Conscious Capitalism: Doing Good to Become Great

Humanity is rapidly approaching the edge of the great cosmic cliffs of consciousness. What we do now, the choices we make, will determine a course of experience more complex and astounding than we can currently imagine. The dawning of a new revolution in consciousness is at hand as the Great Awakening seeds Conscious Capitalism through Conscious Leadership. All around the globe people are pressed to consciously create their reality and anchor the energy of self-responsibility onto the planet.

There is nothing more revelatory than a crisis. Traumatic events jolt the collective psyche into super-sensitive states of consciousness. Turn the world upside down, perpetuate extreme fear en-masse, and see how countries, companies and couples react. It’s like an extended master class in leadership. As we watch the good, the great and the terrifyingly ugly play out across the globe, an obvious lesson emerges – hidden in plain sight. When we abdicate our role of responsibility in creating our life, we create others who will control it for us.

You are in a severe test to learn how to manage your energy. Will you buy into fear? Will you believe what you are told by every newspaper? Or will you pursue the quest to question by trusting yourself and trusting your intuition? As above, so below. On an organisational level, how is your company coping? Is it showing the way and strengthening the brand, or simply being swept away by the tides of history or a lack of cash?

“To change a culture, the leaders have to change the messages people receive about what they must do to fit in. When people understand that there are new requirements for belonging, they adjust their behaviour accordingly. Cultural change starts with a new set of messages. Culture-changing communication is nonverbal – the “doing” rather than the “saying”- and comes most vividly from leadership behaviours. The behaviour of leaders exemplifies what people with power (and those who aspire to have it) are supposed to do. A small change in a senior manager’s behaviour can send a big message.”
― Fred Kofman

4 Trends Supporting Conscious Capitalism

A new hashtag is trending that hints of a window slowly opening to a better future. #GoodAfterCovid19. Radical ideas usually take decades to move from margin to mainstream. However, crises accelerate shifts. This time, the idea going viral is that ‘conscious capitalism’ might just be the model to move the world forward. There will be a decade’s-worth of business school case studies on corporate reactions and responses to the crisis. Four trends are already surfacing in those companies that aren’t “wasting a good crisis.” They are the initiators in doing good and becoming great.

  1. Humanising Business

CEOs are more than the ‘rock stars’ of the business world. They are increasingly visible (online and offline) to audiences both internal and external. We know CEOs are usually taller than average, more successful than their peers, and overwhelmingly men. But now they also need to be human, vulnerable and inclusive – as a mark of true strength. Their ability to communicate and connect with the world at large is a challenging addition to an already high-pressure role. As their power and influence increase, so does the scrutiny of their purpose and their skill in sharing it. Sixty-nine of the 100 wealthiest global entities are companies, not governments. The appetite from employees, consumers and regulators for a beating heart at the centre of a profit-driven system grows exponentially, as does their dominance. Love and empathy are increasingly valued in the business world and leader’s response to the pandemic will make – and break – their reputations.

Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson was one of the first to step up and speak openly, addressing the reality of the storm that just hit his 93-year-old organisation. It was also the first time he appeared bald, as a result of recent cancer treatment. He spoke compassionately, recognising and naming the disruption for people across the globe. He communicated truthfully and transparently, fearlessly admitting that business was down 70%. This combination of vulnerability and courage builds trust, one of the most valuable assets in business for tomorrow.

Mary Barra, the CEO of General Motors, was converting auto factories to ventilator production before most companies had even acknowledged what was about to land on their balance sheets. She also led from the heart, integrating humanity into leadership in an explicit way. She explained in an interview with the President of MIT, “I think all of us have been impacted by COVID differently. Some of us may have lost a loved one. Some of us may have people who work on the front line, so I think it’s also approaching it with a lot of patience and understanding so we can address people’s concerns. So they truly understand that they’re in a safe environment.” Fortune magazine named Mary one of the World’s Greatest Leaders in their feature on Heroes of the Pandemic.

What Great Leaders Do

Conscious leaders offer employees something transformative – a chance for a better life and future. They make a commitment to progress and the work relationship is always reciprocal. Employees understand they are not going to be fired at the drop of a hat because of a challenging financial quarter. Employees respond in kind. With loyalty. With productivity. With positive, sunny attitudes. With excellent referrals that keep top-quality candidates coming and top performers continually contributing to the collective success. 

Conscious Leaders balance the head and the heart. There’s been an over-reliance on the head in business; to the detriment of people and planet. Brain matter must be balanced with emotions and empathy, which takes courage. As does admitting you don’t know if you really don’t. Oscar Wilde described a cynic as someone who knows “the price of everything and the value of nothing.” A heartless leader is the same.

