MEMBERSHIP ANNOUNCEMENT!

Hello, everyone -

Thank you to all of you who attended one of our events over the last couple years. We're creating an amazing community of people who believe that businesses with real purpose can make incredible change in the world and we're so thankful for all of you. We also couldn't be more excited to announce that, after obtaining our 501(c)(3) non-profit status at the end of last year, we're launching our membership. We are planning some exciting events this year, and we'd love to keep growing this community! Come join us!

Sandy, Carl, Adam, Terry, Ryan, and Madeline

The Conscious Capitalism CO BoD

We invite you to become a member today.

Click Here to join us!

Who Are The Conscious Stakeholders?

At our Fort Collins meetup this week, we had a fantastic discussion about the categories of stakeholders in a business venture.

There are the easy ones: customers, employees, suppliers, investors. But now it gets interesting.

Conscious businesses often have a special focus on the planet or environment. It's more than just throwing money over the wall to fix a problem. Instead, what happens if we treat the environment as a stakeholder in our business? It should have an ACTIVE voice in how we address its needs.

Likewise, we probably want to benefit our community, society, or even humanity in general. Again, if we think of those people as stakeholders, how to we give them an ACTIVE voice in our business?

Someone suggested that thinking about our company CULTURE is different than just the employees. And it is. So let's look at how the company culture benefits from what we're doing in our business.

And let's not forget our management team, our partners, supplier, and ... ourselves as leaders. Because if we ourselves aren't sustainable, the business is going to fall apart. It's not an ego thing, it's just recognizing that we are humans too, and honoring our needs (in balance with all the others) is beneficial to everyone.

What a great discussion!

posted by Carl Dierschow, Small Fish Business Coaching

Announcement: Nonprofit Status Awarded!

The Colorado Chapter of Conscious Capitalism has an exciting announcement to share!

We are now officially a 501(c)(3) nonprofit entity. This designation is an essential step forward for the foundation of the chapter and its growing presence in the state of Colorado. As a nonprofit, the chapter can offer memberships and receive both donations and sponsorships that are tax deductible for donors and members. Stay tuned to learn more about how to donate and why your contributions matter!

The Colorado chapter is an all-volunteer organization. Together with our members, we drive the mission forward to grow the movement promoting businesses that aspire to integrate the four principles of Conscious Capitalism – Higher Purpose, Stakeholder Orientation, Conscious Leadership and Conscious Culture.

Become a member today and join our cohort of conscious capitalists!

Click here to join our mailing list and we’ll see you soon at our next event!

Your chapter leaders,

Adam, Carl, Ryan, Sandra and Sandy

 

The Five Domains

The assumption behind this article is that the purpose of the Conscious Capitalism movement is to catalyze a paradigm shift in business such that the four pillars of conscious capitalism become the dominant lens through which the performance of a company and those in it are assessed.  The question facing the CC chapters then is how best to leverage our limited time and capacity to affect that paradigm shift.  

 

There seem to be five mutually-reinforcing domains that create what is ‘common knowledge’ in business.  The five domains are: Professional Associations, Business Schools, Business Media, Consultants, and Capital.  If these five domains began to operate from the CC paradigm, the conditions would be set for the broader paradigm shift in business to occur.  These five domains are a possible framework to focus the outreach and organizing efforts of CC Chapters.  


1. Professional Associations

Many business leaders are involved in professional associations to connect with fellow business leaders and stay abreast of important trends and industry best practices.  These associations include everything from local and state chambers of commerce to local service clubs like Rotary and Kiwanis to large national industry-specific groups like the National Restaurant Association.  These groups are often hungry for quality content that their members will find valuable, and Conscious Capitalism is certainly that.  If the leaders of these professional associations become knowledgable about, and advocate for the four pillars of conscious capitalism, we greatly expand our capacity.  Inviting these leaders to events, and building direct relationships with them will help us create mutually beneficial alliances to expand our influence and advance our mission.

 

2. Business Schools

Probably the single-greatest influence on the dominant business paradigm is the curriculum thought to MBA students in business school.  Currently, some schools are aggressively leading the way in teaching their students the concepts behind the four pillars, but many more confine these ideas in a single course on business ethics, if they are taught at all.  Outreach to faculty and students at local business schools (not matter how big or prestigious) is another strategic opportunity for us.  Inviting them to events, or enlisting them to co-host events with us will likely pay great dividends as we continue to grow.

