Don’t look now but having a head for business is being joined by having a heart for business… or, at the very least, a conscious. There’s a growing wave of “Conscious Capitalists,” companies built on the belief that business has the power to do more than make money, it can change the world.
John Mackey, founder of Whole Foods, said, “Making high profits is the means to the end of fulfilling [our] core business mission. We want to improve the health and well-being of everyone on the planet… and we can’t fulfill this mission unless we’re profitable.” It’s simple, he went on to say,
“Just as people cannot live without eating, a business cannot live without profits. But most people don’t live to eat, and neither must business live to make profits.” 1
Conscious Capitalism Is Built on Four Principals
ConsciousCapitalism.org tells us, "Conscious Capitalism is a way of thinking about capitalism and business that better reflects where we are in the human journey, the state of our world today, and the innate potential of business to make a positive impact on the world. Conscious businesses are galvanized by higher purposes that serve, align, and integrate the interests of all their major stakeholders." The organization goes on to list the conscious capitalism four principles:
- Higher Purpose – the belief that a business doesn’t exist simply to make money.
- Stakeholder Orientation – maximizing the return on investment for everyone invested in the business – from shareholders, to employees, customers and the world around us
- Conscious Leadership – leaders who “focus on we, rather than me,” dedicated to inspiring and supporting a culture that improves people’s lives
- Conscious Culture – when the core values of a business shift from simply focusing on profit and gain to nurturing and enabling the work force, the customer base and beyond
Sounds easy right? All you do is abandon decades of good-old, nothing-matters-but-the-money way of thinking and change your entire business model to adapt to these principals.
Ok, maybe not so easy.
Moving Beyond Business As Usual
Following your social heart over your business head can be more than a little daunting. In a 2016 article on Entrepreneur.com, Tina Young, President and CEO of Marketwave, admits that simply trying to determine their higher purpose “was overwhelming.”
“You have to choose the most logical starting point for your company,” she says. Begin by asking yourself “Why did you start your business? What motivates you each morning? What impact do you make on people’s lives?”
Purpose Tea: Proud to be Part of Business Un-Usual
It probably comes as no surprise that, at Purpose Tea, we’re an enthusiastic, passionate member of this new generation of Conscious Capitalists. Our basic credo as a mission-driven business is to focus on a purpose beyond the bottom line. It’s right there in our name.
Our goal is to empower the most vulnerable – female tea pickers.
Our Direct Impact business model is one of the primary reasons why I started the Purpose Company, to ensure fair business practices and lift up those who are left behind in the business of tea. Rather than rely on third-party agencies, our Direct Impact model directly benefits workers in the supply chain of our purple tea, especially the female workers, who make up more than 70% of tea pluckers, but often live on less than $2 per day.
Why do we focus on women? Beyond the fact that almost all of our purple tea leaves are plucked by women, the global statistics are staggering… 66% of the world’s work is done by women… who earn just 10% of the income… and own barely 1% of the property worldwide.
Take a look at our Seed a Future Initiative for a closer look at how we’re creating a growth engine that can become a force for change. (It’s fun – like a spinning wheel of good will.)
Of course, conscious capitalism isn’t just for businesses. As a consumer, you have the ultimate power. You can choose to support businesses, like us, who are committed to putting profits toward a greater purpose.
Take the time to get to know the businesses and brands you support. A quick Google search brings up a list of companies who practice Conscious Capitalism – firms like Costco, Starbucks, Amazon, The Container Store… and, yes, Google. These are “big guys” who have chosen to be good guys – and there are plenty of small, local businesses who are good guys, too.
Your purchase of Purpose Tea helps empower a young woman’s future. More than that, it can help that woman’s children get an education and work to change a one-sided farming culture that has existed for centuries.
Capitalism as a power for good. Imagine that.
Conscious Capitalism: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business, by John Mackey and Rajendra Sisodia
Entrepreneur.com, May 23, 2016; 4 Ways Entrepreneurs Can Practice 'Conscious Capitalism'