“When you can truly understand how others experience your behaviour, without defending or judging, you then have the ability to produce a breakthrough in your leadership and team. Everything starts with your self-awareness. You cannot take charge without taking accountability, and you cannot take accountability without understanding how you avoid it.”
― Loretta Malandro

  1. Moving Beyond ‘Shareholder Value’

We have seen capitalism gain more and more power over the last few hundred years, to the point where it holds an extraordinarily high place in modern society. Perhaps even the highest status of anything – above lifestyle, above health, above family, above happiness – and above humanity itself. For decades, companies were meant to focus on only one thing: shareholder value.

The 2008 economic crisis cracked this logic wide open. By 2019, the business world was re-inventing itself, and 181 CEOs signed a declaration that “the purpose of a company is to serve all its stakeholders – customers, employees, suppliers, communities and shareholders.” The pandemic pushed into this already-swinging pendulum – exponentially – and is revealing which companies are walking the new talk.

Microsoft’s CEO, Satya Nadella, has become a role model for business leaders, with a note-perfect response to the crisis: fast, clear and human. Nadella shared that his empathy is grounded in his family. His son, who suffers from cerebral palsy, is especially vulnerable to COVID. He’s also a role model of the modern inclusivity mantra of business as one of the few foreign-born CEOs on the Fortune 100 (only 3%). Writing in the Financial Times, he acknowledged “it is a societal failure when we undervalue institutions and the critical services they provide. What we need is citizens and customers to demand co-ordination and partnership across sectors.” He outlines how Microsoft is doing just that, partnering with everyone from health care providers to schools.

Some brands are in a position to beautifully expand their power and attraction, simply by giving away existing products or extending their reach and engagement. That’s what LEGO is doing with its #LetsBuildTogether initiative. With UNESCO reporting that 80% of the world’s children are out of school, LEGO is helping overburdened parents to keep their kids entertained – and educated – with daily inspiration, content and building challenges. In addition to dedicating their factories to making protective glasses and masks, the company is donating 500,000 LEGO sets to children in need around the world. Global CMO, Julia Goldin, says it was all designed in a matter of weeks, to “help children keep developing life-long skills such as critical thinking, creativity, and problem solving while out of school, and help parents ease the burden of balancing work, school and home life all under one roof during lockdown.”

What Great Companies Do

Conscious Business leverages skills and know-how for the greater good. They look for opportunities to broaden the definition of what the company’s core products and services are or could become and give the brand a much larger purpose that is tangible and visible to the communities they seek to serve. Business as a force for good, and good as a force for business.

“We cannot live with each other at the exclusion of each other, for then the richness of our shared experience will die an impoverished death, and in the dying it will kill the dreams that we were both fighting for.”
― Craig D. Lounsbrough

  1. Collaboration Over Competition

One of the lessons of this pandemic is that no single leader, company or country, for that matter, can solely address the challenges we face. The world needs new creative partnerships across increasingly old divides. Between public and private, for-profit and non-profit. Governments are expected to protect citizens, and companies are expected to protect their employees. Governments worry about security, and companies worry about well-being. Although slightly different, there is a meeting point in the middle. Increasingly referred to as ‘one of the world’s largest heart-based organisations,’ Unilever is said to do more to promote hand-washing than international agencies like UNICEF. In January 2020, Unilever Australia also switched to 100% renewable electricity to power all its operations, well ahead of its end-2020 target. As citizens and consumers, it doesn’t matter to us who does good, we just want our leaders to raise their game, collaborate and do the best they can. No one has a monopoly on doing good.

In fact, the pandemic is proving that doing good is both profitable and resilience-building. Blackrock published a report showing that during the crises, sustainable businesses are out-performing market indices. In the first quarter of 2020, “94 per cent of a globally-representative selection of widely-analysed sustainable indices outperformed their parent benchmarks.” The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 34% of its value as COVID spread, but “Morningstar reported that 51 out of 57 of their sustainable indices outperformed their broad market counterparts.”

What Great Partnerships Do

Great partnerships consist of leaders who have enough humility to let go of the lone hero myth. They proactively work together, welcome multiple perspectives and bring different minds into the decision-making process. Their partnerships collect the ‘Cs’ of creative problem-solving: collective action, collaboration, connection, co-development, co-designing, and cognitive diversity.

“People working together can overcome many obstacles, often within themselves, and by doing so can make the world a better place.”
― Mo Mowlam

  1. Embrace the New

The ability to jump headlong into the new reality, birthed by a virus, is not easy for everyone. There are many companies doggedly attached to legacy systems, mindsets and business models. This means it’s that much more exciting to see some leap joyously into the future. Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey was the first to spectacularly declare that employees could now work from home ‘forever.’ 

