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There are lots and lots of people who are affected by your company. Even if you’re a super small business, you still have yourself, your family, customers and partners.

As you grow, you’ll include employees, their families, and an ever-growing array of people to whom you deliver value.

This is why the concept of “stakeholders” is so powerful. Typically we’d talk about shareholders, but that’s a really limited view of success and impact. Focusing too much on shareholders is dangerous, and can lead you to some really unbalanced decisions.

My best clients realize that their business also contributes to the larger community. I’m not just talking about charitable donations, either. They’re making a powerful difference to peoples’ quality of life and helping to solve larger problems. Read the rest of this entry »

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A new business concept is spreading around the world. You might know it under the labels “conscious”, “mission-driven”, “values-based”, “socially conscious”, or “benefit corporation.”

But it’s really not that new. In some ways, it’s a return to the days when businesses were an integral part of the community–not just treating them as consumers from which money is to be extracted.

Milton Friedman captured our current philosophy of business pretty well back in 1970: Read the rest of this entry »

piggybankMoney is a part of our culture that can be highly sensitive. For instance, it’s impolite to ask someone how much they make in their job or the size of their retirement savings.

And yes, I know that the biblical reference is that the love of money is the root of all evil, but it seems we’ve decided that money itself is a demonic force.

Here’s the truth:  money, in whatever form, is just a tool. It doesn’t matter if it’s cash in your wallet, or digits in a bank account, or access to others’ capital.

Read the rest of this entry »

Summer can be a great chance not just to relax, but to do some activities that we might not otherwise engage in.

Links mentioned:

And don’t forget to sign up for the November Colorado Coaching Conference before the early bird rate expires!  We have some fabulous speakers and activities this year.

cc_coloradochapter-logoI had fun this morning giving a presentation to the local 1 Million Cups chapter about Conscious Capitalism.  There was some great discussion about all these companies out there trying to make the world a better place.

One of the problems this has, though, is terminology.  I started calling it Values Based Businesses on my blog four years ago.  You’ll also hear about “mission driven” and “purpose driven” companies, and “values based” investing. Read the rest of this entry »

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