Book review : Conscious Capitalism

I just finished reading another stellar read, a book that should be on the reading lists of everyone either working or studying Business nowadays. Conscious Capitalism was written by Raj Sisodia and John Mackey, the co-CEO of Whole Foods Market, a very successful company.

The book is part autobiographical as Mackey counts his personal story and his company’s. The books is replete with great anectodes that exemplify so well what a conscious company is and how it can succeed suberbly.

The book starts as a tribute to Capitalism, a force that, to the author, has brought untold wealth to billions of people. If it has gone bad in the past three decades it is because it has lost its tracks and principles that governed it before. A manifestation of this is the staggering salaries received by CEOs nowadays.

To the authors, Conscious Capitalism is opposed to Corporate Social Responsibility in many ways as shown on page 38. Their view makes so much sense one would wonder why people should work in CSR at all. But this still doesn’t mean that CSR is irrelevant as all companies transitionning to Conscious Capitalism fully won’t most unfortunately occur overnight.

Currently Capitalism is all about maximising short-term stocks value, The Shareholder Value Myth (read my review). This vision of Capitalism is both short-sighted and narrow-minded (on top of being dangerous for the companies and our Society as a whole).

On the opposite, Conscious Capitalim is all inclusive of all stakeholders and has a long-term vision. The authors advocate putting Love and Care front and center of the Business. This is so refreshing and far from what is being taught and preached in most business schools.

The authors also believe in the end of marketing as companies do not need to lure customers any more. Instead, customers come to you as they now that they are offiered great products, great services, at a good price.

Now you might think that these companies mustn’t fare well compared to the ones sticking their guns to “traditional” Capitalism, or rather its current version. Well, you would be utterly wrong as according to the authors, these companies have done much better than their competitors.

Among the companies that are practicing this are Whole Foods Market (obviously), the Tata Group (a huge conglomerate from India), Southwest Airlines, POSCO, Patagonia and countless others. Conscious Capitalism is also an organization with several chapters in the United States and globally.

Last but not least, a whole section is dedicated to tips to enable the reader to become a conscious leader : health, mental, physical, diet, veganism or eating less meat. It is really a one of a kind book. This is once again such a breath of fresh air.

To infer this review, I was profoundly inspired reading this article. While I may be sceptical of some points, I believe many others are worth reading and will become established truths as many more companies will become conscious businesses.

Grade : 18 out of 20. A must read for Business-oriented people.

2 thoughts on “Book review : Conscious Capitalism”

  1. as a blog-slacker i may not carry the weight of active social participants–but–i wish to impart my consumer POV in the mix.

    correct; the clientele will come without the outrageous marketing imposed upon the tired minds of the middle class and the thin earnings of the low wagers.

    on the reverse side of the balanced philosophy of the conscious capitalists, there is great opportunity for the buyers to practice “conscious consumerism” we have the power to SELECT the places where we shop–we have the power to screen the marketers online–we have the power of each dollar we earn and choose to spend. period!

  2. Thanks Nadine for your comment. It is always a pleasure.

    I totally agree with you that citizens / consumers have to vote and vote with their wallets for the changes they want to see.

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