What’s Love Got to Do With Business?


LAS VEGAS – Can you build a business based on love?

According to Whole Foods co-founder and co-CEO John Mackey, who delivered Tuesday’s NACS Show general session address, you can and should to engage today’s evolved consumers.

“We tend to manage our businesses with fear. When people are frightened, they are not creative. Whole Foods doesn’t manage with fear, we manage with care,” Mackey told the crowd.

Compared to years past, consumers now are:

  • Better informed than ever before;
  • More connected than ever before;
  • More intelligent (IQs are steadily rising);
  • Better educated than ever before; and
  • More conscious (i.e. more mindful of the consequences of their actions).

Because of this evolution, businesses will have to act differently to be successful in the future. “Conscious capitalism,” which is practiced by Whole Foods, is built around the principles of higher purpose (beyond profit maximization), stakeholder interdependence (rather than shareholder centricity), conscious leadership (instead of command and control), and conscious culture (in place of bottom-line obsession).

Integrity is also of utmost importance to people today, especially considering that despite the benefits business provides, mistrust of big business is pervasive in the United States and around the globe.

People want to be told the truth, Mackey stressed, adding that without integrity, there can be no trust.

“We must measure success in the ways in which we touch the lives of people,” he concluded. 

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