 

3. Business Media

Imagine what would happen if the conscious capitalist viewpoint was consistently featured in the pages of the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, Fast Company, Inc, and Forbes as well as on the airwaves of CNBC, NPR and the countless podcasts on business and entrepreneurship.  Local chapters may not be able to affect programming at some of these larger outlets, but they can build relationships with their local business media and business beat journalists and columnists for major local papers.  Chapters could even create a speaker corps of local CC business leaders, academics, and consultants to pen op-eds and be available for comment as reporters seek perspective on the business stories of the day.  Similarly, business books have a tremendous influence on business leaders.  Promoting the books that are resonant with the four pillars (to members, to media, and even on Amazon) and debating (respectfully) those that propagate the old paradigm is another important aspect of the business media domain in which chapters can engage.

 

4. Consultants

Most businesses rely on consultants (at least occasionally) to help guide their decision-making.  As such, consultants are another critical domain that shapes the paradigm of business.  Active outreach to consultants, large and small, and across industries, is another major opportunity for CC Chapters to move the needle.   The goal is not to turn every consultant into a conscious capitalism consultant.  However, the more a marketing consultant, a leadership consultant, and a financial consultant can all see the world through the lens of the four pillars, the more their advice will contribute to the broader paradigm shift we seek.

 

5. Capital

The people and institutions that provide capital to businesses are a critical domain.  Networks of venture capitalists, leaders of state and local economic development efforts, executives from banks offering business loans, and analysts for the major capital markets are also very important relationships for chapters to build.  Imagine what would happen if a loan application included questions on stakeholder relationships, leadership development, and workplace culture?  What if most analysts began incorporating those factors into their stock evaluations? What if economic developers expanded their view to see that not all ‘jobs’ are equal and not all economic ’growth’ contributes to prosperity?  If practicing the four pillars would help business leaders access capital, and if ignoring them prevented that access, things would change in a hurry.  As we all know, the research on the financial performance and resiliency of CC companies suggests that such a filter for capital investments would be in the best interest of the providers of that capital.  We should endeavor to help sources of capital to develop tools to operationalize that understanding.


Like the four pillars, these five domains are mutually reinforcing.  As capital increasingly prefers CC investments, the business schools will increasingly teach the four pillars.  As greater results are achieved by consultants operating under the CC paradigm, business media will promote thesis stories, causing professional associations to spread the paradigm shift more broadly, generating more opportunities for capital, case studies for business schools, stories for media - and so on.

 

Ultimately, if these five domains can be brought into alignment with the four pillars, the paradigm shift we seek would become a foregone conclusion.  Therefore, increasing this alignment locally and nationally is critical aspect of the mission of the Conscious Capitalism chapters.  Indeed, the work we are doing already to host events and educate the business community have begun this critical work, but many chapters are operating without a clear strategy.  Distinguishing these five domains can help chapter leaders to focus their efforts on strategic opportunities we can leverage to advance the purpose of the Conscious Capitalism Movement.

Conscious Capitalism Registration: Early Bird Special

Join together with CEOs and their executive teams, entrepreneurs, coaches, consultants and others who are passionate about Conscious Capitalism. In addition to high-potency keynotes and meaningful opportunities to connect with other participants, the major focus of the event is hands on practicums designed to deepen your practice of Conscious Capitalism. Come prepared to build and strengthen friendships and foster collaborative relationships. Our 8th annual spring event will energize and activate you and your team!


Register at CC2016Register  before 12/31/15 and receive a special early bird discount of almost $500!
More information at: consciouscapitalism.org/CC2016 or contact info@consciouscapitalism.org

Sustainable Agriculture: From Farm, to Table, to Higher Purpose

The Alliance Center for Sustainable Colorado is pleased to partner with the Colorado Chapter of Conscious Capitalism in hosting a panel event on October 27, 2015 from 6:00 pm-8:00 pm.

 

Sustainable Agriculture: From Farm, to Table, to Higher Purpose

October 27, 2015 from 6:00 pm-8:00 pm
The Alliance Center for Sustainable Colorado

1536 Wynkoop Street

Denver, Colorado 80202

 

Click here to RSVP

 

Colorado already demonstrates leadership in Sustainable Agriculture.  It’s time to share the best practices that we can all endorse and adapt -- from food production and distribution, to retail and service – whether we’re attending as consumers or savvy businesses looking to improve our multiple bottom lines.

In this inspiring panel discussion, four Colorado leaders use the Conscious Capitalism lens to share how their organizations implement business practices that elevate the quality of life for all stakeholders. You’ll hear from:

John-Paul Maxfield, Founder and CEO, Waste Farmers   

Hunter Lovins, Founder and President, Natural Capitalism Solutions

Seleyn DeYarus, CEO, Americas Best Organics, Inc.

