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Main | Leadership Capacity for Holding Space In Practice »
Sunday
Aug032014

Conscious Capitalism AND Social Enterprise Is Conscious Business

There are two movements in business today that are highly related yet very disconnected – conscious capitalism and social enterprise. These two movements are actually quite similar when viewed from a whole system perspective – more aware AND responsible business. Taken together, conscious capitalism and social enterprise create conscious businesses with the potential to solve big problems through business while generating a sustainable future.

The conscious capitalism movement appears to be primarily focused on relationships, stakeholders and leadership practices. This is transformative work and deserves all the praise and attention the movement has received. Yet, it is not enough. When an individual embarks on a journey of transformation and develops a higher awareness (consciousness), they almost always begin to see themselves as part of a greater whole and over time start to make decisions about their lifestyle, habits and consumption aligned with more sustainable practices – seeing themselves as part of the whole, they act for the collective good. 

I do not see the same development when I look at the conscious capitalism movement, particularly two companies hailed as the leaders of the movement – Whole Foods and The Container Store. When shopping these stores, neither feels different to me. Back to the example of an individual’s journey of transformation and deeper awareness, it does not appear that the consciousness of these two businesses has yet translated into the same level of whole system thinking. Their conscious awareness has not led to greater responsibility. When it does, I would expect to see sourcing strategies, merchandising decisions, packaging materials, marketing campaigns and other decisions approached from a higher awareness and collective perspective. Walking into these stores you will immediately know that they are not in business as usual – their “inner” growth will be obvious in their outer appearance and actions.

Social enterprises, on the other hand, are using business to make a difference – solving big problems and impacting people’s lives. Yet they tend to do that with traditional business tools, management practices and organizational structures. Operating with greater responsibility, these social enterprises often are not functioning with deeper awareness. Their right and sustainable actions are not supported by conscious business practices.

We need both – more aware AND responsible businesses. Sustainability is not simply a green movement of incremental actions alone; we also need radical new thinking and changes in business that accelerates progress to a sustainable future – what I call blue thinking. These conscious businesses have greater awareness and deploy systems-level, whole-perspective thinking to consider the full impact and all consequences of its actions. They relate more consciously through new organizational structures and manage with deeper awareness through innovative management tools that integrate meaning-making and money-making so that mission is top of mind and integral to the organization’s strategy. This shift to more aware AND responsible conscious businesses would make doing good (impact) as important as doing well (profit), all while solving some of our biggest challenges, creating jobs and enabling a sustainable future.

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Reader Comments (6)

Great post Barry!

August 6, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAngela Barbash

Hi and thanks for that link. I too am part of a business in Portland that is working currently on its change aspect. It has been a social enterprise from the start because it arose from the need for healing space. It is a soaking hot tub and sauna space with a wellness focus with Body workers and Naturopaths.
I work there for my money, but my heart is in creating change on a very deep level through activst work around un-housed people. Implicit in ths is issues of classism, mental illness, racism, sexism, and in my case, gender idendity all these issues are marginalized in our society and need that transformation everyone else needs. Money has been a scewed issue among the poor that is different from the rich. I have been pondering the fact of math, and accounting vrs, the need for balancing and restoring just relationships that include such devastation as genocide and a country with a history of slavery and now epidemic jail time, the new jim crow. Feeling and witnessing the anger and hatred of the homeless when I have been out to list.

My grandfather died of alchoholism, my father was abusive and wrapped up in alchohol himself and served in the air force for all his life because of his abuse of being a child with only one parent and a father who had died of alchoholism and lingering genocide. My father pulled himself together, fought in the Korean war, and then the Vietnam war as a missle maker shop boss. His relatives who took him on in the summer and abused him are also some of the relatives I had intense dreams of that I think took me back in time, where I took part in a lynching, or I was the anscestor, I don't know which. But I have that legacy. My mother was hardley much above a child in her own growth, due to severe situations with her live as a poor daughter of a gambler and miner, who spent a big of time homeless living in a train car and unaware of her abuse, is another part of my life. I arrived as a child that soon became deaf due to rage and have been struggling to find my voice from my deep self, that only thinks in pictures, where my rage lives too.

