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Conscious Capitalism and the Rise of the Athena Doctrine

By coincidence, Whole Foods CEO John Mackey and I both presented our new books at SXSW this year. And now, both are reviewed together in Global Business and Organizational Excellence.

Mackey's premise in "Conscious Capitalism: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business," is that there has been a dramatic shift in business philosophy. The old model, where businesses focus solely on profit, has been replaced by a model in which ethical and compassionate behavior are the key to profitability, which he titles, "Conscious Capitalism."

Characteristic of "Conscious" organizations are strikingly similar to Athena organizations and include, "decentralized, collaborative, and characterized by empowerment throughout the organization." The qualities of a "Conscious Culture" include trust, accountability, caring, transparency, integrity, and egalitarianism, which mirror the Athena traits of trustworthiness, empathy, and candor.

In hindsight, it doesn't seem like such a coincidence that these two ideas came to fruition at the same time. It is clear that there is a rise in support for the idea that feminine capabilities and competencies are the future of successful businesses and their leaders.