true reason for existence. Sure, making a profit is a happy benefit of capitalism, but it’s just that – a benefit. As an entrepreneur, your business should transcend beyond profit to the realm of the heroic. How can your business elevate humanity? Profit is merely a means to an end and that ultimate purpose should be designed to improve the world in some fundamental way.
As an entrepreneur, finding your business’ higher purpose can infuse your organization with passion, purpose, love, and creativity. This, in turn, will pay dividends for everyone. After all, it’s really about the people.
2. Stakeholder Orientation
Humans are woven together like threads in a tapestry, interdependent on each other to form stability and a strong bond. When you realize that the foundation of business resonates within that tapestry, you can truly unlock the full potential of your endeavor. Many people act as threads to hold your business together, and it is important for you to create exceptional value for these stakeholders. That includes the more intimate threads, such as investors and employees, but even those down the line such as your customers and community members.
Let’s pursue this metaphor a little further. Any thread within your business web has the potential to weaken and if that happens, it reduces the integrity of the entire structure. Ensuring that every person along the chain understands the value you offer and is satisfied will strengthen your business. Of course, it’s easier said than done, so you will have to work hard to identify and nurture each relationship to establish a powerful force to encourage the greatest gains. Those gains, far beyond tangible wealth, are worth it.
3. Conscious Leadership
Even the greatest force can be led down the wrong path when guided by an ineffective or uninspiring leader. Conscious leaders take the other tenets to heart and use their passion to focus on the Higher Purpose while creating value and tending to each thread, serving as a shepherd to guide everyone to the desired outcomes. This also means purposefully building a business culture that exemplifies these beliefs.
Remember that you are focused on the whole, so finding diverse leadership with the ability to multitask and nurture growth in a wide variety of areas is key for success. We are trying to aspire for more, so maintaining these high expectations in your core leadership team is critical in building the all-important Conscious Culture. Remember, the goal is to get everyone on board. The more oars that are paddling, the faster you can go.
4. Conscious Culture
To expound upon what defines a Conscious Culture, let’s look a little more into this concept. This fourth tenet is about maintaining the core values of Conscious Capitalism: the values, principles, and practices that form the basis of the philosophy. Remember, this isn’t just any business culture, this is a specifically designed enlightened culture that seeks to promote social good, keeping the interconnectedness of people at the core of the mission statement.
One person alone cannot make a culture. It takes all types of people from all walks of life to come together to make something greater than any individual. If everyone is on the same page, great things can happen to build a Conscious Culture of success. This ideology should never be far from the group consciousness and influential leaders can make the difference in adherence to these core values.
The New Responsibilities of Business
If your thoughts rest primarily on what your business can do for you – you’re not seeing the big picture. Remember that Conscious Capitalism reaches beyond the individual to unlock the innate potential of entrepreneurship and social prosperity.
This mindset has been established for centuries, which can make it difficult to change. However, each business has the responsibility to see beyond the dollar to improve the state of our world today. It’s about creating a more selfless culture and allowing everyone to reap the dividends that can raise the people out of poverty and into prosperity through an authentic and caring culture.
Just like the people within a business culture form threads that, together, can establish a network of positive impact development, the interconnectedness of businesses can increase the magnitude exponentially. Every brick is important when building a better world.
Living Pono is dedicated to communicating business management concepts with Hawaiian values. Founded by Kevin May, an established and successful leader and mentor, Living Pono is your destination to learn about how to live your life righteously and how that can have positive effects in your career. If you have any questions, please leave a comment below or contact us here. Also, join our mailing list below, so you can be alerted when a new article is released.
Finally, consider following the Living Pono Podcast to listen to episodes about living righteously, business management concepts, and interviews with business leaders.