Conscious Capitalism: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business

John Mackey and Raj Sisodia. Harvard Business Review (Perseus, dist.), $27 (320p) ISBN 978-1-4221-4420-6
How can capitalist enterprises embrace a more socially conscious approach to doing business? Mackey, co-CEO and cofounder of Whole Foods Market, and Bentley University marketing professor Sisodia (Firms of Endearment) seek to inspire the creation of businesses galvanized by "higher purposes that serve and align the interests of all major stakeholders." To emphasize their message, they offer a fairly dry historical perspective on capitalism, occasionally enlivened by stories from the early days of Whole Foods, including "showering" in a Hobart dishwasher and devastating floods that nearly bankrupted the company. The authors show how other organizations, including Waste Management and the Tata Group, operate with a conscious capitalism mindset and reap tremendous value. They identify four tenets of conscious capitalism—higher purpose, loyal customers, conscious leadership, and conscious culture—and offer guidance on related issues. The most challenging of these tenets involves stakeholders, and the authors rightly devote attention to the challenge of creating a win for all, including team members, environment, and community. 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. Agent: Rafe Sagalyn, Sagalyn Literary Agency. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 11/26/2012
Release date: 01/01/2013
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 344 pages - 978-1-62527-175-4
Paperback - 978-84-92921-55-3
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