How Whole Foods’ John Mackey Awoke to a New Way of Doing Business
When Conscious Capitalism was published a year ago, the ideas that it contained were considered radical by many. Among the most radical—and underscored in the subtitle of the book—is our strong belief in the heroic nature of business, its essential virtues, and its extraordinary potential to do more good for more people in a sustained manner than any other social or economic system ever invented by humankind. At a time when business is vilified and caricatured as the source of virtually every problem and the solution to none, this message has been an inspiration to many entrepreneurs and business leaders who want to have a positive impact on the world—while also building thriving businesses that provide excellent economic returns.
Since publication, many business leaders have told us their stories about how Conscious Capitalism changed their thinking, improved their organizations, or set them on a new and better path for the future. Even more people have expressed appreciation for a framework that puts words to their intuitive sense of how to build a great business.
We are gratified to see that the ideas in Conscious Capitalism are being embraced by an ever-growing number of individuals and companies. The phrase Conscious Capitalism is now relatively well known—among businesses, the media, and business educators—all over the globe. In the past year, we have spoken at hundreds of events around the world to spread the message of Conscious Capitalism. One of the most gratifying aspects of this experience has been the nearly universal appeal of these ideas. In places as different as South Korea and Brazil, South Africa and Australia, the United Kingdom and India, we have found audiences responding enthusiastically to Conscious Capitalism. The book is being translated into several languages, including, to our delight, Chinese. Indeed, the movement (www.ConsciousCapitalism.org) now has a significant presence in several countries through country chapters, in addition to our local and regional chapters throughout the United States.
But of course there is still a long way to go before business as a societal institution undergoes a fundamental and lasting transformation and earns a high degree of trust and esteem with the public. And this is why our publisher, Harvard Business Review Press, is issuing Conscious Capitalism in paperback. In addition to reaching a broader audience, we hope that those who enjoyed the original version of the book will feel inspired to share the paperback version with their teams and colleagues, associates and friends, students and protégés, leaders and influencers. With the publication of this paperback edition, we hope that the four tenets become a common language for many more companies, and not only for those such as Korean steelmaker POSCO, French data security firm Gemalto, Dutch bank Rabobank, and South African construction company Murray & Roberts that have recently embarked on a journey of becoming more conscious entities.
We are committed to continuing to build the Conscious Capitalism movement and to partnering with allied movements to enrich the practice of business so it can become a beacon of hope, opportunity, and enlightened thinking around the world. We hope you will join us on this exciting journey.