We recently attended the Conscious Capitalism European Conference in Barcelona, Spain—an event attended by 300 leaders and practitioners.
Conscious Capitalism is a way of thinking about capitalism and business that better reflects where we are in the human journey, the state of our world today, and the innate potential of business to make a positive impact on the world. Conscious businesses are galvanized by higher purposes that serve, align and integrate the interests of all their major stakeholders.
The four principles of Conscious Capitalism are very closely aligned with Axialent’s purpose as an organization.
Here are our key takeaways from the event.
If we’re not healing, we’re harming.
In his speech, Raj Sisodia explained that we need to have an active role in making the world a more conscious, caring and compassionate place, and it is critical that we work toward doing business in the right way…good business. By this, we mean that businesses need to think about their customers, products and services, and consider all the aspects including the impact (direct or indirect) their actions have on their employees, suppliers, people who are not their customers, the environment and, yes, also revenue. If we don’t do this, we are contributing to more suffering, and that means we are harming. At Axialent, we work every day to heal organizations by bringing more consciousness and working at the I, We and It levels.
If you believe in something, you can do it no matter what. The road will be tough; but if your belief is strong enough, you will find a way to keep going.
Ibukun Awosika, chairwoman of the First Bank of Nigeria, delivered an inspiring keynote about the complexities and obstacles that the African countries have. She also described some interesting aspects of the African society that few people are aware of, for instance, the way they behave as a community and how they care for each other. The biggest takeaway is the way she is as a human being. Despite all the challenges she has back home, she was there “fighting” for what she believed in and forging the change—spreading the message and walking the talk.
“Call your heroes and share your gratitude and admiration with them.”
This is a quote from Tom Gardner’s speech, where he mentioned a number of “recommendations” based on his 25 years as the co-founder of The Motley Fool. One recommendation he has is to call or write to all the people you admire and let them know how inspiring they are for you or your organization and how grateful you are for what they are doing and the way they are impacting the world—and to spread gratitude and admiration because it feels good and not expect an answer from those you reach out to.
There’s an alternative to a hierarchical mindset!
This is a very strong belief a lot of organizations and leaders hold. Having to rely on, at some point, a hierarchical structure is so embedded in modern-day business. Brian Robertson, the creator of Holacracy, shared that organizations can work as living cells; there’s no CEO cell or VP cell. The principle of this alternative way of working is that we work on having the purpose of our role and organization in mind, but we are the CEOs of our role and we can do whatever we may need to solve and start new things. Unless there’s a rule written against that, we can do whatever we may think is better to serve the purpose of the company. It is really encouraging to know that many companies are implementing Holacracy and thriving. Zappos, one of the biggest online shoe and clothing retailers in the U.S., adopted this new system and is an example of its success.