Discussion: Conscious Capitalism

By Paige Brady, April 8, 2013  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Paige Brady

Editor’s Note: Post updated on June 6, 2016.

From Co-CEO John Mackey: 

My involvement with Marc Gafni and former Board of Directors relationship with the Center for Integral Wisdom is conducted strictly in my personal life and does not represent an endorsement or support for either Mr. Gafni or the Center for Integral Wisdom by Whole Foods Market. With that said, I have decided to remove the video interviews I participated in with Mr Gafni, and am doing so to be consistent with the position that this is indeed strictly a personal relationship.




Marcin says ...
John - I admire your quest to increase the awareness of the concept of conscious capitalism. What do you think are some of the biggest challenges to having more companies embrace this idea? What can individual employees of large global organizations do to convince senior management about the benefits of conscious capitalism?
05/20/2013 8:24:07 PM CDT
Jayne DePanfilis says ...
I subscribe wholeheartedly to the premises of Conscious Capitalism which is why I'm reading Conscious Business by Fred Kofman and attending a job fair tomorrow at Whole Foods in my area. I could not be more excited about the lively discussion I expect to ensue during my interview tomorrow. Thank you for promoting the concept of Mutual Gain. In fact, the topic of my undergraduate thesis was the concept of mutual gain in international decision-making forums. I attempted to define the dynamic of mutual gain 30 years ago when I questioned my place in the "new world order."
05/30/2013 6:54:37 PM CDT
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@MARCIN - I was able to get in tough with John for his thoughts: In general, it’s easier to create a conscious business than it is for an existing business to make the transition. Larger and older organizations tend to have established cultures and resist substantive change. Culture has deep roots and serves as the glue that holds everything together, so changing culture is often the greatest challenge in the process of becoming a conscious business. Senior leadership has to be deeply committed to the company’s higher purpose in order for the tenants of conscious capitalism to resonate intellectually, emotionally and spiritually with all stakeholders and within the culture. A grassroots campaign may convince senior management of the need for change or demonstrate its potential in a limited sphere, but generally speaking, a bottom-up approach does not work for this kind of transformation. Without the full support of senior leadership it’s almost impossible to spark change on a larger scale. But, it can be done. We discuss examples of companies that have made the transition in the book—you should check out Chapter 17: Becoming a Conscious Business if you’re interested in learning more.
06/05/2013 3:31:09 PM CDT
carmen says ...
Hi, I just finish reading the book "Conscious capitalism" after reading "Firms of Endearment" and Im pretty interest and motivated about the ideas that are presented. Im wondering how do the companies that books present such as whole foods, google, IDEO, eBay, etc measure their culture. Specifically Im curious about knowing if there is a tool to measure culture and thus move toward conscious capitalism. Best regards, Carmen Escobar.
07/31/2013 12:14:41 PM CDT
Daniel says ...
Wonderful presentation. I keep thinking, though, that 'experience being the best teacher' and 'leading by example' paramont to management; I would love to hear more from just you Mr. Mackey. If a mind IS a sponge, it is because it knows what to absorb as it listens to a voice of experience. It doesn't wait for justification, it relishes in knew knowledge like a fish to water.... The world focus' too much on collegiate credentials to justify a subject, but the world needs realignment with what is self evident, if I am hearing you right...did it ever really leave 'Casts' behind when forming economy? If the creative, inspired...genius' didn't get out and risk it....if they didn't think 'out of the box' and take on the schools with hard knox....there would be nothing for professors to analyze, write about and then teach in schools, right? What I am most grateful to, in listening to you, is that somewhere in your past, someone imparted the signifcance of diligence and moxy, so you could follow through with the great things with which you have been inspired. And this is not to mention the divinity of inspiration and for which I should say; thank god for the Consciouse Capitalist Cowboys... WaHoo and Cheers
12/22/2013 1:45:55 PM CST
Cris Crawford says ...
I have just finished reading Conscious Capitalism, and while it is not a bad book, I have to admit that every time I see Costco described as a conscious business, I cringe. Costco is one of the worst abusers of eminent domain in the country. They convince municipalities to use eminent domain so that they can build new stores wherever they want, promising tax revenue in return. I really don't see how this is conscious. It is the same as the crony capitalism that is criticized elsewhere in the book.
08/13/2014 10:40:42 AM CDT
Donna dyer says ...
Please bring your conscious capitalism here to Calgary. I have shopped whole foods in the US and Vancouver and love it. The Northland Village site is ideal. We once had a much loved and patronized there which unfortunately failed due to management issues. Please come here!
02/13/2015 11:16:03 AM CST