Jeffrey Su, President and CEO,  Plains Conservation Center

 

Moderated by

Blake Angelo,  Manager of Food System Development, Office of Economic Development, City and County of Denver.


Find out from successful Colorado leaders:

  • Specific examples of how their organization’s purpose guides overall business strategy/model

  • Examples of excellent stakeholder value creation, tough moments for leaders to take the "high road"

  • Their biggest challenge to become a conscious leader in business and practical suggestions as to how leaders can become more conscious

  • How they built their organizational culture and the value of that for business, the individuals who work there, and other stakeholders


Join us on October 27th, from 6:00 pm-8:00 pm at The Alliance Center FOR SUSTAINABLE COLORADO to explore your appetite for this topic.  

Click here to RSVP

2015 CEO Summit

ceosummit

The 9th Annual Conscious Capitalism CEO Summit will take place in Austin Texas on October 6-8, 2015.  This exclusive event is for Presidents and CEO’s of companies with at least $5 Million in annual revenues.  If you fit that bill, this is the event to meet world renowned thought leaders, trail-blazing CEOs and other leadership luminaries.  The event is designed to support pioneering CEOs in their journey as conscious leaders.

Registration link: http://www.consciouscapitalism.org/engage/event/4582

Who: CEOs and Presidents

When: October 6-8, 2015

Where: Hyatt Lost Pines Resort, Austin, TX

Cost:  $3990.  Includes event registration, accommodations and meals.

The Conscious Capitalism CEO Summit is designed for pioneering CEOs who conduct their business in a different way from the norm. They focus foremost on fulfilling the deeper purpose of their organizations and creating value for all of their stakeholders - including customers, employees, communities and natural ecosystems (not just their shareholders). And they cultivate cultures that support people to learn, grow, develop and flourish.

 The 2015 Summit is designed to support them on their ongoing journey and, in the annual CEO Summit tradition, promises to be a rich and deep experience.

We invite you to join 200+ other CEOs committed to continually becoming more conscious in their role as leader and to bringing the principles of Conscious Capitalism to life in their companies.


Winning Without Losing

Conscious Capitalism Colorado is very pleased to announce a very special event with Martin Bjergegaard on the morning of June 11, 2015.  Tickets are available here.

Who is Martin?
Martin Bjergegaard is one of Europe’s top entrepreneurs. Martin and his team have launched 20 start-ups so far, exited 5 of them, closed 5, and are presently running a portfolio of 10 companies across their offices in London, Copenhagen, and Berlin. They have approximately 200 team members and yearly revenues of $40m.  Martin will speak at an event for Denver's startups, entrepreneurs, and the rest of the business community.

What is he going to talk about?
We have always been told, “success requires sacrifice”. Martin never felt comfortable with that mindset, and neither did Canadian entrepreneur and writer, Jordan Milne. In 2010, they started searching the globe for a new kind of role model: those who had found a way to build wildly successful companies, while simultaneously living happy and balanced lives.  The results of that search have been published in a book that is already a best seller in more than 30 countries and has been named the UK’s management book of the year: Winning Without Losing.  The book will be available at the event, and is also on Amazon here.

Martin will share some of what he has learned both from his experience as an entrepreneur, and from his interviews with role modles from around the world.

Do I get to meet him?
Martin will give a brief presentation, engage the audience in a discussion, and sign copies of his book.  So yes, you get to meet him (he's pretty cool).

Where is this thing going to be?
The Commons on Champa is Denver’s brand new hub for entrepreneurship in Downtown Denver. Check it out.  Parking is available on the street or in the Denver Performing Arts Center garage.

Who is involved?
Conscious Capitalism Colorado is partnering with Conscious Company Magazine, and Colorado Lending Source to put on this event.  

Questions?
If you'd like to become a sponsor, or if you'd like to talk about bulk ticket sales, please get in touch: nathan (dot) havey (at) gmail (dot) com.

 

We Want YOU!

Join us  
May 21st from 6:30 - 8:30 PM
at the Brown Palace Hotel, Denver


We are in the process of forming a new chapter of Conscious Capitalism in Colorado and we want YOU to help us create a new business-as-usual in the Centennial State. 

Our May 21st meeting is open to anyone who believes that business can be a force for good and who simply isn’t satisfied with the status quo.

This "Organizer Meeting" will include an introduction to Conscious Capitalism and an overview of our Chapter’s purpose. Then, for those who want to help organize, we will end by getting down to work.  We are incredibly excited to see you there and have some FUN getting this movement going in Colorado!

