Depending on who you ask, the concept of “capitalism with a conscience” may sound like an oxymoron.
Today’s mainstream iteration of capitalism has done little to redeem the money-hungry, profit-at-all-costs mindset people associate with the word, after all.
Among allegations of modern slavery, inhumane workplace environments, deforestation, and other ecological disasters brought on by increasing commercial demand, 21st-century capitalism may in fact look like the complete opposite of an ethical model.
Enter the rising popularity of a new kind of capitalism, centered around socially responsible and environmentally sustainable practices: conscious capitalism.
Conscious capitalism, definition and impact
First humbly created by Whole Foods co-founder John Mackey, conscious capitalism has now become a force to be reckoned with in the world of business and investment. More than simply promoting the idea that companies don’t have to sacrifice social responsibility and sustainability for the sake of profit, the main idea behind this iteration of capitalism is that businesses are entirely responsible for the good and bad they put out in the world.
It’s not only preferable that businesses should follow an ethical code of conduct throughout all their operations — it is required, expected, and fundamentally part of what running a business in the 21st century means.
Following this philosophy, it’s clear that the definition of who, exactly, is a stakeholder in a given company needs to be expanded: the planet is a stakeholder, society as a whole is a stakeholder, and every single one of the employees working for a company is a stakeholder.
So, just like with any other stakeholder, the needs and requirements of all these different actors need to be met. By adhering to conscious business practices, you are committing to implementing corporate policies that will benefit the environment and society as a whole, whether it’s committing to give funds to reforestation projects each month or launching initiatives that promote social equality and poverty relief.
What these principles have in common is that they are all centered around the idea of purpose above profit. Shareholders do not take priority over the needs of employees, the community, or the environment, and the day-to-day workplace environment is designed to cultivate an atmosphere of trust and collaboration.
The consciousness mindset permeates all areas of corporate culture, resulting in a strong, unifying ethos that is felt by all workers, stakeholders, and shareholders: we are creating positive change through the work we do every day, and we are holding ourselves accountable for all of our actions.
Conscious leaders meet capitalism with a consciousness
For the people that work for a business that has fully embraced the key principles of sustainable progress, conscious capitalism is, at its very core, the definition of professional and individual empowerment.
Women leaders who wish to lead a more purpose-driven life can find that higher purpose in practicing conscious leadership and helping their company implement socially responsible business models.
We all want to make an impact and we all want to use our unique expertise and influence to leave a positive mark on our planet and our communities — what better way of achieving these goals than walking the talk with your career?
At the same time, when forward-thinking, conscious leaders decide to embrace sustainable business principles, companies that have been daring enough to tak the leap get to reap the rewards without unethical practices and toxic ruthlessness.
While fighting for the greater good, ethical companies get to attract a growing customer base of conscious consumers and savvy ESG investors, resulting in better press, a better corporate image, and ultimately better profit.
When creating value and seeking purpose becomes the most profitable option on the table, choosing conscious capitalism is a no-brainer: it’s the future of business and the future of work, set to revolutionize corporate culture as we know it.
If you are motivated to play a leading role in this incredible shift of consciousness and join a movement of inspirational believers and doers, we have created a community you can lean on and learn from throughout the journey.
Through conscious mentorship and the sharing of world-chaning strategies and leadership resources, we are playing our part in empowering the leaders of tomorrow to spearhead a better corporate culture and, ultimately, influence the whole world.