I pretended that I was normal even though I had a hard time hearing. My father beat me because he didn't know I was deaf until he did. I don't remember the abuse, but some part of me does and it is a silent part, the one that watches and sees, and the part of me that I don't listen to because my ears are full of the official talk. The always listening to what the group says in the new place. I sing, and that is part of my medicine, but I don't sing anywhere due to its transformational intensity. Like where I am at right now, the time isn't yet. I luckily can sing at work when no one is there.
I've gotten really tired of the group that won't get together, that won't communicate. I live in a place right now, that is doing amazing work with their small yard in the middle of the city, and still there are communication problems. I don't know what to say. I don't know what to do. I'm not a gardner, though I used to be. I am a writer, and an artist and a singer. I am indoors all the time right now, and I have been letting my room get cluttered up with books, as if that was going to answer my problems. I need people, but I also need nature. The two are complicated. Since I am transgendered, my relationships are not that easy.

I have a lot of healing force on my side though, I have taught Qigong and studied Chinese medicine as well as massage. The mountain talked to me when I was 10, telling me in no uncertain terms the
love it had for me. I remember multiple times the Earth's creatures have healed me, and communicated their welcome home to me. I have done the most elegant of food raw diets.

My best friend is a poet and so I have learned to speak my mind and do it better than most folks of my class background. I hope that I can find that group that will go deep with me, and I with them, to open our minds to a new way of going forward.

I have been writing this essay in real time, and I will be applying your information to my life and community. I posted your information to our local Anti-police- brutality group here in town, and at work. I will also test it at home here, as I created some stir up yesterday as I was dealing with the grief of Michael Brown, and my friend in Alaska who went into ER, dying early because of queer oppression and early life addiction. I hope she pulls through and wants to be here, great healing could come from her recovery as I think great good can come from my work with my world. I live apart from my friends because of how I need to be collectively involved and Alaska is very conservative.

I am taking a course in social entreprenuership that is free online MOOC coursera course, and a U-
course with Otto, which is also free in January through edX. I aim to create my bussiness venture and eagerly look to see it blossom as a healing transformational power in the world. I know that I will find those who are willing to go where I am willing to go, and that is deep.
I have walked 800 miles for peace and awareness for the people of Big Mountain. I know I can lead a healing community venture. Looking for partners. I will be in those classes! OM, Peace, walking in the Tao with LOVE

August 17, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterptery Lieght

Hi and thanks for that link. I too am part of a business in Portland that is working currently on its change aspect. It has been a social enterprise from the start because it arose from the need for healing space. It is a soaking hot tub and sauna space with a wellness focus with Body workers and Naturopaths.
I work there for my money, but my heart is in creating change on a very deep level through activst work around un-housed people. Implicit in ths is issues of classism, mental illness, racism, sexism, and in my case, gender idendity all these issues are marginalized in our society and need that transformation everyone else needs. Money has been a scewed issue among the poor that is different from the rich. I have been pondering the fact of math, and accounting vrs, the need for balancing and restoring just relationships that include such devastation as genocide and a country with a history of slavery and now epidemic jail time, the new jim crow. Feeling and witnessing the anger and hatred of the homeless when I have been out to list.

My grandfather died of alchoholism, my father was abusive and wrapped up in alchohol himself and served in the air force for all his life because of his abuse of being a child with only one parent and a father who had died of alchoholism and lingering genocide. My father pulled himself together, fought in the Korean war, and then the Vietnam war as a missle maker shop boss. His relatives who took him on in the summer and abused him are also some of the relatives I had intense dreams of that I think took me back in time, where I took part in a lynching, or I was the anscestor, I don't know which. But I have that legacy. My mother was hardley much above a child in her own growth, due to severe situations with her live as a poor daughter of a gambler and miner, who spent a big of time homeless living in a train car and unaware of her abuse, is another part of my life. I arrived as a child that soon became deaf due to rage and have been struggling to find my voice from my deep self, that only thinks in pictures, where my rage lives too.

I pretended that I was normal even though I had a hard time hearing. My father beat me because he didn't know I was deaf until he did. I don't remember the abuse, but some part of me does and it is a silent part, the one that watches and sees, and the part of me that I don't listen to because my ears are full of the official talk. The always listening to what the group says in the new place. I sing, and that is part of my medicine, but I don't sing anywhere due to its transformational intensity. Like where I am at right now, the time isn't yet. I luckily can sing at work when no one is there.
I've gotten really tired of the group that won't get together, that won't communicate. I live in a place right now, that is doing amazing work with their small yard in the middle of the city, and still there are communication problems. I don't know what to say. I don't know what to do. I'm not a gardner, though I used to be. I am a writer, and an artist and a singer. I am indoors all the time right now, and I have been letting my room get cluttered up with books, as if that was going to answer my problems. I need people, but I also need nature. The two are complicated. Since I am transgendered, my relationships are not that easy.

