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Conscious Capitalism: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business

Conscious Capitalism: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business

Hardback Harvard Business School Press

By (author) John Mackey, By (author) Rajendra Sisodia, Foreword by Bill George

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  • Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press
  • Format: Hardback | 368 pages
  • Dimensions: 156mm x 235mm x 36mm | 628g
  • Publication date: 15 January 2013
  • ISBN 10: 1422144208
  • ISBN 13: 9781422144206
  • Sales rank: 65,462

Product description

As seen on Oprah's Super Soul Sunday A New York Times and Wall Street Journal Bestseller In this book, Whole Foods Market cofounder John Mackey and professor and Conscious Capitalism, Inc. cofounder Raj Sisodia argue for the inherent good of both business and capitalism. Featuring some of today's best-known companies, they illustrate how these two forces can--and do--work most powerfully to create value for all stakeholders: including customers, employees, suppliers, investors, society, and the environment. These "Conscious Capitalism" companies include Whole Foods Market, Southwest Airlines, Costco, Google, Patagonia, The Container Store, UPS, and dozens of others. We know them; we buy their products or use their services. Now it's time to better understand how these organizations use four specific tenets--higher purpose, stakeholder integration, conscious leadership, and conscious culture and management--to build strong businesses and help advance capitalism further toward realizing its highest potential. As leaders of the Conscious Capitalism movement, Mackey and Sisodia argue that aspiring leaders and business builders need to continue on this path of transformation--for the good of both business and society as a whole. At once a bold defense and reimagining of capitalism and a blueprint for a new system for doing business grounded in a more evolved ethical consciousness, this book provides a new lens for individuals and companies looking to build a more cooperative, humane, and positive future.

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Author information

John Mackey is co-CEO and cofounder of Whole Foods Market and cofounder of the nonprofit Conscious Capitalism, Inc. He has devoted his life to selling natural and organic foods and to building a better business model. Dr. Rajendra (Raj) Sisodia is cofounder and trustee of Conscious Capitalism, Inc. and professor of marketing at Bentley University. He has authored seven books, including Firms of Endearment.