Conscious Capitalism is based on four core tenants:

  • Higher Purpose: Businesses should have a purpose beyond making profit.
  • Stakeholder Orientation: Businesses should create value for all of their stakeholders, not just their shareholders,
  • Conscious Leadership: Business leaders must deliberately open up their blind spots and never stop growing.
  • Conscious Culture: Workplace culture should be based on inspiration, love and common effort, not coercion and fear.

Research suggests that companies organized around those four tenants actually achieve and sustain far greater returns than their profit-focused competitors. This is a framework for a new and more broadly prosperous business-as-usual that leads to successful businesses, greater fulfillment, and a better world for us all.

For more information on the National organization you can see our Reflections from the annual conference or the National Conscious Capitalism website.

If you'd like to learn more OR be a part of the team developing this idea in Colorado, then this meeting is for you. Come and see what's happening, then plug in if you like what you see.

Please confirm your attendence for the May 21st event either on our MeetUp page or by sending an RSVP email to rachel@racheldavis.biz.

 

Reflections from Conscious Capitalism 2015

It was a downright gloomy week in Chicago.  Rain and mist hung in the air. Puddles accumulated on the sidewalks. The tops of buildings were hidden by a thick bank of clouds.

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Inside the JW Marriott however, a gathering of incredible people from across the United States and around the world provided the warmth and energy that was missing outside.  The four tenants of Conscious Capitalism provide a roadmap to reclaiming the ethical foundation of capitalism, awakening business people to the higher purpose business must serve and thereby facilitating the next great leap for humanity.

The Conscious Capitalism conference draws an incredible group of visionary business leaders, managers, and consultants who know that a better way of doing business is on the rise.  They come to learn from thought leaders, to raise the bar for themselves, and to put their experiences to use when they return home.  This year, the conference focus seemed to be on conscious leadership.


Tony Schwartz was the first keynote presentation.  His work at The Energy Project is essential learning for operating effectively as a human, and is well worth the time to explore and practice.

Tony emphasized that stress is not a bad thing until it loses its balance with recovery.  It is the balance between the two and the dominance of neither that must be our goal.  Performance is a function not of the number of hours worked, but of the energy in those hours.

In our society, adequate recovery is usually lacking.  95% of human beings require at least seven hours of sleep to be fully rested.  2.5% need more, and a mere 2.5% of humans are fully rested on less than 7 hours’ sleep.  Americans sleep an average of 6.5 hours per night.  But top performers get an average of 8.5 hours.  Tony emphasized the importance of taking frequent breaks during the workday and even making naps a regular habit for peak performance.

For most of his presentation, Tony focused on a new framework he is developing.  He said that being able to see more and exclude less is what it means to raise consciousness.  He invited the audience to consider that the strengths we own with pride as an essential part of leadership are not virtues.  In fact, unless they are balanced by their opposite, these strengths can become weaknesses.

He presented a side by side list of strengths with their balancing opposites and asked the crowd to take a look deep within to see what there was to learn about our own leadership in this concept.

He took several questions including one from someone who understands and sees the importance of his work, but finds that in times of stress and upset it is very difficult to live it.  Tony said he could relate and told stories about when it happens to him.  He said that when we feel threatened, we devolve and stop caring about how anyone else feels.  He had two specific pieces of advice:

#1 – When you get upset, you were triggered by something, and the golden rule of triggers is: Whatever you feel like doing, don’t.

#2 – You have a viewpoint about what is true, but it is important to ask yourself what else might also be true.  Take a moment and look for what you might be missing.

That advice requires a well-developed self-awareness and a healthy dose of humility.  Of the latter, Tony reminded us that “humility is not thinking less of yourself, its thinking more of others.”


Simon Sineck was next to take the stage to share his new study of leadership.  He observed that leadership in most companies is very misunderstood.  In most companies, people are promoted because they are skilled at a particular job.  But in their new position they micromanage and drive people crazy because they still think they are responsible for the work and not the workers. 

Simon argues that junior staff ought to be responsible for the work, while leaders are responsible for the people.  Yet no one really teaches leaders how to do that, and it requires a completely different perspective.

Simon asserted that a team’s performance is determined by the environment it is working in.  Therefore it is the leader’s job to establish an environment for performance.  He said that such an environment must have trust and cooperation.  He joked that trust and cooperation are not instructions.  You cannot order people to do either.  They are feelings and they arise genuinely or not at all. 

Simon emphasized that creating safety is the key to a strong performance environment.  When people feel safe they collaborate.  When they don’t feel safe, they look after their own self-interest.  So a leader must make a team feel safe, but most carrot-and-stick, fear-based management “best practices” do just the opposite.

