“We’re all put on the earth to care for each other,” says Professor Raj Sisodia.
And, as the co-founder of Conscious Capitalism, he believes business is a way for us to do just that.
“It is a critical time in the world for all of us,” said Sisodia, welcoming more than 130 participants to a Babson Executive Education webinar on Conscious Leadership. “This is a moment of truth for all businesses.”
And, as leaders, “we are being challenged like we’ve never been challenged before,” he said.
Having spent the last 20 years shifting his own mindset from the wrongdoings of business, to business’s potential to do good—Sisodia has made it his life’s work to share this reawakening with others.
“What is the business of business?” he asked. For too long, “we’ve been stuck in a mindset … that the business of business is business. That’s a very narrow perspective.”
Another way to think about it is through the eyes of the late, and beloved Herb Kelleher, shared Sisodia. “Kelleher, who built Southwest Airlines into one of the most successful airlines in the world, said, ‘The business of business is people—yesterday, today, and forever.’ ”
This fundamental message is one we must always remember, advises Sisodia, because business is “really about the flourishing of humanity, and by extension, our home here on the planet.”
Business as a Means for Healing
The business world has, to date, been shaped by a focus on profits over people and the environment. This approach, said Sisodia, is no longer viable, and its effects are detrimental.
“There has been a gradual decline in the level of confidence people have in big business, down to only 23% last year,” shared Sisodia. “That means that more than three-fourths of Americans don’t trust corporations to do the right thing. And, 88% of Americans feel they work for a company that doesn’t care about them as human beings.”
Built on the philosophy that, when practiced consciously, business elevates humanity, Conscious Capitalism is believed to create a better world.
Together with organizational innovation expert, Michael J. Gelb, Sisodia recently co-authored The Healing Organization—a book inspired by “an epidemic of unnecessary suffering connected with business.” It paints an all too true picture of environmental issues, an increasing number of people living paycheck to paycheck, and higher rates of depression, stress, and chronic health problems with direct ties to the workplace.
“It’s thought in this country that you have to be professional and stoic … people walk around with enormous burdens … and a lot of it is silent and hidden. What we found is that life is hard enough and full of challenges … why come to work and make it worse?”
The pair’s in-depth interviews and case studies reveal how companies such as Shake Shack, Hyatt, KIND Healthy Snacks, and others are actually ‘healing’ their employees, customers, communities, and other stakeholders. Besides being profitable, these organizations have employees who love coming to work, they have passionately loyal customers, and make a significant positive difference in the communities and ecosystems in which they serve.