Friday, January 18, 2013

John Mackey's New Book And Heroic Entrepreneurs

It was reviewed in the WSJ. See Chicken Soup for a Davos Soul: Successful companies serve a purpose beyond making money.

 The full title is Conscious Capitalism: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business. Click here to go to the Amazon link

Excerpts from the review:
"What is refreshing about the Mackey-Sisodia take is that they aren't advocating some bolt-on solution to the capitalist model. Rather they argue that the mathematical framework of free-market economics—developed by neoclassical economists in the 20th century—fundamentally mischaracterizes the true nature of capitalism.

"With few exceptions," the authors write, "entrepreneurs who start successful businesses don't do so to maximize profits. Of course they want to make money, but that is not what drives most of them. They are inspired to do something that they believe needs doing. The heroic story of free-enterprise capitalism is one of entrepreneurs using their dreams and passion as fuel to create extraordinary value for customers, team members, suppliers, society, and investors."

Unlike commentators who defend capitalism while expressing some doubt or disapproval—think of Irving Kristol's 1978 neoconservative manifesto, "Two Cheers for Capitalism"—Messrs. Mackey and Sisodia are unapologetic enthusiasts. "This is what we know to be true," they declare in the first chapter. "Business is good because it creates value, it is ethical because it is based on voluntary exchange, it is noble because it lifts people out of poverty and creates prosperity." The challenge, they say, is to make capitalism more "conscious" of its heroic nature.

What does that mean? Well, first, the authors say, it means having a clear purpose, beyond just making money"
Now here is the description from Amazon:
"“We believe that business is good because it creates value, it is ethical because it is based on voluntary exchange, it is noble because it can elevate our existence, and it is heroic because it lifts people out of poverty and creates prosperity. Free-enterprise capitalism is the most powerful system for social cooperation and human progress ever conceived. It is one of the most compelling ideas we humans have ever had. But we can aspire to something even greater.” —From the Conscious Capitalism Credo

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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