Review quote

"Conscious Capitalism is full of thoughtful insights and original observations that could help organisations from start-ups to multinationals become better at creating financial and social wealth for all their stakeholders... I recommend it to entrepreneurs and investors everywhere -- I strongly suspect it will be one of the outstanding business books of the year." -- Luke Johnson, Financial Times "...at a time when the public reputation of big business has hit a dangerous low, surely the efforts of Messrs. Gates, Porter and Mackey--and even Ms. Nooyi--to make capitalism better can't be all bad. As the authors put it: "Free market capitalism is one of the most powerful ideas we humans have ever had. But we can aspire to even more. Let's not be afraid to climb higher." -- Alan Murray, The Wall Street Journal "... a good read with useful insights for those who are, or aspire to be, entrepreneurial." -- Pamela Hartigan, Financial Times "Even if you don't agree with all or most of Mackey and Sisodia's arguments, their vision--essentially, startups for grownups--seems viscerally compelling, and describes the sort of enterprise that I suspect most would love to join." -- David Shaywitz, Forbes.com "Had [Mackey and Sisodia's] application of higher consciousness been in the boardroom a generation ago, we might have avoided the suffocating regulations of Sarbanes-Oxley and Dodd-Frank, and the dire straits of companies like General Motors, Sears, Citibank, and even Enron...Conscious Capitalism is still an inspiring blueprint for a better world." -- Mark Skousen, BARRON's "Conscious Capitalism is a wonderful book, full of fiery passion and incisive insights. So buy it. Read it. Implement it. It's a true guide to future." -- Steve Denning, Forbes.com "Mackey and Sisodia make a valiant effort to redeem a practice often tainted by greed and corruption and show that if the individuals managing the system commit to conscious capitalism, everyone benefits." -- Publishers Weekly "I would place Conscious Capitalism at the top of my list of good reading--by far. It's not just the writing; the intent of the book is very good." -- Gilda Chan, Senior Merchandising Planner at Vera Bradley "Conscious Capitalism, raises valid points about 'heroic entrepreneurs' and 'conscious companies' that are 'butterflies' as opposed to the normal 'caterpillar' companies, focused only on profit optimisation and shareholder value." -- Outlook Business (India) "The book is an exceptional guide to best practices in organizational leadership. It is refreshing, high on ideals, and has a fair dose of prescription for creating and operating enterprises with a conscience." -- Business World "Conscious Capitalism builds the case for free market enterprise, driven by a purpose other than profit." -- Mint (livemint.com) In stark contrast to today's often pessimistic view of capitalism, MacKey and Sisodia defend the old principles while simultaneously urging business leaders to transform how they do business. Business cases ... show that companies are perfectly capable of creating more value for all of their stakeholders, from customers, employees, suppliers, and investors to society as whole and the environment. -- Business Digest (France) "In all the chapters, you'll find how the effects of having a passionate, inspired team build stakeholder relations at a variety of firms in many industries." -- Jim Pawlak, Dallas Morning News "...a must-read, with a message especially appropriate for these times of dysfunctional political polarization, with "red-state" Republicans over-simplistically depicted as conservative and pro-business and "blue-state" Democrats as liberal and anti-business." -- Lanny Davis, TheHill.com "Conscious Capitalism is in keeping with the ancient wisdom of India as it views leadership as trusteeship, which is all about focusing on the right actions and not being attached to outcome." -- The Economic Times "... the most powerful part of Mackey's message: running a wholesome business doesn't mean your business has to cut back on profitability. Doing the right thing pays, Mackey writes." -- Robert Gratton, Austin Business Journal "Whole Foods co-founder Mackey, writing with economist Sisodia, offers a persuasive paean to free enterprise. Light on ideology and long on thoughtful analysis--a good book to hand to the budding entrepreneur in the family." -- Kirkus Reviews "Conscious Capitalism demonstrates conclusively that in business, nice guys don't always finish last. They may finish first." -- Anthony J. Sadar, Washington Times "A timely explanation of what is wrong with capitalism and how it can be made right. Recommended for business owners, employees, customers, and investors." -- Library Journal "As an HR professional [this book] has helped me realize I need to focus on the business mission and company values to reconcile my professional goals and personal values." -- HR Magazine "Like a trip to Whole Foods, you may not buy everything Mackey offers, but overall, the book rings up as good value and good for you." -- Associations Now "... a superb new book... essential reading for every businessman, investor, or lover of a good story. This is a fascinating tale. Read the book. Enjoy the story. And spread the word." -- Alexander Green, Investment U Chief Investment Strategist, Market Daily News "Conscious Capitalism spells out the practices which Mackey, I and many others believe will restore the trust which has been eroded, both in corporations and markets, and will allow capitalism to continue. I welcome this book and hope asset-managers will take heed." -- Hazel Henderson, Seeking Alpha "Thus it is the responsibility of ethical and conscious businesspeople and entrepreneurs to demonstrate to society their important role in the world, what businesses can do for local communities, for families and to solve deep social problems. Conscious capitalism is therefore not only a story worth telling but is a vision of our world worth preserving."-- The Classic Libertarian Perspective (Blog) "If you believe in fair, open, and voluntary exchange, you'll love Mackey's book. If you don't believe in those things, you need Mackey's book." -- Hennessy's View (Blog) "... very good, with useful insights on almost every page..." -- Marc Gunther, Sustainable Business Forum "Conscious capitalism is a refreshing vision of economics that assumes people want more than just money. It's also a vision that supplements the narrow interests of investors with the broader interests of employees, managers, customers, and the larger community. As the success of Whole Foods demonstrates, it works." -- James A. Ogilvy, strategy+business "Conscious Capitalism is a book you will want to share with every business owner, manager, and worker you know." -- Jo Ann Skousen, Liberty "an inspiring defense of free enterprise...an exceptional guide to best practices in organizational leadership...Conscious Capitalism: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business is a treatise for a cultural revolution." -- Wesley Gant, Values and Capitalism, an initiative at the American Enterprise Institute "Conscious Capitalism is [Mackey's] philosophy of how capitalism and good business can - and should - be the driving force of change in the world. Business leaders must be attuned to an 'ethical consciousness', argue the authors, and through this all stakeholders, including employees, customers, shareholders and society as a whole will benefit... making the case that companies who take genuine care of their workers and communities and the environment actually end up creating the most profits and long-term shareholder value." -- SAPress -- South Africa ADVANCE PRAISE for Conscious Capitalism: From the Foreword: Bill George, bestselling author of True North-- "This is the book I always wanted to write." Howard Schultz, chairman, president, and CEO, Starbucks-- "I have long believed that companies have a responsibility to balance profitability with a social conscience, yet few leaders have an inherent understanding of just how to do it. In Conscious Capitalism, John Mackey and Raj Sisodia provide a timely, realistic framework so companies can better serve a variety of stakeholders. I highly recommend listening to what they have to say." Herb Kelleher, former Chairman and CEO, Southwest Airlines-- "Conscious Capitalism is a welcome explication and endorsement of the virtues of free-enterprise capitalism--properly comprehended, there is no more beneficial economic system--and a simultaneously pragmatic and inspirational extolment of higher purpose and humanism in business. I hail and revere the tenets of Conscious Capitalism!" Ratan N. Tata, Chairman, Tata Sons-- "This book provides the script for a much-needed different narrative for free- enterprise capitalism. Businesses need to be driven by a purpose higher than maximizing profit, and they must ensure optimal benefits to all stakeholders. Only if that happens can capitalism deliver to all humanity the full societal benefits it is capable of." Sally Jewell, CEO, REI-- "By so clearly and thoughtfully articulating the tenets of Conscious Capitalism, Raj and John have helped me understand the power behind the sustainable success in our business, raising my consciousness in guiding REI forward to serve a new generation of outdoor enthusiasts and environmental stewards." Biz Stone, Cofounder and Creative Director, Twitter "John Mackey's journey to awakening is an inspiration not just to entrepreneurs, but to anyone who believes in a new definition of success for capitalism--one that includes positive societal impact as well as traditional business metrics."

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