In this third installment from the seven-part video discussion series between authors Marc Gafni and John Mackey, they discuss Conscious Capitalism and the contribution that comes from changing the narrative of businesses into a more conscious and positive one. Marc also points to how John is actually modeling the experience of living from Unique Self when he shifts into the storyteller mode of the sage telling us the new narrative of business.
Watch these two leaders and authors of new books (Conscious Capitalism and Your Unique Self) modeling creative dialogue and living Unique Self throughout this seven-part video series available here in one installment per week as well as on John Mackey’s blog and read a partial transcript.
John Mackey is Chairman and CEO of Whole Foods Market, and Co-Chair of the Center for World Spirituality Board of Trustees.
From the video discussion between John Mackey and Marc Gafni on Conscious Capitalism:
John Mackey (12:45): …the non-profit sector of society is much closer to the business sector because what they have in common is that they are both based on voluntary exchange – that no one HAS to donate to an organization – they do so because they believe in the goals and purposes. Government on the other hand is fundamentally coercive. It is not voluntary. It has a role to play. I am not saying we can’t get by without government, but it is not necessarily the good guy involved in public service. Because it is no longer voluntary. It is coercive. And therefore it has an element of danger to it. So, I would change the narrative to seeing business and non-profits as both having higher purpose – of creating value in this world. There are certain things the non-profit sector can do that the business sector can’t do. Business sector – if it can’t make money at something it fundamentally isn’t sustainable for business. Therefore we need the non-profit sector to take on some of the challenges and problems that are in our society. So, both are necessary and both have important roles to play. Both are voluntary. And so, both help create solutions to the problems that we find in our society. Whereas government fundamentally is based on coercion, violence, guns – ultimately.
Marc Gafni (14:04): So, narrative matters…
John Mackey: It does matter. The narrative of business needs to change. That’s why I wrote “Conscious Capitalism”.
Marc Gafni: Story matters. And changing the narrative of business to a conscious capitalism narrative changes the game. When business becomes aware of itself… Evolution is always happening, but at some point evolution awakens to itself and we realize the world is evolving. Business has always have a by-product of creating an up-lifting, a raising out of poverty but now when business becomes conscious of itself a) business can actually begin to do it in a much more intentional way – it can be much more effective and b) business almost doesn’t have a choice now – because if business doesn’t awake to its own nature, in a society that is defined by virtual communication in which stories are being told all the time the narrative of business will be hijacked and made into an insidious and negative narrative which will undermine the essential trust.
John Mackey: It has been hijacked. Now we’ve got to recapture it.
Marc Gafni: Conscious Capitalism is about liberating and retelling the story. In my tradition they say: God loves stories. We have an obligation to tell stories. We tell stories around the campfire – because we are transmitting values through telling the stories. And the way I understand your work in Conscious Capitalism – which is really an expression of your Unique Self. Part of your Unique Self is – and that kind of brings the two ideas together in the particular dance of this moment – is to tell the story of business, to be a narrator, to sit around the campfire of culture and tell the story.
John Mackey: To give a more conscious positive narrative for business – for itself and for the world. The subtitle of the book is “Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business.” Business is fundamentally ultimately heroic. It is lifting people out of poverty. It is solving problems in this world. It is helping humanity to prosper and advance. It is fundamentally heroic.
Marc Gafni: Yes, and I want to point to – this is exactly the way to understand the idea of Unique Self – it is the exact energy you have had the last 7 minutes talking about this which is very calm, centered, clear, telling the story, and fully in your purpose, relaxed, and yet with power, with direction. That’s the experience of living your Unique Self. And you can actually sense the shift in your energy as you stepped into the storyteller mode, as the sage, as we’ve had in every generation. We don’t have campfire now. So, we need a new campfire… So, I just want to point to… the modeling… of Unique Self. This is what it looks like for a person to live their Unique Self.