ep. 101 - Raj Sisodia:
Best-selling author & founding leader of the Conscious Capitalism Movement
A leading figure in the Conscious Capitalism movement, Raj Sisodia is the FW Olin Distinguished Professor of Global Business and Whole Foods Market Research Scholar in Conscious Capitalism at Babson College in Wellesley, MA. He is also Co-Founder and Co-Chairman of Conscious Capitalism Inc. He was previously Trustee Professor of Marketing, the Founding Director of the Center for Marketing Technology and Chairman on the Marketing Department at Bentley University.
Raj was born in India and was educated as an electrical engineer from the Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS, Pilani). He pursued an MBA in Marketing from the Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies in Mumbai after which he earned a Ph.D. in Marketing and Business Policy from Columbia University. Until 1998, he was Director of Executive Programs and Associate Professor of Marketing at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. From 1985 to 1988, he was Assistant Professor of Marketing at Boston University. He is an American citizen residing in Lexington, Massachusetts.
Raj has published eight books and over 100 academic articles. His work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Fortune, Financial Times, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, CNBC, etc. His most recent book (with Bob Chapman) is Everybody Matters: The Extraordinary Power of Caring for Your People Like Family, published by Penguin/Portfolio in 2015.
In 2003, Raj was cited as one of the “50 Leading Marketing Thinkers” and named to the “Guru Gallery” by the Chartered Institute of Marketing. Bentley University honored him with the Award for Excellence in Scholarship in 2007 and the Innovation in Teaching Award in 2008. He was named one of the “Ten Outstanding Trailblazers of 2010” by Good Business International, and one of the “Top 100 Thought Leaders in Trustworthy Business Behavior” by Trust Across America for 2010 and 2011.
Kyle Davis: All right, so with us today on GDA podcast, we have Raj Sisodia, he is a founder and leader in the conscious capitalism movement, and a professor at [Babson 00:00:57] College. For people who have listened to the podcast in the past, [00:01:00] you kind of know when I do this solo, I don't like to do these long, windy introductions, so I'm going to go ahead and have Raj introduce himself. Raj, take it away.
Raj Sisodia:: I'm, as you said, one of the founders and founder-chairman of Conscious Capitalism, Inc. This is a nonprofit and a movement we started about 10 years ago, some CEOs, some thought leaders and others, to change the story of business, because we have a very narrow and [00:01:30] outdated way of thinking about business that is only about profits and it's only about shareholders, and everything else is a means to that end. We believe that there's a much richer and deeper narrative about business that actually enriches the experience for all the stakeholders. We've come up with the pillars or tenants of what we call Conscious Capitalism, that define it in terms of four distinct elements, which we can get into in this talk.
Kyle Davis: I would definitely like to discuss those four pillars, but before [00:02:00] we get into that, how is it that you kind of came about to rethinking capitalism, from what would be the fundamentals to this new way of thinking, of this Conscious Capitalism?
Raj Sisodia:: I think for different people in the movement, they came on their own path. For me as a business professor now for 32 years, it really started, I would say, about 12 years ago, when I was working on a book that I was calling [00:02:30] at the time In Search of Marketing Excellence. I had been a marketing and a strategy professor for all that time, had taught for 20 plus years, and had really a lot of frustration with the way that marketing and business were typically done. I felt especially in marketing that we spent an enormous amount of money in this country, and yet if you look at the outcomes on an aggregate level, they were pretty poor.
We were spending roughly $1 trillion a year at that time [00:03:00] on marketing and sales promotion and advertising, and things like that. Yet, the customer loyalty and trust were falling steeply, even as spending was going up, customer satisfaction had plateaued after falling. It seemed like [inaudible 00:03:16] spend, the worse things we're getting, and it just seemed like not only for companies, but even customers, we did a study, we found 5% of people don't trust marketing. If you look at the impact on society, we found also there were a lot [00:03:30] of negative things that were happening in society, because of all of that extreme amount of marketing that was going on.