I have a lot of healing force on my side though, I have taught Qigong and studied Chinese medicine as well as massage. The mountain talked to me when I was 10, telling me in no uncertain terms the
love it had for me. I remember multiple times the Earth's creatures have healed me, and communicated their welcome home to me. I have done the most elegant of food raw diets.

My best friend is a poet and so I have learned to speak my mind and do it better than most folks of my class background. I hope that I can find that group that will go deep with me, and I with them, to open our minds to a new way of going forward.

I have been writing this essay in real time, and I will be applying your information to my life and community. I posted your information to our local Anti-police- brutality group here in town, and at work. I will also test it at home here, as I created some stir up yesterday as I was dealing with the grief of Michael Brown, and my friend in Alaska who went into ER, dying early because of queer oppression and early life addiction. I hope she pulls through and wants to be here, great healing could come from her recovery as I think great good can come from my work with my world. I live apart from my friends because of how I need to be collectively involved and Alaska is very conservative.

I am taking a course in social entreprenuership that is free online MOOC coursera course, and a U-
course with Otto, which is also free in January through edX. I aim to create my bussiness venture and eagerly look to see it blossom as a healing transformational power in the world. I know that I will find those who are willing to go where I am willing to go, and that is deep.
I have walked 800 miles for peace and awareness for the people of Big Mountain. I know I can lead a healing community venture. Looking for partners. I will be in those classes! OM, Peace, walking in the Tao with LOVE

August 17, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterptery Lieght

Hi and thanks for that link. I too am part of a business in Portland that is working currently on its change aspect. It has been a social enterprise from the start because it arose from the need for healing space. It is a soaking hot tub and sauna space with a wellness focus with Body workers and Naturopaths.
I work there for my money, but my heart is in creating change on a very deep level through activst work around un-housed people. Implicit in ths is issues of classism, mental illness, racism, sexism, and in my case, gender idendity all these issues are marginalized in our society and need that transformation everyone else needs. Money has been a scewed issue among the poor that is different from the rich. I have been pondering the fact of math, and accounting vrs, the need for balancing and restoring just relationships that include such devastation as genocide and a country with a history of slavery and now epidemic jail time, the new jim crow. Feeling and witnessing the anger and hatred of the homeless when I have been out to list.

My grandfather died of alchoholism, my father was abusive and wrapped up in alchohol himself and served in the air force for all his life because of his abuse of being a child with only one parent and a father who had died of alchoholism and lingering genocide. My father pulled himself together, fought in the Korean war, and then the Vietnam war as a missle maker shop boss. His relatives who took him on in the summer and abused him are also some of the relatives I had intense dreams of that I think took me back in time, where I took part in a lynching, or I was the anscestor, I don't know which. But I have that legacy. My mother was hardley much above a child in her own growth, due to severe situations with her live as a poor daughter of a gambler and miner, who spent a big of time homeless living in a train car and unaware of her abuse, is another part of my life. I arrived as a child that soon became deaf due to rage and have been struggling to find my voice from my deep self, that only thinks in pictures, where my rage lives too.

I pretended that I was normal even though I had a hard time hearing. My father beat me because he didn't know I was deaf until he did. I don't remember the abuse, but some part of me does and it is a silent part, the one that watches and sees, and the part of me that I don't listen to because my ears are full of the official talk. The always listening to what the group says in the new place. I sing, and that is part of my medicine, but I don't sing anywhere due to its transformational intensity. Like where I am at right now, the time isn't yet. I luckily can sing at work when no one is there.
I've gotten really tired of the group that won't get together, that won't communicate. I live in a place right now, that is doing amazing work with their small yard in the middle of the city, and still there are communication problems. I don't know what to say. I don't know what to do. I'm not a gardner, though I used to be. I am a writer, and an artist and a singer. I am indoors all the time right now, and I have been letting my room get cluttered up with books, as if that was going to answer my problems. I need people, but I also need nature. The two are complicated. Since I am transgendered, my relationships are not that easy.

I have a lot of healing force on my side though, I have taught Qigong and studied Chinese medicine as well as massage. The mountain talked to me when I was 10, telling me in no uncertain terms the
love it had for me. I remember multiple times the Earth's creatures have healed me, and communicated their welcome home to me. I have done the most elegant of food raw diets.

My best friend is a poet and so I have learned to speak my mind and do it better than most folks of my class background. I hope that I can find that group that will go deep with me, and I with them, to open our minds to a new way of going forward.

