Conscious Capitalism: Conversation with Raj Sisodia, Part Three

by Michael Graber

Conscious Capitalism: Conversation with Raj Sisoda, Part One

Raj Sisodia is the Professor of Global Business, Babson College, Co-founder & Co-Chairman, Conscious Capitalism, Inc. Raj has written ten books and over 100 academic articles.

Can you explain the Mother and Father archetypes in business in a little more depth? Capitalism had a mother and a father and they were both embodied in the same person. For Adam Smith the father energy that was about self-interest and the freedom to pursue opportunity. His other book, The Theory of Moral Sentiments, was about the human need to care, the mother of capitalism. People have forgotten this necessary balance.

The profit-only model lost touch of that maternal energy.

What we have today is very much dominated by the patriarchy, the father energy. We lost touch and de-valued the material side, the human side. We became automatons devoid of emotions.

Extreme forms of Father-only Capitalism practiced in the 19th century divided the world and still causes untold amounts of suffering and wars and continues to this day.

 

What does this one-sidedness indicate?

For one, it has many people looking for alternatives to Capitalism today. This movement scares me because we don’t fully understand the power of a holistic Capitalism and are entertaining notions of tossing out the positive benefits of Capitalism. We’ll lose a lot of the innovation if we move to a purely Communistic model. In that world, you simply don’t have the levers and power to change the world. Black and white thinking says that either we can have capitalism with all of its benefits or the alternative is socialism. We are seeking a mix of dynamism and decency.

Capitalism promises and delivers a lot of dynamism and creative destruction, innovation, and change. Socialism promises but doesn’t actually deliver on decency. Basically gets everybody more increments of survival. What we really need is a dynamism that decency-based Capitalism can offer, not traditional-laissez-faire-shareholder-value-maximizing Capitalism, but a new breed of it. Conscious Capitalism can have a lot of positive impact on people’s lives, future of society, and on the whole social fabric.

 

How do we redeem the role of business in the world?

We have to bring the decency ethic back to business.  The companies who are at the vanguard of this movement prove its overwhelming market success. We have studied Conscious Capitalism companies in depth for more than 10 years. The results are staggering.

Here’s the take-away: Conscious companies have deeper employee engagement and better rates of customer advocacy. They ultimately have an overall better financial performance with lower risk than their short-term driven, profit-only style companies. The difference is a sense of driving purpose that motivates all of the stakeholders—suppliers, owners, employees, and the communities where the venture does business. A real hallmark is a different style of leadership at these companies.

The evidence is overwhelming. If you want case studies read Firms of Endearment.

 

TO BE CONTINUED.

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Michael GraberMichael Graber is the managing partner of the Southern Growth Studio, an innovation and strategic growth firm based in Memphis, TN and the author of Going Electric. Visit www.southerngrowthstudio.com to learn more.