In 2019, the Business Roundtable announced that the purpose of business was no longer to maximize profits for shareholders. The new purpose of business would be to maximize value for stakeholders. While the announcement was applauded by many, charges of hypocrisy quickly followed as the practices of many Business Roundtable member companies suddenly seemed to contradict the new more egalitarian purpose they had proclaimed.
A year later, if anything is becoming clear, it is that what the world is coming to know as “stakeholder capitalism”, lacks a clear definition against which to assess the performance of a firm, or even an economy.
This lack of definition is not the result of a lack of attempts. For years a wide variety of thought leaders and pioneering practitioners have been refining models and frameworks to define a new paradigm for business. But none has broken into the mainstream.
In response to this situation, a team comprised of members from a variety of organizations working within the “business as a force for good” movement attempted to create a common definition of the end-state they were all working to achieve. Their work resulted in a brand-agnostic framework, endorsed by all, that identified six essential competencies of a business in the new paradigm.
In 10 binge-able episodes, this podcast will introduce, illustrate and popularize an ambitious and actionable definition for stakeholder capitalism.
Amanda Kathryn Roman is a life-long convener and builder of infrastructure to scale a wide variety of movements you’ve heard of, and some you have not. Most recently she was the Chief Innovation Office for Conscious Capitalism where she joined the frenzy of activity happening all around the world to catalyze an expanded paradigm of capitalism. In 2018, she and Nathan Havey co-founded the year-long, comprehensive certification program for consultants of Conscious Capitalism
Nathan Havey has been a leader of, participant-in content provider for, and strategic consultant to many of the major entities in the “business as a force for good movement”. A host and storyteller by training and passion, he has produced powerful live storytelling experiences in more than a dozen US cities and he wrote and directed the upcoming feature documentary Beyond Zero, and has been learning and refining a library.
Nathan and Amanda believe that each of the stories in this mini-series should be legend in business circles, and yet they are continually shocked to meet people, including some of the celebrity-status thought leaders and pioneering practitioners in their circles are unaware that these stories exist. That must change.
Stakeholder Capitalism and The Economics of Mutuality
Originally released on September 13, 2020, the 50th anniversary of Milton Friedman’s NYTimes Magazine article, Episode 1 of 10 Things You Should Know About Stakeholder Capitalism introduces the series and its hosts, Amanda Kathryn Roman and Nathan Havey and features Jay Jakub discussing the story behind the Economics of Mutuality.Amanda met Jay after a mutual friend introduced them simply because he thought they would hit it off. They did, and soon Amanda was helping Jay to share his incredible journey with CEO’s all around the country.If your company is interested in learning more about how to implement these ideas in your business, have a look at the brand new Economics of Mutuality consulting arm.You can listen to more music by the artists we featured in the episode here.OHNOKHANMr. MooJo Blankenberg
The Firms of Endearment
Originally released on September 20, 2020, Episode 2 features the story of Raj Sisodia’s journey of writing the book Firms of Endearment. The research for the book uncovered the startling discovery that stakeholder capitalism management practices resulted in a 14 to 1 performance advantage over a 15-year time period.Since the publication of Firms of Endearment Raj has co-authored a series of excellent books that help business leaders to go deeper into these game-changing ideas:Conscious CapitalismEverybody Matters (You’ll be hearing more about this in Episode 4)Shakti Leadership The Conscious Capitalism Field GuideThe Healing OrganizationYou can listen to more music by the artists we featured in the episode here.Mr. MooSteven Gutheinz
Bags Fly Free
