Conscious Capitalism In John Mackey's Whole Foods Market

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The terms “conscious” and “capitalism” are seldom used together; however, John Mackey, the Co-CEO of Whole Foods Market, has started a movement known as Conscious Capitalism that has the power to change the way businesses operate. For years, many vilify businesses due to their reputation of merciless methods of earning profits. In fact, the Merriam Webster dictionary defines capitalism as, “an economic and political system in which a country’s trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit”. Mackey introduces a new concept and meaning for businesses in his book Conscious Capitalism: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business stating that there is a higher purpose for companies than generating profit. Higher purpose, conscious leadership, conscious culture, and stakeholder orientation are the four key tenants of practice to becoming a conscious capitalist company. After attending the trips on the Dallas Study Tour, I was able to witness how various companies operated and how their cultures were aligned with conscious capitalism.
Higher Purpose
The core values of a company are what drive and inspire those associated with the brand. Their purpose is a statement and reason for existence to make a difference in the world. Operating a business should be more than just earning profits. In fact, profit is not the sole purpose of a company; rather, it is creating value and improving the lives of those involved in the organization.
Mary Kay was founded on having a higher purpose to allow women everywhere to find their own personal and financial success. Their belief is that any woman can build their own business that will benefit their lives free of any restrictions. The company gives women the potential to become independ...

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The Conscious Capitalist movement has had a great impact on how businesses operate. Companies such as The Container Store and Mackey’s Whole Foods are proven the success of organizations with a higher purpose. There are 95 million Millennials in America, the majority of which are actively involved in social media. They are strong proponents of businesses incorporating social responsibility and are willing to spend more with companies that support a greater cause (Horovitz, 2013). For too long, capitalism has gained a negative reputation. To gain the trust of the American society, organizations must rethink the way they manage their businesses. Conscious Capitalism is here to stay and will only continue to grow because of its proven financial success, consumer encouragement, and because it is simply the right way organizations should operate.
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