I have been writing this essay in real time, and I will be applying your information to my life and community. I posted your information to our local Anti-police- brutality group here in town, and at work. I will also test it at home here, as I created some stir up yesterday as I was dealing with the grief of Michael Brown, and my friend in Alaska who went into ER, dying early because of queer oppression and early life addiction. I hope she pulls through and wants to be here, great healing could come from her recovery as I think great good can come from my work with my world. I live apart from my friends because of how I need to be collectively involved and Alaska is very conservative.

I am taking a course in social entreprenuership that is free online MOOC coursera course, and a U-
course with Otto, which is also free in January through edX. I aim to create my bussiness venture and eagerly look to see it blossom as a healing transformational power in the world. I know that I will find those who are willing to go where I am willing to go, and that is deep.
I have walked 800 miles for peace and awareness for the people of Big Mountain. I know I can lead a healing community venture. Looking for partners. I will be in those classes! OM, Peace, walking in the Tao with LOVE

August 17, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterptery Lieght

Hi and thanks for that link. I too am part of a business in Portland that is working currently on its change aspect. It has been a social enterprise from the start because it arose from the need for healing space. It is a soaking hot tub and sauna space with a wellness focus with Body workers and Naturopaths.
I work there for my money, but my heart is in creating change on a very deep level through activst work around un-housed people. Implicit in ths is issues of classism, mental illness, racism, sexism, and in my case, gender idendity all these issues are marginalized in our society and need that transformation everyone else needs. Money has been a scewed issue among the poor that is different from the rich. I have been pondering the fact of math, and accounting vrs, the need for balancing and restoring just relationships that include such devastation as genocide and a country with a history of slavery and now epidemic jail time, the new jim crow. Feeling and witnessing the anger and hatred of the homeless when I have been out to list.

My grandfather died of alchoholism, my father was abusive and wrapped up in alchohol himself and served in the air force for all his life because of his abuse of being a child with only one parent and a father who had died of alchoholism and lingering genocide. My father pulled himself together, fought in the Korean war, and then the Vietnam war as a missle maker shop boss. His relatives who took him on in the summer and abused him are also some of the relatives I had intense dreams of that I think took me back in time, where I took part in a lynching, or I was the anscestor, I don't know which. But I have that legacy. My mother was hardley much above a child in her own growth, due to severe situations with her live as a poor daughter of a gambler and miner, who spent a big of time homeless living in a train car and unaware of her abuse, is another part of my life. I arrived as a child that soon became deaf due to rage and have been struggling to find my voice from my deep self, that only thinks in pictures, where my rage lives too.

I pretended that I was normal even though I had a hard time hearing. My father beat me because he didn't know I was deaf until he did. I don't remember the abuse, but some part of me does and it is a silent part, the one that watches and sees, and the part of me that I don't listen to because my ears are full of the official talk. The always listening to what the group says in the new place. I sing, and that is part of my medicine, but I don't sing anywhere due to its transformational intensity. Like where I am at right now, the time isn't yet. I luckily can sing at work when no one is there.
I've gotten really tired of the group that won't get together, that won't communicate. I live in a place right now, that is doing amazing work with their small yard in the middle of the city, and still there are communication problems. I don't know what to say. I don't know what to do. I'm not a gardner, though I used to be. I am a writer, and an artist and a singer. I am indoors all the time right now, and I have been letting my room get cluttered up with books, as if that was going to answer my problems. I need people, but I also need nature. The two are complicated. Since I am transgendered, my relationships are not that easy.

I have a lot of healing force on my side though, I have taught Qigong and studied Chinese medicine as well as massage. The mountain talked to me when I was 10, telling me in no uncertain terms the
love it had for me. I remember multiple times the Earth's creatures have healed me, and communicated their welcome home to me. I have done the most elegant of food raw diets.

My best friend is a poet and so I have learned to speak my mind and do it better than most folks of my class background. I hope that I can find that group that will go deep with me, and I with them, to open our minds to a new way of going forward.

I have been writing this essay in real time, and I will be applying your information to my life and community. I posted your information to our local Anti-police- brutality group here in town, and at work. I will also test it at home here, as I created some stir up yesterday as I was dealing with the grief of Michael Brown, and my friend in Alaska who went into ER, dying early because of queer oppression and early life addiction. I hope she pulls through and wants to be here, great healing could come from her recovery as I think great good can come from my work with my world. I live apart from my friends because of how I need to be collectively involved and Alaska is very conservative.