We found it wasn't really benefiting companies, customers, or society, and we were spending all this money on it. By the way, think about it, $1 trillion was the GDP of India that year. 1.1 billion people were living on what we were spending on ads and coupons and junk mail, basically, and it just seemed like an awful waste, and not to mention the environmental consequences, and the impact on [00:04:00] people's psyches, a lot of it was negative. We started a project looking at how can we do things better, and calling it In Search of Marketing Excellence, looking for companies that spend less money on marketing, and yet have outstanding loyalty and trust from their customers, where most companies do the opposite of that.
When we started to identify those companies, we found that there were a number of things that were unique about them. It wasn't just that they didn't spend a lot of money on marketing, and had loyal customers, but their employees were also very loyal and trusting, and [00:04:30] by the way, they didn't spend a lot of money on employee recruitment, because their turnover was very low, they got a lot of word of mouth. Their suppliers were also very loyal to them, and had mutually beneficial relationships, and their communities embraced them. These companies were really what we would call stakeholder-oriented, they took care of all of their stakeholders and treated them the way you would want to treat your customers, "I understand their needs, meet those needs," in a mutually beneficial way.
They were stakeholder oriented, and then we also found that they [00:05:00] had a reason for being, they were not just another retailer or bank or airline. There was a passion behind what they were doing, they were trying to do things differently, there was what we would call now a higher purpose to their existence. [inaudible 00:05:14] a lot of human beings have a purpose in their life, they discover that at some point, these companies also discovered a purpose other than making money. You know, you have to make money in order to survive, but that doesn't mean that should be your purpose, just like we human beings need to earn a living, that doesn't mean that should be our purpose. [00:05:30] Purpose should be separate from profit, profit is the outcome, one of the outcomes when you pursue your purpose well.
They were [inaudible 00:05:38] per se, so we found that they had the stakeholder orientation, the purpose, we also found the leaders were different, that they were motivated by service to people and the purpose, they weren't so much about power and ego and money, and we found that the cultures were really filled with a lot of trust and integrity, but also caring for people as human beings, unlike typical [00:06:00] corporate cultures, which have a lot of fear and stress in them. These became our pillars of what we now call Conscious Capitalism, but that book was called Firms of Endearment, what these things were about, by all those stakeholders.
For me as a marketing professor who had some frustration with the story of business and the way English marketing was done, I felt like I had discovered a whole new paradigm, that there was another way of being. If you think about it, it addresses all the big questions like, "Why do we exist, what do we do, who are we, and how do we operate?" [00:06:30] These companies have a different set of answers to each of those questions, compared to traditional businesses. We also at the end did the financial analysis after finding these four pillars, and then finding more companies that fit those criteria. In the end, we did the financial analysis to say, "How would you perform as an investment?", you put your money into these companies, rather than the market as a whole?
Well, we thought because they're paying their people well, sometimes double of the industry average, like [inaudible 00:06:59] and Costco [00:07:00] do, they're providing great benefits, even to part time employees, Starbucks is a good example, their suppliers are profitable and innovative, they're not squeezing their suppliers, they're taking care of their customers, they're investing in that, they're investing in their communities and the environment, and they were paying taxes at a higher rate. We said, "Maybe returns to investors are good, but nothing spectacular." What we actually found was that these companies out-perform financially [00:07:30] the [inaudible 00:07:31] nine to one ratio over a 10-year period. We said, "Wow, there's something very powerful going on with these companies, they're creating extraordinary amounts of value, and it's not coming at the expense of financial wealth creation. In fact, it's aligned with that."
