Conscious capitalist

Conscious capitalism became a movement in the last 10 years. It gained popular recognition as a book aptly written by entrepreneur John Mackey (Whole Foods) and academic Raj Sisodia. Whole Foods rode the wave of good corporate citizenship and eventually got acquired by Amazon. Other do-gooder companies such as Panera Bread have had successful exits.

I see an obsession in Silicon Valley with four things: innovation, customer success, corporate citizenship (given recent challenges), and huge exits. While customer success is the end game for anyone building a business, corporate citizenship is the glue that holds a company together. If the ultimate goal is a grandiose exit, it should happen with social impact in mind.

Conscious capitalism is something that has trickled down from the top of an organization. There is an annual CEO summit highlighting the need to align high-minded ethics with a growth story driven by customer success. CEOs like Mark Benioff exemplify this alignment and shape the ecosystem with programs like 1-1-1. Former CEOs like Chip Conley influence the next generation of entrepreneurs interested in growth and community impact.

For operators, there are forums such as Sustainable Brands and Business for Social Responsibility that focus on addressing global issues.

I believe that customers are the best source of inspiration for making the world a better place. Customer success leaders drive positive experiences on a daily basis and can influence internal stakeholders by sharing voices of conscientious customers (VoCC). Some customers really care about the planet. Companies like Patagonia have tapped into this unique demographic and build products accordingly.

Customer success can be aligned for social impact. A community forum is long overdue to begin these conversations.

Stay tuned!