Raj Sisodia – Co-founder & Co-Chairman, Conscious Capitalism

Raj Sisodia Podcast Interview

Dr. Raj Sisodia is one of the thought leaders of the Conscious Capitalism movement globally. His book Firms of Endearment: How World Class Companies Profit from Passion and Purpose is considered a foundational work in explaining the precepts and performance implications of pursuing a conscious approach to business. In this episode of the Built On Purpose Podcast, Raj Sisodia talks about the future of capitalism, the divine capacity of human beings, and a whole lot more.

Show highlights:

  • What seeds were planted in Raj’s upbringing that led to how he views the world today
  • How Raj spent 5 years of going to school to be an electrical engineer, and spent a total of 29 days working as an engineer
  • How the book, Firms Of Endearment ultimately came to be
  • Raj’s involvement in Conscious Capitalism
  • Shakti Leadership
  • Raj’s take on the future of capitalism

Show links:

Here’s a few of the transcribed highlights from the interview:

As we think about capitalism, and as you beat the drum loudly for Conscious Capitalism, what do you sense is the future of capitalism?

I think it’s an interesting moment that we’re in. One on hand there is rising recognition of the power of this system and what it has done. Especially in the last 200 years that we’ve had it. Dramatic changes and huge impacts on the human population. Life expectancy and literacy have risen along with that.

At the same time, there’s rising consciousness about some of those unintended consequences or side effects on the negative things that have happened. Because it has come at a price. If you look at public health, if you look at what’s happened to the environment, if you look at what’s happening to species. There’s a lot of evidence that we are doing things in a way that is certainly not sustainable. We’ve had an extractive mindset and relied upon non-renewable resources.

We’ve also extracted from human beings. We’ve called people human resources, and we’ve treated them like that. When you do that, it’s like a lump of coal. A resource will burn out.

But the fact is that human beings are the source. We have to figure out how to channel that extraordinary power that’s in people. When they are inspired. When they are operating with purpose and meaning. This mindset shift is about getting away from the extractive mindset, and towards this idea of aligning people and connecting them to their higher source of purpose. And then generating the kinds of change that we will need. We cannot deliver prosperity to those who have already become accustomed to it. And to the billions who still don’t have it.

We talk about the number of people who are living on less than $1.25 a day. It’s down to 13 or 14 percent, down from 80 to 90 percent of what it was historically. And that’s great. But the number of people living on less than $3 a day is still about 3 billion. That’s almost half the world’s population. By no means can we say “mission accomplished” and declare victory. There’s a lot more to be done. The fact is that if you simply spread the existing way of doing things, the way that we achieved this prosperity in the West in the last hundred years, if we try to replicate that on a global scale for 7 to 9 billion people, we will destroy our planet and destroy each other in the process.

We need to reinvent just about everything. Every major aspect of our lives, whether it’s energy or food or transportation. It has to be reinvented. Where is that going to come from? It’s going to come from human ingenuity. When does human ingenuity get engaged? When people are feeling safe. When people feel inspired. When people have a sense of shared purpose.

Traditional organizations where the vast majority of people are disengaged. Where most people feel that the company doesn’t care about them as human beings. Where that toxicity is then spreading into their children and families and their communities. Because when you feel a certain way at work, that effects everything.

There’s a sense of urgency that unless we change all of that, we are not going to be able to tap into what is really our only hope in this world. Which is human ingenuity to help us find new answers to every question.

I think the way that we best do that is by creating these types of conscious organizations that provide the conditions under which human beings can flourish and yield the extraordinary gifts that they are carrying.

It’s like an energy inside an atom was locked away for all of history, until just a few decades ago we discovered a way to release that energy. It literally blew us away. And that’s inside human beings. Far more in fact. Human beings have a divine capacity. But most of us die with our music still inside us. It never gets released.

And the fact is that human beings are becoming more capable and more intelligent. But our organizations are suppressing them. The average person today would have been in the top 2% in terms of IQ in 1935. They would have been considered a near genius. That’s the average person today. How many geniuses do we have in the world?

But it doesn’t matter if you don’t have the education, the capital, the tools, the team. All of the pieces are there, but we have to be the designers of the system so that we can then deploy that towards our shared well being. That’s the big opportunity that we have right now.

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