He gave $1 billion of his personal net worth to fight COVID, one of the largest private gifts to date. The donation will, after the crisis, move to support women’s health, education and universal basic income (UBI). “Why UBI and girl’s health and education? I believe they represent the best long-term solutions to the existential problems facing the world. UBI is a great idea needing experimentation,” he wrote in a tweet. He is leaning into the future at every step, including the transparency he promises in tracking the spending of his gift on a public Google sheet. This is what embracing the future looks like.

Employees are tired of being told what to do and just checking the box.  So are their leaders – even if they won’t openly admit it.  They are tired of simply doing what they are told. By following the same corporate playbook, they have little room to grow and evolve as individuals.  They want to do more and be more entrepreneurial. They want their professional goals and those of their organisation to be in alignment. The result is that most leaders are conflicted, battling the great divide between assimilation to whatever the corporate playbook dictates and being the authentic and vulnerable leaders their people want and need.

If today’s leaders are responsible for guiding business transformation, businesses must not define how leaders act, influence and create momentum in search of future growth. To successfully lead business transformation, leaders must learn how to transform themselves (like a phoenix) to define the future growth of their business. If organisations truly want their leaders to have a growth mindset, New Earth corporate playbooks must give leaders room to grow as individuals, as well as opportunities to influence the future of their organisations.

What Happens When the Business Defines Individual Leaders?

Leaders are measured on how well they execute based on how the organisation wants them to think. This limits their ability to best serve the unique needs of the business. In this environment, the individual is being told what to do inside the box they are given. This narrows their ability to see, grow and share. They play not-to-lose. Transformation and a growth mindset is restricted. Complacency ensues.

What Happens When the Individual Leaders and Employees Define the Business?

Leaders have the freedom to be more inclusive. They are rewarded for sharing their wisdom for the progress and prosperity of the business. They embrace diversity of thought, appreciate differences and see and seize previously unseen opportunities. They see, sow, grow and share opportunities with courage, not complacency. They play-to-win because they desire to be significant for the betterment of a healthier whole. Possibilities for transformation through a growth mindset are unlimited.

What Future-Huggers Do

A growth mindset means being brave enough to let go of the old, the obsolete and the-way-it-was-always done stuff. Conscious Capitalism is not some lofty utopian dream. It’s simply one of those rare moments in time where technology, opportunity and understanding integrate into a quantum leap in human history.

“Once poverty is gone, we’ll need to build museums to display its horrors to future generations. They’ll wonder why poverty continued so long in human society – how a few people could live in luxury while billions dwelt in misery, deprivation and despair.”
― Muhammad Yunus

Purpose Over Profit

The pandemic has left emotional scars and heightened sensitivities in billions of consumers worldwide. Sick or not, most of us were psychologically affected by the anxiety of lockdowns, fear or reality of unemployment, confinement, social distancing, along with other profoundly disturbing events broadcasted relentlessly through the mainstream media. The controlled mainstream media is used as a tool to pull your attention into a probable world that is devoid of vitality and creativity. By enticing your attention into a reality of violence and fear, your thoughts and beliefs are conditioned to enslave you in victimhood and complete disempowerment. Will you choose pessimism or empowerment? Be browbeaten or make use of your energy to soar to new heights of achievement? All choice is with you.

One thing is clear: this overload of negative emotions has drastically altered the way consumers spend money. Not only have people around the world tightened their purse strings in fear of what may or may not happen, many consumers have decided that when they do spend money, it will be with brands that reflect their personal values. After all, one way to make sure you’re getting the most for your money is to make sure your purchase advances the changes you want to see in the world. A more evolved path is emerging. .

A new wave of awakened entrepreneurs and executives are leading their companies with passion, purpose, conviction – and increased profitability. As far back as 2013, a Harvard Business Review article showed companies that practice “Conscious Capitalism” perform ten times better than their peers.

“There comes a time in your life when you can no longer put off choosing. You have to choose one path or the other. You can live safe and be protected by people just like you, or you can stand up and be a leader for what is right. Always, remember this: People never remember the crowd; they remember the one person that had the courage to say and do what no one else would do.”
― Shannon L. Alder

Good is the New ‘Fast’

Conscious businesses are already responding to the “new normal” of conscious capitalism. As stated by the Financial Times, in 2020, many business people are now talking about purpose and “happening today is a very necessary return to stakeholder (not shareholder) capitalism, which is the idea that business and markets should be set within a wider social context.” This upcoming megatrend will irrevocably affect brands and narratives, as “doing good” becomes the new “bigger, better, faster.”

