An organization launching today in Indianapolis aims to change "the story of business that’s been told for too long": that businesses only exist to make money. Conscious Capitalism International was formed based on research on the success of companies including Google, Whole Foods Market Inc. and Southwest Airlines Co. Longtime Walker executive Kim Graham Lee will lead the Indianapolis chapter, which she says will aim to show companies they can generate higher profits by serving a greater civic purpose.
Lee and Conscious Capitalism co-founder Raj Sisodia are taking part in launch events today for the initiative, which they say has helped increase profits for companies throughout the United States.
Conscious Capitalism International was founded about 10 years ago when Sisodia, a distinguished professor at Babson College in Massachusetts, and Whole Foods founder John Mackey wrote a book together focusing on 28 companies that are loved by their customers, employees and communities. When they expanded that research to cover 72 companies from around the world for the second edition of the book, Sisodia says they found those businesses outperformed the S&P 500 by a nine-to-one ratio over a 10-year period.
Sisodia says the goal is to show companies that success doesn’t come from "squeezing employees and customers," but "creating value for everyone you touch." Ultimately, he says he wants the approaches of companies he studied to be mainstream, rather than outliers.
Lee says she was brought to the movement after being "absolutely blown away" by a Conscious Capitalism conference in Chicago three years ago. However, she says what she learned there aligned well with the findings of research she had been doing for years at Walker. Lee adds early members will be able to help shape the Indianapolis chapter, which she believes can help people who feel "pretty beaten up" by a business climate that sometimes values profits over people.
Conscious Capitalism Indianapolis will hold a launch event this evening at Delta Faucet Company in Indianapolis from 5:30-7:30 p.m. The organization will host a follow-up event Thursday, November 16 from 5:00-7:00 p.m. at the Blind Owl in Indianapolis. Early supporters include Walker, Ice Miller and the Indiana University Kelley School of Business.