All these different things that you do, they don't take away from shareholder returns, they actually add to shareholder returns. That is a different way of thinking, because a traditional way of thinking about business is all about profit, and profit is revenue minus cost, and you want to maximize revenue, [00:08:00] minimize cost, so you sell as much, charge as much whether people need it or not, and you minimize your costs, so you pay your people as little as you can and pay your suppliers as little as you can, and you burden society with consequences, and you avoid taxes, you know do all the things, and that makes you profitable, but that's not worth anything actually. That is actually not creating value, that is extracting value. Businesses that operate that way, I liken them more to a parasite, and not to a true business.
Kyle Davis: [00:08:30] One of the things that you mentioned was that they have this reason for being, and one of the old adages that you hear kind of growing up is, when you grow up and you get a job, "Do what you love, and the money will follow." It almost seems as if, then, that these brands are kind of following it, they're doing what it is that they love, and then the money follows it, and they don't have to invest all this extra money into marketing or anything, and so they can tell a better story about what it [00:09:00] is that they love.
Raj Sisodia:: Yeah. Even for us as individuals, it's not enough to do something that you love, it has to be something that you love, and also that adds value in the world. I mean, you might love playing video games or whatever, right? It has to be something that adds value to other people's lives, so there's a whole set of intersections that need to happen, things that you're naturally gifted at, things that you love, and those often are not the same things. You might be gifted at something, but you love something else. What you're gifted at, what you love, [00:09:30] what the world needs, and what people [inaudible 00:09:33], for some intersection of that, that's the sweet spot for individuals and for companies. Companies, yes, they need to be driven by a higher purpose, and that includes service to humanity and making the world better, but also a conscious business is still a business.
They have to have a sound value proposition, they have to have a good strategy, they have to have good processes, they have to be efficient, they have to be effective, but they [00:10:00] need to [inaudible 00:10:00] and tackling of a traditional or typical business, but on top of that, then they add this, like a train with a second engine, the second engine of purpose and passion, and all the other things that come with that. That gives them an extraordinary boost in terms of creative energy, and also caring energy. That's really what makes the difference, all organizations run on human energy, and these organizations tap into deeper sources of energy than any other companies.
Kyle Davis: [00:10:30] It seems almost as if that just mastery of the fundamentals alone won't take you to that next level, in comparison to having a true reason for being, providing a real value for your customers, and just creating a different environment and culture, is that what you're pointing at?
Raj Sisodia:: Yeah, so just doing the basics, I mean that's just table stakes, and then you sort of turbocharge it with all this other stuff. It's what you call, or what the [inaudible 00:11:00] call full- [00:11:00] spectrum consciousness, you need to have all levels. He talks about seven levels of consciousness, traditional business only address like the bottom three, the survival, the success, the significance, you know they're doing the things that get them esteem and recognized and rewarded, but then they don't tap into meaning and purpose and service to humanity and relational things. It's about doing all of that, so in a less competitive world, doing those basics would probably get you a long way, [00:11:30] but as the world becomes more competitive, you know you need to now do more and more, so that's one.
Secondly, this is just aligned with human nature, this is what human beings want out of their work, this is what human beings want as customers, they want the businesses that they are associated with to be actually doing something good in the world, not causing harm. If I buy this product from you for $2, does that mean that there's some horrible pollution happening somewhere because of that, et cetera? People are more and more conscious of these things, so [00:12:00] it's also now becoming necessary.
Kyle Davis: Well, I'm glad that you brought up that being in a more competitive world matters, you know if it's not competitive, if you just focus on the fundamentals of business, I mean in theory, you're running a monopoly and you're going to make money, if it's a true no competition, but as it becomes more competitive, you really have to provide, like you said, that turbocharge, in French, that [foreign language 00:12:24], that little something extra to really carry you over the top.
Raj Sisodia:: That's right.
Kyle Davis: When you were looking at these companies [00:12:30] when you wrote that first book, Firms of Endearment, what were some of those companies then, I think you said nearly a decade ago, that were really portrayers in your mind?