Among the more powerful comments he made was the reminder that leadership is a choice, not a rank and that the cost of leadership is self-interest.  He said that leaders must be able to communicate a vision so that others can see it too.  That’s why “more” doesn’t work as a vision.  He said that a good vision and purpose act as a finish line people want to reach.

As usual, Simon’s presentation was replete with poignant examples and was constructed on a solid foundation of brain science and evolutionary narrative.  His book Leaders Eat Last has more.


Bob Chapman is the CEO of Barry Wehmiller, a $2 Billion company with more than $8,500 employees that has achieved a 16.9% compound growth in share price since 1998.  But that is not why he was invited to speak at Conscious Capitalism.  He may also have gone further that any other CEO in embodying the conscious leadership Simon described.

He opened his presentation with an interesting finding from Gallup; the number one determinant of happiness is a good job – meaningful work among people we care about.  Then he added some disquieting facts about work in America.  Three out of four people are disengaged, seven out of eight believe their company doesn’t care about them, and three out of five are physically depleted, emotionally drained, mentally distracted and lacking in meaning and purpose.  In other words, our workplaces are killing us.  Stressed, unhappy people are heading home at the end of each day.

Under Bob’s leadership Barry Wehmiller proves that business leaders can address this crisis.  He’s caught the attention and earned the admiration of Harvard’s Amy Cuddy, Simon Sineck and Conscious Capitalism’s Raj Sisodia who is co-authoring a book with Bob called Everybody Matters.  Bob has developed ten principles for people-centric culture.

1.     Begin every day with a focus on the lives you

2.     Leadership is the stewardship of the lives entrusted to you.

3.     Embrace leadership practices that send people home safe, healthy and fulfilled.

4.     Align all actions to an inspiring vision of a better future.

5.     Trust is the foundation of all relationships…act accordingly.

6.     Look for the goodness in people and recognize and celebrate daily.

7.     Ask no more or less of anyone than you would of your own child.

8.     Lead with a clear sense of grounded optimism.

9.     Recognize and flex to the uniqueness of everyone

10.  Always measure success by the way you touch the lives of people.

He talked about the importance of listening.  They teach listening so well at their corporate university that people from outside of the company frequently try to get in.  90% of the feedback they receive about the program is about how much it has affected the family life of the attendees.

In one story, Bob recounted the experience of one middle-aged man who worked as a machinist in one of his facilities in the Midwest.  The man would get off of work and go home, usually in a foul mood.  He would open the door and toss his hat inside.  If it stayed in, he was allowed to enter.  If it came back out, it meant that his wife was not willing to deal with him, and he would proceed down the road to the bar for the evening.  The hat usually came back out. 

Bob met this man after Barry Wehmiller had acquired the company and established its signature culture there.  Bob asked how things were going and the man said “My wife is talking to me”.  When Bob said he didn’t understand, the man told Bob about his hat, and then explained that he no longer needed to throw it in the door when he come home.  He was happy.  He learned how to listen, and his marriage transformed.

In another story, one of the employees at the different facility was found to be padding his expense reports, essentially stealing from the company.  Even at very people-centric companies, that would mean immediate termination – but not at Barry Wehmiller.  The employee was summoned into a meeting and was told that he’d been found out.  But rather than showing hi the door, they asked him what was going on.  He confessed that he was in the middle of an ugly divorce, that his accounts had been frozen and that his only means of feeding himself was the company card.  From this understanding, his managers established a plan that would allow the employee to meet his basic needs and eventually pay back the money he had stolen. 

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Unlike most other conferences I’ve attended, Conscious Capitalism isn’t about presenting interesting information.  It demonstrates an alternate narrative for understanding the role of business in society.  It represents a paradigm shift that is taking place in capitalism.

Each night as I left the JW Marriott I found myself gazing up at the towers that surrounded me.  The streets were quiet and the buildings dark – but in a few hours it would all roar back to life.  So many people come to work here every day, and their actions have such far-reaching impact on the lives of countless others inside their companies and beyond, not to mention their families and ultimately, themselves.  What do they think when arrive in the morning?  For what purpose do they come?

I suspect we could all do well to keep that question top of mind.  Capitalism has been the greatest force for prosperity the world has ever known.  It has also inflicted serious harm.  Even so, through it we can address many of our most pressing challenges in a matter of years, not decades.  All that is required is that we see the false idle of profit maximization for what it is, and find our true purpose beyond it.  This is the promise of Conscious Capitalism, this is why I will continue to attend these conferences, and this is why I encourage you to do the same.

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By Nathan Havey, Thrive Consulting Group.
No rights reserved.