“It has been my philosophy of life that difficulties vanish when faced boldly.”
― Isaac Asimov

Connected Collective

Social media and the internet has allowed humans to connect on a level we have never seen before. Anyone with a device and an internet connection can share ideas, knowledge and a sense of community across the globe. This sense of connection, feeling of belonging and deep personal inner fulfillment are the things humanity truly desires.

When we connect with that; when we bring purpose, passion and presence into our work; when we commit to random acts of kindness and tiny acts of doing-it-differently; when we intend to create companies, leaders and teams that are integrated head and heart, we create conscious capitalism. This is the kind of legacy we need to leave: companies that matter, and will matter for generations to come.

“The longest journey that people must take is the eighteen inches

between their heads and their hearts.”

John Mackey

Learning to Surf

No matter how much we are shifting on a collective consciousness level, we still have to do our “human work”. We have to know what to do to survive and thrive when a wave of intensity turns things upside down and unpredictable. We have to know how to thrive in a shifting economy. We need to know how to insulate ourselves from fear, provocation, separation and energies that bring us down and make life more challenging.

On a larger scale, we have to feed people, educate the children of the world and take some very real action to start making this planet a more abundant place in every way. There has never been a better time to bravely do the shadow work and consciously evolve! Before you can do that there are three key things that you must do right now:

  1. Discover Who You Truly Are.

  2. Understand Universal Law and how to Interface with the Source Field (Quantum physics).

  3. Make Choices that are in Alignment with Your Authentic Self.

“When we limit ourselves by being the person we “should” be, we limit our aliveness. We may achieve success but not fulfillment because we are not living out all the important truths about ourselves, truths we need to slow down to excavate.”
― Henna Inam

Know Thyself

There is a direct correlation between how much pain someone is experiencing in their life and the degree to which they are living authentically. The more out of alignment with your True Self your life is, the more pain you will be experiencing in all areas of your life. The pain that you are experiencing is your True Self sending you a message. Your True Self is trying to get your attention by creating pain to show you that you’re headed in a direction that isn’t good for you. It’s You telling yourself that there is a better way, an easier way…a more resilient and joyful way…one that is in alignment with who you truly are.

To be resilient in times of massive change, you must know how to listen to the cues that the field and your True Self is sending you. You need to know how to interface with Universal Law, and you must to be clear of old programming that is keeping you stuck in fear. It is that four letter F-word and other emotional reactions that can block you from thriving.

When you know who you are, understand Universal Law, how to interface with the field, and you make choices that are in alignment with your True Self you:

  • Feel loveable all the time
  • Have high self-esteem and self-worth.
  • Are courageous enough to make choices that are right for you…even if your choices are out of sync with the mainstream.
  • Know how to make powerful decisions for your good and for the greater good of the whole.
  • Are emotionally wise and understand the true power of emotions rather than reacting to things without deliberation.
  • Will understand your intuition, how it works and trust your own gut feelings.
  • Will know how to leverage your energy so that your body and spirit stay strong and resilient.
  • Are empowered and free to do what is right for you, your loved ones and the world.

What kind of a world do people create who: don’t feel loved; question their value; are afraid to do the right thing; don’t know how to make good decisions; react emotionally; don’t know how to connect to their inner guidance; burn out their bodies and spirits; and feel powerless? How much adaptability do they have?

“Constantly focusing on the limitations, instead of all the possibilities, is how people become stuck in their lives. It only serves to recreate the same old reality from day to day. And soon the days turn into years, and lifetimes.”
― Anthon St. Maarten

Co-creating a World of Unlimited Possibilities

We are capable of creating so much more than that. And the world DESERVES so much more than that. It’s time to move from the pain-matrix to the pleasure-matrix. As we emerge into a New Year, we must continue to do the “work” of healing our own connection to our lovability, power, value, courage, emotional wisdom, authentic alignment, intuitive wisdom and vitality, so that we can step on to our path to personal power and co-create more sustainable, abundant lives. It is then that we can use our alignment to turn around and lift others up so that they may experience the same.

We designed a self-paced course to help you build a strong and powerful foundation for yourself – one that is wide enough, deep enough and strong enough to support all the expansiveness of Who You Truly Are. Our gift to you and humanity is a massive introductory discount.

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“Extraordinary people visualise not what is possible or probable, but rather what is impossible. And by visualising the impossible, they begin to see it as possible”

– Cherie Carter-Scott


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Suzanne Cunningham

(HBIC) Creative Director
Pure Element 5