Ayn Rand was wrong. The form of shareholder capitalism that businesses have been practicing for years and that many business leaders have been taught is not only misguided, it’s badly misaligned with what we know of human nature. It’s even contrary to objective reality. While we spend nearly a third of our waking lives at work, many of us feel dissatisfied and disengaged in our jobs. Or worse, we’re sleepwalking, doing only what we must to collect a paycheck. Wouldn’t it be great to come to work excited to make a contribution and go home feeling fulfilled?
In this groundbreaking book, Gavin Watson explores the principles of Conscious Capitalism, based on two decades of research in the fields of positive psychology, organizational psychology, and evolutionary biology. Conscious Capitalism rejects the toxic myth of neoliberal economics. In fact, a group of collaborative individuals will out-perform a group of selfish individuals every time. It is not selfishness but cooperative, generous, and altruistic behavior that is the basis of our success as a species, and the key to a high-performing business.
Watson shows how the four principles of Conscious Capitalism create a culture of trust and caring that in turn leads to higher engagement and productivity. Conscious businesses maximize autonomy, foster intrinsically rewarding work, and encourage individuality and flexible leadership. We flourish when we bring our whole selves to work, and so do our companies.
What People are Saying
Why I Wrote This Book
For years I struggled to explain to management why a less hierarchical, more autonomous and self organizing system would outperform the standard business system without needing artifacts like org charts and performance reviews. Why choosing customers carefully and working with them collaboratively works better than selling to everyone who asks for a quote. And why strategic planning is generally a waste of time and an impediment to progress. Once I understood why Conscious Capitalism and other similar systems work so well, I just had to share it.
The current economic belief system causes a great deal of misery and is a zero sum game. It’s an objectively false paradigm that says, “if you have more, I have less.” The results are unfulfilling lives in the present and fewer resources stretching out into a bleak future.
The book presents an alternative pathway to more for everyone now, and a healthier earth for future generations.It is based upon a proven truth and simple concept; altruistic groups will outcompete selfish groups. There is no net sacrifice needed except to address individual selfish actors as they arise, and hold them accountable.
Our social belief systems have an enormous effect on the quality of our lives and the way we manage resources and ecosystems. The truth is, humans are naturally self organizing, fiercely egalitarian, compassionate, and generous creatures. Our brains intrinsically reward us for good group behavior because our past success depended on us being good group members, raising up the next generation and caring for their future success.
The planet’s future and our collective future depends on us successfully re-discovering and reinstalling the human design paradigm back into our social operating systems. Altruistic business, as I now understand it, is fundamental to the survival and future success of the global human tribe.
Learning this, and wanting others to learn it, I was compelled to write this book.