I am taking a course in social entreprenuership that is free online MOOC coursera course, and a U-
course with Otto, which is also free in January through edX. I aim to create my bussiness venture and eagerly look to see it blossom as a healing transformational power in the world. I know that I will find those who are willing to go where I am willing to go, and that is deep.
I have walked 800 miles for peace and awareness for the people of Big Mountain. I know I can lead a healing community venture. Looking for partners. I will be in those classes! OM, Peace, walking in the Tao with LOVE

August 17, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterptery Lieght

Hi and thanks for that link. I too am part of a business in Portland that is working currently on its change aspect. It has been a social enterprise from the start because it arose from the need for healing space. It is a soaking hot tub and sauna space with a wellness focus with Body workers and Naturopaths.
I work there for my money, but my heart is in creating change on a very deep level through activst work around un-housed people. Implicit in ths is issues of classism, mental illness, racism, sexism, and in my case, gender idendity all these issues are marginalized in our society and need that transformation everyone else needs. Money has been a scewed issue among the poor that is different from the rich. I have been pondering the fact of math, and accounting vrs, the need for balancing and restoring just relationships that include such devastation as genocide and a country with a history of slavery and now epidemic jail time, the new jim crow. Feeling and witnessing the anger and hatred of the homeless when I have been out to list.

My grandfather died of alchoholism, my father was abusive and wrapped up in alchohol himself and served in the air force for all his life because of his abuse of being a child with only one parent and a father who had died of alchoholism and lingering genocide. My father pulled himself together, fought in the Korean war, and then the Vietnam war as a missle maker shop boss. His relatives who took him on in the summer and abused him are also some of the relatives I had intense dreams of that I think took me back in time, where I took part in a lynching, or I was the anscestor, I don't know which. But I have that legacy. My mother was hardley much above a child in her own growth, due to severe situations with her live as a poor daughter of a gambler and miner, who spent a big of time homeless living in a train car and unaware of her abuse, is another part of my life. I arrived as a child that soon became deaf due to rage and have been struggling to find my voice from my deep self, that only thinks in pictures, where my rage lives too.

I pretended that I was normal even though I had a hard time hearing. My father beat me because he didn't know I was deaf until he did. I don't remember the abuse, but some part of me does and it is a silent part, the one that watches and sees, and the part of me that I don't listen to because my ears are full of the official talk. The always listening to what the group says in the new place. I sing, and that is part of my medicine, but I don't sing anywhere due to its transformational intensity. Like where I am at right now, the time isn't yet. I luckily can sing at work when no one is there.
I've gotten really tired of the group that won't get together, that won't communicate. I live in a place right now, that is doing amazing work with their small yard in the middle of the city, and still there are communication problems. I don't know what to say. I don't know what to do. I'm not a gardner, though I used to be. I am a writer, and an artist and a singer. I am indoors all the time right now, and I have been letting my room get cluttered up with books, as if that was going to answer my problems. I need people, but I also need nature. The two are complicated. Since I am transgendered, my relationships are not that easy.

I have a lot of healing force on my side though, I have taught Qigong and studied Chinese medicine as well as massage. The mountain talked to me when I was 10, telling me in no uncertain terms the
love it had for me. I remember multiple times the Earth's creatures have healed me, and communicated their welcome home to me. I have done the most elegant of food raw diets.

My best friend is a poet and so I have learned to speak my mind and do it better than most folks of my class background. I hope that I can find that group that will go deep with me, and I with them, to open our minds to a new way of going forward.

I have been writing this essay in real time, and I will be applying your information to my life and community. I posted your information to our local Anti-police- brutality group here in town, and at work. I will also test it at home here, as I created some stir up yesterday as I was dealing with the grief of Michael Brown, and my friend in Alaska who went into ER, dying early because of queer oppression and early life addiction. I hope she pulls through and wants to be here, great healing could come from her recovery as I think great good can come from my work with my world. I live apart from my friends because of how I need to be collectively involved and Alaska is very conservative.

I am taking a course in social entreprenuership that is free online MOOC coursera course, and a U-
course with Otto, which is also free in January through edX. I aim to create my bussiness venture and eagerly look to see it blossom as a healing transformational power in the world. I know that I will find those who are willing to go where I am willing to go, and that is deep.
I have walked 800 miles for peace and awareness for the people of Big Mountain. I know I can lead a healing community venture. Looking for partners. I will be in those classes! OM, Peace, walking in the Tao with LOVE

August 17, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterptery Lieght

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