I really enjoy Peggy Noonan’s articles in the WSJ. Her articles are balanced, articulate, and usually thoughtful. Today’s offering was no different. She discusses what she is thankful for: Family, Friends, Health and Freedom, all of which I am thankful for too! Is everything perfect in these areas of thankfulness? No, not even close, but none of us is perfect, and thankfully grace is offered to all. My prayer for this holiday season is that more people partake of the grace offered by God through Jesus Christ.
Today though I am, in particular, thankful for a new stream of literature that I have run into. I wrote a little about it yesterday. Years ago I would have ignored something like this, but today I am a little older and wiser and see its value. As a Christian I see the redemptive value of Conscious Capitalism, so much so that I cannot be ignore the idea.
Don’t tell my wife, but I purchased two new books yesterday. I love my iPad. The first, “Be the Solution: How Entrepreneurs and Conscious Capitalism Can Solve All the World’s Problems.” It is a book that was published in 2009, which discusses the role of Social Business in the world today. The Second is “MegaTrends 2010: The Rise of Conscious Capitalism,” published in 2007. In both cases we see an argument for revolutionizing Capitalism into a more friendly version. It involves recovering free market expression from bureaucratic corporatism, producing an entrepreneurial response to the Adam Smith invisible hand.
For several years I have been thinking about the purpose behind business. I have always thought there is a why behind making money, more so than just making money. I know there are folks that say operating a business without maximizing shareholder value is like drinking a non-alcoholic beer, what’s the point, but the fact is that is the point. Doing business just to make money is empty.
John MacKey, CEO of Whole Foods, wrote the Forward for “Be The Solution.” In the forward he discusses his personal growth from being a hippy to becoming a successful entrepreneur. Although I would reframe his presentation into a more Christian vantage point, I agree with his premise of FLOW. “What is FLOW? To sum it up in one simple phrase: FLOW is about liberating the entrepreneurial spirit for good. Our world faces many tremendous challenges, from AIDS to global warming to large population growth to malaria to war and nuclear proliferation to many, many other challenges. FLOW is dedicated to the proposition that creative entrepreneurs can help solve all of the challenges in the world.”
After writing the previous paragraph my business persona is crying out, what about profit, isn’t that what business is all about? Absolutely, sustainability is still a critical part of a successful business model. However, sustainability has an expanded definition. There are now economic, social, and environmental pillars to the modern business model. This new business model is reflected in most socially responsible companies. Patricia Aburdene, in Magatrends 2010, states “Several studies. . . show us that corporate social responsibility, far from being a drain on profit, is an important marker of success. . .Socially responsible corporations tend to be well managed, and great management is the best way to predict superior financial performance.”
I love research, and I love reading. However, rather than call it Conscious Capitalism, I think I am going to call it Redemptive Capitalism. More to come!
And that is my thought for the day!