Benjamin Franklin got it wrong when he said, “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” He forgot to add a third certainty to his list: change.
As mission-driven companies, it’s usually our reason for existing: we want to change something about how the world is working, in a way that we think will make it better for ourselves and others. How exactly to effect that change in the world, how to convince others to come with us, how to stay grounded and strong along the path — these are the questions we all ponder, and exactly the ones Conscious Company hopes to help answer by creating places to connect with others who are on a similar path.
Sometimes those places are metaphorical ones; this magazine issue, for example. In its pages, you’ll find true stories and hard-won advice from business leaders who have weathered their share of challenges in the name of transformation and impact. For example, New Belgium Brewing co-founder and former CEO Kim Jordan offers lessons from transitioning her company to employee ownership, Barry-Wehmiller CEO Bob Chapman reveals the real knots he’s still learning to untie within his hugely successful culture-of-care model, and Nathan Havey offers an unprecedented deep dive into the realities of bringing conscious business practices to Biggby Coffee, an already successful 20-year-old business.
But as much as we love the power of our virtual gatherings, here on our website and in our print magazine, we can’t help but acknowledge that there’s something extra potent about gathering together in the flesh. Increasingly, those are the kinds of places and opportunities we’re creating. Our team is still glowing from the World-Changing Women’s Summit in February, where more than 175 female business leaders co-created what one participant called “the most extraordinary, inspiring, and transformative gathering I have attended in my life.” And we can’t wait for our next in-person event, the second-annual Conscious Company Leaders Forum, from June 6–8 at 1440 Multiversity in Scotts Valley, California. A good number of the leaders featured in these pages will be there (look for the icon at the end of each story), both on stage and in the audience, as will many others eager to share their own stories from their paths through change. We’re increasingly sold on the magic that emerges when we create a brave space for a diverse group of passionate leaders to be authentic about the challenges and opportunities they’re facing.
We’ll be posting most of the articles from this issue here within the coming weeks; in the meantime, you can also subscribe to the print product, buy a copy of this print issue online or in a local store, or get instant digital access via the Zinio newsstand.
Read on for more about what’s inside — and consider joining us in June at the Conscious Company Leaders Forum.
Issue 18 — What’s Inside
How driversselect, a Used-Car Dealership, Became a Conscious Company
The Blueprint to Conscious Leadership
By Eric Kaufmann
This Social Entrepreneur Is Helping Girls Take Center Stage
How Biggby Coffee Found Its Purpose*
By Nathan Havey
Interview: Barry-Wehmiller CEO Bob Chapman on Creating Caring Cultures
How to Fire A Colleague in a Conscious Way
By Diana Chapman
New Belgium Brewing’s Employee Ownership Journey
How to Create a Compelling Purpose for Your Business
By Raj Sisodia, Timothy Henry, and Thomas Eckschmidt, with Jessica Agneessens and Haley Rushing
Empowering Diverse Supply Chains with ConnXus
Danone’s Journey to Become a B Corp
Can Mindfulness Create More Impactful
The Most Important Thing Impact Investors Overlook
By Gino Borges