Raj Sisodia:: Whole Foods Market definitely was a company that fit all these qualities to a T, they had a true sense of higher purpose, they operated with what they call a declaration of interdependence across their stakeholders, they have a conscious leadership culture, their leaders are modestly paid, they have a salary ratio of 19 to one maximum [00:13:00] for highest paid to median pay, so all their leaders are passionate about people and service, they're not just about money. They have a great culture, you know people who care about food, who care about health, who care about serving customers, et cetera, and they're also cared for by the company. They embody that very well.
I think Google is another company that we had, Patagonia, REI, Costco is a wonderful company that actually does all these things, treat their people extremely [00:13:30] well. Compare Costco, who has 7% employee turnover, and Wal-Mart has 70% employee turnover, they compete with each other. Even though Costco pays double of, say, Sam's Club, which is a Wal-Mart company, their sales per employee are three times higher. Even though they're paying double, their labor costs are actually lower compared to Sam's Club. People come and they never leave, and they get well-paid, and their healthcare is covered, and they're great for customers, you know you can always get a reasonable price there, they're great [00:14:00] neighbors and citizens in their communities, and they're a tremendous investment.
Southwest Airlines is another poster child of this movement, the most successful airline in the history of the world perhaps, their stock market symbol is LOVE. That's the one quality that distinguishes conscious companies, these are businesses built on love and care, for their stakeholders, you know they love what they do and they love the people they associate with, and that feeling just permeates. It's not fear and stress, most businesses operate on that, these [00:14:30] businesses operate on love and care, and that's a deeper source of energy. That makes them actually stronger, operating from love doesn't make you weaker, it makes you stronger. That's true for human beings, and that's true for these businesses.
Kyle Davis: I'm happy that you mentioned just a lot of different companies, especially companies that are in various and varied industries, you know a lot of people don't see a lot of comparisons between, let's say, Southwest and REI, but I think a lot of people have had really bad flying experiences with other [00:15:00] airlines, and they've had pretty phenomenal ones with Southwest, because they make that extra step. Personally, you know I love going into REI whenever I do, and it's a different experience versus going into a store that's not REI, in all opinion, it's a very different experience.
Raj Sisodia:: Yeah, it is. I mean, Trader Joe's is another example, a company, everybody loves going to Trader Joe's.
Kyle Davis: I've got one right down the street, I'm going there later.
Raj Sisodia:: [00:15:30] The people who work there love their jobs, you can tell, that feeling often translates.
Kyle Davis: Transitioning then from when that book was initially written, like you said, a decade ago, what changes, if any, have you seen to conscious capitalism, aside from you're starting to hear a lot more companies say a lot of the buzzwords that you're talking about, you know being more [00:16:00] invested in their community, the cliché phrase in Silicon Valley is, "We're going to save the world with this blank app," but what evolutions have you seen throughout the years?
Raj Sisodia:: Well, I think we are on this journey of rising consciousness and more and more people caring about things, and of course we have the millennials, who are purpose-driven from all accounts, more so than most other generations have been. [00:16:30] The conditions are becoming ripe for these kinds of approaches to work better, and more and more the consciousness is also rising. I think purpose has become almost a mainstream thing now, everybody's talking about purpose. You see a lot of companies doing that, and not all of them are doing it as authentically, for some it's a tagline or a buzzword an ad agency provides you, but I think more and more people are staring to recognize that that truly is a powerful source of engagement of people, [00:17:00] and loyalty and all kinds of things result from that.
I think that the climate is becoming generally more receptive to this. 10 years ago, calling a book Firms of Endearment was quite a risk, you know [inaudible 00:17:13] in the context of work, and today, it is not at all, you don't raise any eyebrows when you comment on those things, you know because people are more accepting of that. There's another parallel trend that actually feeds into conscious capitalism, which is [00:17:30] the rise of feminine values. Society is changing, we have more women in college by far than men, 60% of college students almost are women, and [inaudible 00:17:39] at a higher rate and getting higher grades, and women are moving into leadership, and our culture as a whole is being impacted by the rise of compassion, empathy, nurturing, caring.
