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Good Business B


usiness is fundamentally good, John Mackey and Raj Sisodia write in Conscious Capital- ism. While capitalism may seem under

attack from public perception, the authors provide convincing arguments that free-enterprise capital- ism is at its core naturally good for the economy and community, particularly once profit maximiza- tion is no longer the ultimate goal. “This is what we know to be true,” Mackey and Sisodia write. “Business is good because it creates value, it is ethi- cal because it is based on voluntary exchange, it is noble because it can elevate our existence, and it is heroic because it lifts people out of poverty and creates prosperity.” In its first few chapters, Conscious Capitalism

does a great job of championing the value of busi- ness in society. With data on economic, educational and social changes that have occurred since free-en- terprise capitalism became the dominant economic model, Mackey and Sisodia illustrate the beneficial power of business. By convincing the reader that yes, business by nature is good, one is ready to ac- cept the challenge to aspire to even more. “Let us not be afraid to climb higher,” the authors write. Mackey, the principal author of Conscious Capi-

talism, is co-founder and CEO of Whole Foods Market, and his experience there heavily influences the book. Often, he cites his own “typical” business goals of growth, higher profits, and greater market share, showing how those ideals could be integrated with loftier goals of educating the public about healthier eating, developing more humane sources of meat, and encouraging local food sources. Whole Foods Market is retail; metalcasters

are tier 1 through tier 4 manufacturers, and while the book does not make much of a connection to conscious capitalism for manufacturing, much of the advice and instruction could apply. According to Mackey, one of the main tenets to becoming a conscious business is to discover a higher pur- pose, which can fall into four categories: the good (service to others), the true (discover and furthering of human knowledge), the beautiful (excellence and the creation of beauty), and the heroic (courage to do what is right to change and improve the world). Your company’s purpose should align with some- thing about which you feel strongly and with which your employees, customers, and suppliers also could align themselves. By incorporating a higher purpose into the business’ general goal of making money, your company may achieve greater things than you had thought plausible.

“Each business must strive to fi nd and fulfi ll the purpose that is

embedded within its own collective DNA. Just as some individuals set great purposes for themselves and eventually achieve greatness, we

believe that the best companies in the world have great purposes too. ”

Metalcasters’ Translation: If your business has been around for several years, remembering

that fi rst spark that started the company can be diffi cult. But work- ing collaboratively with your employees, suppliers and customers can help you fi nd that purpose. If you are a metalcaster, that could mean providing high quality castings while always meeting deadlines, striving to expand the capabilities of the metalcasting process and its alloys, or committing to fi nding more environmentally friendly ways of producing castings.


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