Whole Business

January 23rd, 2013

Maybe it was Gordon Gekko declaring that “greed is good,” or before that, Silent Cal Coolidge saying that “the business of America is business.” Or maybe it was simply the financial crash of 2008/2009? Whatever the reason, business today has an approval rating of about 19%...just about as bad as Congress.

But why? Business has been the great engine of progress of the American experience. From the Man in the Grey Flannel Suit to the jeans and turtlenecks of Steve Jobs. As David Brooks put it today, “America’s greatest innovations and commercial blessings were unforeseen. They emerged, bottom up, from tinkerers and business outsiders.”

So why does business get such a bad rap? Sure we idealize small business, but it’s big business that creates jobs, lifts people up and changes the culture.

John Mackey has been working on this problem, first in his own business, Whole Foods, and now in Conscious Capitalism: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business.

My conversation with John Mackey: