Welcome to Conscious Capitalism Chicago
We’re proud to hold the distinction of being the first chapter of Conscious Capitalism in the United States. We actively seek to support leaders and their organizations to accelerate the shift to Conscious Capitalism throughout Chicagoland and the Midwest.
Conscious Capitalism Chicago is an organization making a positive impact on the world, starting at your own front door. In a little more than two years, our chapter has formed a web of more than 1,000 people across Chicagoland who believe that trust, compassion, collaboration and value creation in business are vital to our future. Every one of those people can influence change in their organization. And the more than 100 business owners, CEOs and leaders involved in Conscious Capitalism Chicago are well suited to drive change from the top.
Conscious Capitalism Chicago is your local movement. We are your organization. We are laying the path so you can discover your greater purpose. We are connecting you with your tribe. We are offering you a place to voice hope. We are inviting you to be inspired. We are providing you a place to be challenged, to grow and to find wisdom, questions and answers. Join us.
What is Conscious Capitalism?
Conscious Capitalism Exists to Elevate Humanity
Conscious Capitalism builds on the foundations of capitalism – voluntary exchange, entrepreneurship, competition, freedom to trade and the rule of law. These are essential to a healthy functioning economy, as are other elements of Conscious Capitalism including trust, compassion, collaboration and value creation.
Conscious Capitalism comes to life as it is applied to business. Four pillars create the foundation of Conscious Capitalism; intertwined they guide businesses that practice Conscious Capitalism.
In the words of University of Virginia Darden School of Business professor and Conscious Capitalism, Inc. trustee R. Edward Freeman,
“We need red blood cells to live (the same way a business needs profits to live), but the purpose of life is more than to make red blood cells (the same way the purpose of business is more than simply to generate profits).”
While making money is essential for the vitality and sustainability of a business, it is not the only or even the most important reason a business exists. Conscious businesses focus on their purpose beyond profit.
We all need meaning and purpose in our lives. It is one of the things that separates us from other animals. Purpose activates us and motivates us. It moves us to get up in the morning, sustains us when times get tough and serves as a guiding star when we stray off course. Conscious Businesses provide us with this sense of meaning and purpose.
By focusing on its deeper Purpose, a conscious business inspires, engages and energizes its stakeholders. Employees, customers and others trust and even love companies that have an inspiring purpose.
Pioneering naturalist John Muir observed that, “When you tug at a single thing in nature, you find it attached to the rest of the world.” Such is the case with business, which is an intricate and interconnected web of relationships.
Unlike some businesses that believe they only exist to maximize return on investment for their shareholders, Conscious Businesses focus on their whole business ecosystem, creating and optimizing value for all of their stakeholders, understanding that strong and engaged stakeholders lead to a healthy, sustainable, resilient business.
They recognize that, without employees, customers, suppliers, funders, supportive communities and a life-sustaining ecosystem, there is no business. Conscious Business is a win-win-win proposition, which includes a healthy return to shareholders.
“Culture eats strategy for lunch.” Famed management guru Peter Drucker didn’t mince words, and he knew how to identify and articulate the keys to success in business.
Culture is the embodied values, principles and practices underlying the social fabric of a business, which permeate its actions and connects the stakeholders to each other and to the company’s purpose, people and processes.
A Conscious Culture fosters love, care, and inclusiveness and builds trust amongst the company’s team members and all its other stakeholders. Conscious Culture is an energizing and unifying force, that truly brings a Conscious Business to life.
Robert Greenleaf, author of Servant Leadership observed that “Good leaders must first become good servants.”
Conscious Leaders focus on “we,” rather than “me.” They inspire, foster transformation and bring out the best in those around them.
They understand that their role is to serve the purpose of the organization, to support the people within the organization and to create value for the all of the organization’s stakeholders. They recognize the integral role of culture and purposefully cultivate a Conscious Culture of trust and care.
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