Be a Conscious Capitalist

An Imperative Message to Accelerator Teams

The Conscious Capitalism seminar for the 2017 Laudato Si’ Challenge Accelerator companies, led by Jeff Cherry and Allie Armitage, stressed that a truly great business focuses on its purpose beyond profit, and understand how to execute on this mission daily.

Conscious Capitalism encourages managers and executives to build a strong foundation of trust and sense of community by creating a true exchange of value between all stakeholders — including employees, suppliers, customers, local communities, the environment and investors — to create win-win-win situations. According to conscious capitalism, this attentiveness matters just as much as the mission of a business.

While making money is essential for the vitality and sustainability of a business, it is not the only or even the most important reason a business exists

The four main topics relevant to Conscious Capitalism about which Mr. Cherry and Ms. Armitage spoke included: leadership, stakeholders, culture and purpose.

There are two types of leadership, mindful and not mindful. A good leader, a mindful leader, will find and encourage the strengths of each team member, utilizing and maximizing skills to not only create a successful business, but also to lend a true sense of value and respect to that team member.

Increasing awareness in one’s environment and realizing interdependence with and between stakeholders is a requisite in Conscious Capitalism. When a company clearly defines its values, only then can it illuminate its culture.

The culture of a company is ideally created through empathy and equality in Conscious Capitalism. Treating employees with personal importance — that is, treating them holistically and not just as a human resource — can help people reach their full potential.

As a company reflects on its purpose, the “Why” of the business becomes obvious, and an obviously important thing to protect and maintain.

Jeff Cherry and Allie Armitage at Luiss EnLabs speaking to the 2017 Laudato SI’ Challenge Companies

Interviews with a few individuals from the accelerator before and after the seminar demonstrated its effect. Devin Serago, co-founder of Pāpr (a company creating a paperless workspace) talked about how his definition of conscious capitalism expanded. Before the seminar, he considered conscious capitalism simply, and in terms of “making the right decisions in business using some morality.”

After the seminar his answer had significantly evolved. He said,“Conscious Capitalism is putting a high level of empathy into your business, having all the other values in your business centered around that value, and then distributing them from the top down through your organization. An organization will react accordingly based on the high level of values.”

Seminar Take-Aways:

1: Purpose is the foundation and lens through which all decisions should be made. Purpose is sourced from whatever fundamental belief inspired the company and should always reflect the vision of the world you want to create.

2: Culture is determined by the quality of the connection and authentic, transparent engement with its stakeholders. A mindful leader can intentionally shape culture by developing consistent practices, behaviors and language that are value-aligned.

3: Leaders get the culture they deserve. As a leader, slow down and allow yourself the time and space to make mindful choices. Be the leader you always wish you had. Use your position as a leader to inspire the full potential of your team.

4: Hiring is a major contributor to culture. Make informed choices about who you bring in to your company’s ‘family,’ and always consider whether potential employees will reflect your values and operate with purpose.

5: Find a way to measure culture and set clear agreements as a team. Doing this will create trust in your fundamental operations and relationships. Use the data to adjust when you’re not seeing the results you want.

Conscious Capitalism is a registered trademark of Conscious Capitalism, Inc.