Those values are becoming not only more mainstream because there are more women, but also even more men are comfortable embodying those things. All of us men and women need [00:18:00] to access that masculine and the feminine, we all have that within us. It's not just about domination, aggression, ambition, or strength, courage, resilience, it's also about nurturing, caring, compassion, empathy, relationships, vulnerability, these are all human qualities. Those so-called feminine qualities were sidelined and disregarded forever, essentially, and now that is changing, and that has been changing, and that continues. I mean, it's not a straight line, you know we are going through a period right [00:18:30] now where there's a backlash against some of these things, and I think that's just a reaction from the established orders, from the patriarchy, which had all kinds of privileges and power for millennia, when that is starting to change, there's a backlash and people want to hold onto what they have, but that's temporary, that doesn't deter the whole journey.
Kyle Davis: [00:19:00] One of the things that we talked about prior to recording, and that you've hinted at kind of along the way, is that with conscious capitalism, one of the things that you focused on though too was conscious marketing, and how brands, at least this is how I viewed marketing, is how brands tell their stories to prospective clients. Can you tell our audience kind of what is conscious marketing, and how do you see it playing out today?
Raj Sisodia:: [00:19:30] The approach to marketing also has to change, you know that's kind of where I started with this journey. Marketing can be done in a way that is all about the needs of the seller, it's kind of what we would call the old fashioned hucksterism, "Come and get it, this is the best product possible, it's going to solve all your problems," you know like the hucksters at the county fairs who try to sell you snake oil, over-promising, under-delivering, relying on image and relying on [inaudible 00:19:59] [00:20:00] and all of that, kind of preying on your own insecurities, perhaps on your ignorance or lack of knowledge, not educating the customer.
The extreme of this I saw years ago, I was asked to advise this company or help them on this project where they were doing functional MRIs of the brains of customers, looking into the brains of customers as they're looking at advertisements and other things, to look at, "What can we do to make their brain light up in the [00:20:30] right way, and then make them buy stuff?" I said no, this is just wrong, we should not be using these technologies as a way of sort of decoding and then manipulating people. We need to be doing things in marketing to serve people. Peter Drucker, the well-known management thinker, once referred to the consumer movement in America as the "shame of marketing". The consumer movement is there to protect people against companies, against false advertising, against price gouging, against [00:21:00] all kinds of things.
He said the fact that customers have to organize themselves against companies, that is the shame of marketing, because marketing's job is to look after the well-being of customers, it's not to sell them stuff, it's to actually help them live a better life. We want to reorient marketing towards that end, which is to say, "How can marketing make your life better, how can it improve the quality of your life, how can we understand your real needs, not just your wants and your desires and your addictions?" [00:21:30] Marketing is not about creating and feeding addictions, it should be about uncovering and meeting real needs. When you really meet somebody's need, in a way, you're healing them.
We're moving from marketing as hucksterism to marketing as healing, because we understand you deeply now and we're meeting your needs, things that you really need. That's the orientation, focusing on customer well-being, on quality of life, on being an advocate on behalf of the customer. [00:22:00] For example, if your customer is looking to buy a particular product in a category, and they come to you because they've been your customer in the past and they trust you, and you know that actually your product is not the best one for their need for this particular occasion, and you know of a competing product that is, a conscious marketer would actually tell that customer, "Listen, you shouldn't buy our product, buy this one, because that's going to work for you, [inaudible 00:22:31] sell [00:22:30] you something just because I want to get the commission."
Once you only do that, you're first of all serving the customer, but you're also building a lot of trust. You're losing the transaction, but you're strengthening the relationship. Ultimately, it has to be about trust, you become a trusted advisor to the customer, you are kind of that smart friend who can tell them what's good and what's not, what works for them and what doesn't. That's kind of the orientation [00:23:00] of conscious marketing, it has a higher purpose. Higher purpose is always distinct from making money, so when anything becomes just about making money, so when marketing schemes only just becomes about capturing market share, selling you as much as possible, you know all of that, when it becomes about money, then you're lost your sense of purpose.
