The message of this book, well-presented and abundantly documented, is that we're on the threshold of a new era in corporate leadership. Aburdene, a veteran of authoring trends books going back to the original Megatrends with John Naisbitt, forecasts a growing movement toward socially responsible corporate policies as a counterbalance to the equally legitimate objective of earning a reasonable profit. "Welcome to the Dawn of Conscious Capitalism-a popular, decentralized, broad-based crusade to heal the excesses of capitalism with transcendent human values."
Enough with the greed, asserts Aburdene. The shift will be toward spirituality, social awareness, emphasis on values, and community service-for the corporations themselves and for their employees. Citing company after company that is actively committing to operating differently, Aburdene believes that "...the quest for Conscious Capitalism-that is, integrity, transparency, enlightened governance as well as higher social and environmental standards-is regaining momentum." This orientation is good for the world, the community, the company, and its people, she says, pointing out the moral companies often outperform the market.
People are changing, their expectations are changing, their behaviors are changing. People and organizations are transforming-which sounds like one of those "big bang" theories about cataclysmic change. Not so, says Aburdene. "...when we talk about transformation, it's not a shift from the profane to the sacred. What is transforming is our awareness. We are waking up and smelling the roses-that is, the presence of Spirit all around us-and the scent is both comforting and intoxicating."
This is what you will read in this Megatrends book. This is the story of The Spiritual Transformation of Capitalism currently underway. I'm not sure the movement is as strong as the author would have us believe, but we are hearing more about social responsibility in the corporate world. Whether the influence is coming from Sarbanes-Oxley or CEOs with higher motivations, something is happening out there. This book will give you greater insight into the who, what, how, and even why.
The presentation is well-documented, with 20 pages of end notes. I was impressed with the index-14 pages of small type entries that make this book endlessly useful. Extra value was added with the resources section in the back of the book. Provided to the reader are page of references on Socially Responsible Investing, Spirituality in Business-Centers and groups and Practitioners, and Conscious Consumption.
Finally, I was impressed by the way this book walks its talk. On the back page is a message from the publisher: "For this print run, 21,000 pounds of post-consumer waste used instead of virgin fiber saved 253 trees, 11,858 pounds of solid waste, 107,557 gallons of water, 43,255 kilowatt hours of electricity, [and] 23,295 pounds of net greenhouse gases." Right in keeping with Aburdene's message.
There are certainly a lot more trends-and megatrends-to be discussed as we look into the future. This volume looks narrowly at one of those trends, but treats it well. Let us not lose sight of the fact that there is much more than this one perspective.