Originally released on September 27, 2020, Episode 3 features Marianne Malina, President of GSD&M telling the story of the fateful 2009 board meeting where Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelley chose to reject the tradeoff choice that led every other major air carrier to begin charging for the 1st and 2nd checked bag. What was pilloried by analysts at the time as an inexplicable rejection of much-needed cash, proved to be the smartest bet in the industry by the end of the year. It wasn’t just luck either. There is a method to Southwest’s “madness” and that is the 3rd thing you should know about stakeholder capitalism.The key is deliberately endeavoring to create value for each of your company’s stakeholders and then rejecting the framing that leads to what appears to be a tradeoff choice between stakeholders. Do that well, and you’ll find opportunity after opportunity for innovation. The tool we mentioned in the episode that can help companies learn to do this is a simple framework developed by Tim Kelley and Nathan Havey that helps a management team to self-assess how they are doing with stakeholder engagement.This story is more than a decade old, but Southwest is still at it in many ways. You can listen to more music by the artists we featured in the episode here.ØHNØKH△NGenerdynAnalog HeartMr. Moo
Originally released on October 4, 2020, Episode 4 tells the story of Interface from 1994 through 2019, a period during which the petroleum-dependent company would innovate circles around its competitors reducing its carbon footprint 96% and building a new operating model designed to go beyond minimizing environmental harm to actually maximizing environmental benefit, pulling carbon out of the atmosphere and locking it away in its materials and products.This story is powerful and has inspired many other game-changing business leaders to do business in a way that rejects trade-off decisions that contribute to environmental degradation and climate change. That’s why Nathan made a movie about it. Its called Beyond Zero, and you can check out the trailer below and learn more at BeyondZeroFilm.comIf you like the tunes in the episode you can listen to more music by the artists we featured.GenerdynAnalog HeartYoung OceansDavid A MolinaChris ColemanLive Footage
Originally released on October 11, 2020, Episode 5 tells the story of Barry Wehmiller which, during the long tenure of CEO Bob Chapman, has grown into a $3 Billion global enterprise. For the last couple of decades, Chapman and his team have been focused on creating a culture of trust and caring that aims to help people discover their gifts, develop their gifts, and be appreciated for doing so. The 5th thing you should know about stakeholder capitalism is that corporate culture can be a tremendous positive force to foster human development and wellbeing. And that when companies make that the goal of their workplace, major performance advantages accrue. Barry Whemiller has employed this strategy to complete more than 110 acquisitions worldwide, nearly all of them profitable. There is much more to the story in a book called Everybody Matters and a short documentary film by the same title. Barry Wehmillers Corporate training programs can be found at Chapman and Co. The Methodology used in the corporate training is available to non-profits, government offices, and other community focused organisations through Our Community Listens. Bob Chapman has a lot of additional free resources at Truly Human Leadership.If you like the tunes in the episode you can listen to more music by the artists we featured. ØHNØKH△N Chad Lawson Longlake Airplanes
Originally released on October 18, 2020, Episode 6 of 10 Things You Should Know About Stakeholder Capitalism tells the story of Christin Swansinger, one of an estimated 17 million Americans that has been sent to prison. Christin got out and like ⅔ of people who are released from prison, she reoffended and was sent back in.That’s when Christin met Televerde, a call center that operates inside of several prisons in the U.S. that provide excellent service to their customers while helping inmates to establish a foundation that will set them up for success after their release.In 2019, the Conscious Capitalism Annual Conference came to Phoenix and Amanda and Nathan collaborated on a mainstage presentation that would use the power of storytelling to help the audience understand Televerde, and through it, one of the most harmful systems of descrimination that is hiding in plain sight in the vast majority of companies: The Box.Here are the stories in the order they were told on stage that night. Each one received a standing ovation.https://youtu.be/mfeFqF1Ft98 https://youtu.be/2lgwqnYScHI https://youtu.be/yCQypiV4B9o https://youtu.be/quSp1D70rx0 https://youtu.be/oGYWA7Z9wHQ This is just one example of the ways in which businesses are complicit in systemic discrimination, and of the opportunity and the power businesses have to counter, and even dismantle those same systems.If you liked the music we featured in this episode, you can find more of that here:Mr. Moo ØHNØKH△N Young Oceans