What is marketing's real purpose? It is to improve customers' lives. It is not to sell more stuff and increase market share. Now, when you do that well, [00:23:30] when you do those things right and well, over time you will increase your market share, [inaudible 00:23:35] do all of that, but if you start out with that as your goal, you know as the Buddha said, "Don't be attached to a cherished outcome." If you're attached to a cherished outcome that says, "I want to get 20% market share this year up from 15," you're going to engage in wrong actions. What we do is you say, "Just engage in the right actions, the outcomes will take care of themselves," but if you're driven by an [00:24:00] outcome, you will engage in wrong actions, and you may achieve that outcome in the short term, but you will also create all kinds of future problems.
This exact thing happened to Toyota a few years ago. Toyota had never set market share goals, they were always about quality and safety and reliability, those were those the mantras of Toyota, and they were growing and they were healthy and profitable. A few years ago, their CEO set the goal that, "We want to become [00:24:30] the world's largest car company in two years," which means we need to have so much market share. They started very aggressively pushing and selling the cars and increasing production, and they lost sight of safety, and they lost sight of reliability and quality, and they had that whole huge set of problems. They had to recall a bunch of cares, and they had sudden acceleration, all kinds of things happened because they took their eye off the ball and became all about the numbers and the market share.
Fortunately, [00:25:00] a family member of Toyota family came back as CEO into the company and reconnected them to their essence. Same thing happened with Starbucks, in the early 2000s after Howard Schultz stepped down, it became all about growth, all about adding more and more and more stores everywhere, they lost sight of their true purpose, they sacrificed on quality, they lost sight of that. The locations became shabby, the experience was nothing special. Then Howard [00:25:30] Schultz had to step back as CEO, and reconnect the company back to its essence and its purpose. It's easy to lose sight of that. That's really what conscious marketing is about to me, is putting customer needs, customer true needs at the center and serving them, and not exploiting them.
See, what happens with stakeholders, when you're all about making money, you end up exploiting the other stakeholders, you exploit your employees, you exploit your suppliers, and you even exploit your customers, and certainly your communities. When you're stakeholder-oriented, you serve [00:26:00] all of your stakeholders, you don't exploit. You don't say, "What can they do for me?", you say, "What can I do for them?" When you do that, you know as we say, "In order to win win win, you have to give give give," when you serve them, you get back so much more, but if you're just there to squeeze them and exploit them, sooner or later that well runs dry.
Kyle Davis: Yeah, I like that you're mentioning that, because I worked for two companies in Silicon Valley [00:26:30] that essentially were competitors, I mean they were selling the same product. One company was very much all about the customer and providing, I mean its mantra was, "Make commerce easy," it wasn't about "make money", it was trying to help the little guys do the best that they possibly can. Whereas the other company was really, in hindsight I would guess, struggling, but at the time, I mean was all about making money. I remember at [00:27:00] one point in time with the first company, that I had a conversation with a client, and I knew that we didn't have the solution that they wanted, we weren't going to be the best fit for them.
I remember in our training, you know, "Hey, just let them know that. They can always come back to us." I told that customer that, and they didn't leave us and go with somebody else, they ended up taking us, took us for a short coming, then maybe in a few months or so, we [00:27:30] fixed that gap. But with the other company that I was with, they said, "Tell them that we can do it, we'll hire engineers and we'll do it." Did they hire engineers to do it? They absolutely did, but was it the best experience, was it the best product, was it intentional in its design, was it just saying something to lock a customer in? The answer to all of that stuff, well the answer to locking somebody in was yes but was it intentionally designed? The answer was no, it was a bad experience.
[00:28:00] One of those companies is still around, and the other one isn't. The one that's still around is the one that said, "Hey, we might not be the best one for you today.
