Conscious Business

“A business that generates financial wealth but destroys other forms of wealth (which can have greater impacts on people’s well-being) adds far less value to the world than it is capable of”  (John Mackey, Founder of WholeFoods) 

Yesterday afternoon i attended a great event held at the NASDAQ offices in Times Square. The INC. Business Council hosted the WholeFoods Market Founder and CEO for a great interview session primarily to discuss ideas from his new book Conscious Capitalism.

Without getting into politics (which one can easily) there are two things I would like to take away from the book (which i just started reading) and the interview:

1) Quoting Mackey, same as we dont measure doctors by the bad ones but rather by the great ones and what they do for medicine and our lives we should also judge business owners (and especially the big businesses who have a much larger impact on our lives) by the good they do as a company or the their owners and their contribution to society (not the business itself but rather the deeds that are unrelated to the business, the wealth that leads to philanthropy and sponsorship of innovation.

2) Conscious businesses actually perform better with lower marketing costs, lower administrative costs, lower employee turnover and certainly better customer satisfaction.

Phone.com is five years old. Since we opened our doors (or rather our website) we have been contributing to different causes either by donating, sponsoring, providing free service and volunteering our time and we shared some of these stories in previous blog posts and on our Facebook Fan page.  While our impact on our society is still a drop in the ocean we do however know that doing business the conscious way is contributing to all of the items mentioned in my second point above!

Back to Wholefoods: their prices aside they are a great business and provide great service.

Overall it was a great afternoon with some good lessons and a very unexpected extra benefit as we also got to tour the NASDAQ floor and ring the closing bell. The Nasdaq marketing team sure knows how to promote their “clients” and did a great photo shoot that as screened moments after the closing bell all over  their big video screens in Times Square.