Raj Sisodia:: Right, so exactly, that's generally what I talked about. It's customer advocacy, becoming an advocate on behalf of your customer, and lose the sale if you need to, lose the transaction, build the relationship, take a long term perspective.
Kyle Davis: You mentioned that marketing is healing, and that's a great segue [00:28:30] for us to go into a book that you're working on, called the Healing Organization. Can you talk to us about this book, and what you're beginning to see in your research and stuff?
Raj Sisodia:: Yeah, so as I continue on this journey of this path of looking at how business can rise to higher levels of consciousness, it's amazing how much can be done through business and how much is being done by some companies, and we keep raising the bar. At some level, it was [00:29:00] only about employee engagement, make sure that when people are at work, they're not just playing solitaire and whatever, that work is actually interesting to them and they're investing their capacities in it. What can we do to improve engagement, okay? That's fine, that's good, but just being engaged is not the same as being passionate and turned on and inspired by it, so how can we go max level, and make people happy at work? Because if they're happy, they're going to be more productive. We set the bar [00:29:30] there, and then can they be passionate, et cetera.
What we also are starting to realize, however, is that people are human beings at work as they are at home, they don't leave their human side out at the door when they come, and being human means you're going to have all kinds of things happen in your life. There's a lot of suffering in life, even for people who are working full time. Of course there's a lot of suffering in the world generally, you know we live in a world of extraordinary [00:30:00] suffering, almost unimaginable amount of suffering if you really stop to think about it. There's a huge amount of pain and suffering in the world, and what I've come to believe is that businesses are adding to that, they're not actually alleviating our suffering. In many cases, they're adding to that, because of the way in which we work, that most people are disengaged, 87% of people are disengaged from their work, 88% of people feel they work for a company [00:30:30] that doesn't care about them as human beings.
We know that heart attacks go up on Monday morning, we know that stress levels shoot up, all kinds of negative health consequences flow from the way in which we work. That impacts not only people and their physical and emotional and mental and spiritual health, but then it impacts their children and their spouses and their families and communities. Because the way you're treated at work, that's how you end up showing up elsewhere, you can't help it. Therefore, the consequences of [00:31:00] those toxic work environments are much deeper than just what does or does not happen at work. Therefore if we can understand what are the sources that are causing stress, what are the things that are causing people pain and suffering, outside or inside of work, whether they're bringing things with them, can't function at work if you're worried sick with something, can we help with that, or are there things that we're doing at work that is making [inaudible 00:31:28]?
It can be [00:31:30] referred as an epidemic of silent suffering going on, because we don't ask those questions, we don't talk about personal things, and so people just deal with that, internalize that, [inaudible 00:31:39] from the inside. These companies that I'm talking about now, these leading organizations, they actually are able to take people who have been burned and stressed out and burned out at previous jobs, and actually restore them to health and vitality and fruition, whereas many companies do the opposite, they're healthy [00:32:00] people, and over time they burn them out, stress them out, and then they have to go somewhere else to heal. We're saying business itself can be the place of healing, it doesn't have to be the place of hurting, and how do we do that?
There are lots of stories of companies that have done that, and the journey in this book is going to be to understand, so like most of the problems, yeah, there's a lot of pain and suffering and we're adding to it, what's our prescription? Here's how companies have done it, you know here are the different ways in which we can understand how people are suffering, and here are the different ways in [00:32:30] which we can alleviate that suffering. By the way, when you do all that, what happens, well not only is it the right and human thing to do, but now these people are not only grateful and happy, but they're also committed and passionate and innovative and creative, and all kinds of good things flow when you do good things for people. It's like a hospital where somebody's rescued and saved with a miraculous cure, you know those people end up donating enormous amounts of money [00:33:00] to those hospitals, because they feel grateful.
I think things like that are possible with business. When we heal people, we don't do it for that reason, but you'll see all kinds of goodwill flowing towards the business when it becomes a healing business. The irony is, Kyle, if you look at even healing professions, you know think about doctors and nurses and veterinarians, I mean these are noble professions, they're about healing people, right? Even there, the way in which we run those organizations causes a lot of suffering [00:33:30] to the people, doctors and nurses and veterinarians are some of the people that have the highest rates of depression and drug abuse among all professions. Again, we've taken noble work and we have made it a source of suffering, because of the way in which we operate.
It's not enough to work with higher purpose, all of those people have higher purpose, but it's also the way we work and the way we organize our hospitals and our organizations, and how we [00:34:00] manage them and lead people. A big source of this pain and suffering is the way in which we, as I said, manage people. The idea of management and bosses and supervisors, I mean all of that often is pretty toxic. Nobody really likes to be managed, nobody wants to be bossed, nobody really wants to be supervised, you know people want to be led, they want to be inspired, they want to be coached, and that's what we need to do more [00:34:30] of. We need less management and bossing around, and more leadership and coaching, which comes from a place of caring.
Leadership is the stewardship of the lives entrusted to us. Managing is about getting people to do what's good for you, leadership is about getting people to realize their potential. That's what that journey is about. It's still at the early stages, but I'm really really excited about that book.
Kyle Davis: Well, I would definitely love to take a deep dive on it, but I would feel that if we did that, [00:35:00] then people wouldn't buy the book, and they should.
Raj Sisodia:: Well, the book is not written yet, so we're just starting.
Kyle Davis: I will say this: I have a friend of mine who works at this very innovative company in Silicon Valley, and she just loves working for them, and what they've done is they've fundamentally re-thought the work week. You mentioned heart attacks increase on Mondays, and on Monday mornings and all that, and he basically, I think it was the CEO, and I think he's a he, had [00:35:30] the idea of instead of having all those really stressful Monday meetings that a lot of organizations have just always done and they've never thought to change, which leads people to have these very stressful Sunday nights where they have to put all this work into some pitch deck or something like that, he switched it so that everything happens on Tuesday. That way, these people can enjoy the time with their family over the weekend, and whatever administrative work or loose [00:36:00] ends that they need to tie up, they can tie up on that Monday, and then they can go easier into the work week.
They really focus having Tuesday, Wednesdays, and Thursday as being the real working days of the week, and then having Fridays and Mondays being administrative days.
Raj Sisodia:: I like that, it's simple, but yeah, it's a significant change, just changing the whole dynamic, yeah.
Kyle Davis: They also have a very strict policy on email, like everybody's company email gets turned off I think at seven p.m., so everybody has to go home. Like even when you would [00:36:30] receive an email on your phone, there's only one person that's designated per night that receives emails, so if something gets escalated to a point where it's a real emergency, then it gets handled, but other than that, not everybody's sitting by their phone, they can just go and be people. I'll have to talk to my friend and see if I can talk about them, and maybe I'll send you that information.
Raj Sisodia:: Yeah, I'm looking at this point for examples of leading organizations, [00:37:00] and we've got a bunch that we're interviewing and getting stories, but we're looking for more stories. If you know of leading organizations, please contact me, or your listeners as well.
Kyle Davis: I'll be sure to let them know how to get in contact with you. I think this is a good place for us to wrap up. Look, audience, if you want to have Raj Sisodia come and speak for your event, talk to you about conscious capitalism to conscious marketing, even [00:37:30] start to give you the preliminary stuff about what it is to be a healing organization, you can do so by contacting GDA Speakers, the number is 214-420-1999, the website is gdaspeakers.com. For the transcript of today's podcast and to be able to purchase all of Raj's books, you can do so by going to gdapodcast.com, where I'll have everything available there. With that being said, Raj, thank you so much, and I really appreciate our conversation that we [00:38:00] had today.
Raj Sisodia:: Sure thing Kyle, I really enjoyed it, thank you.
Kyle Davis: Thank you.