The CONSCIOUS CONSULTING GROUP made a podcast and a related video with Laszlo Zsolnai on the need of radically new business models.
I argued that the ethical foundation of modern-day business is flawed. To be fruitful for society business should follow other ethical principles than materialistic egoism. Business ethics as a discipline studies the preconditions and possibilities for a more ethical functioning of business.
The major problems of the Anthropocene (climate change, biodiversity loss, ecosystems collapse, welfare malaises, growing inequality) are mostly caused by the worldwide application of mainstream business models. These models are promoting profit-maximization and financial wealth creation at the expense of nature, society, and future generations. We cannot solve problems with better or more extended application of these models which caused the problems in the first round. We need to develop and implement new business models if we want to survive the unprecedented polycrisis we live in now.
New business models aim to produce values for a wide range of stakeholders. These values may include both material and non-material values. So their value-matrix is much broader and more diverse than in the case of the mainstream business models. Creating wellbeing for the stakeholders is the overall goal of this kind of new enterprises and they are able to produce “enough” (but not maximal) profit that provide economic viability and financial health for their functioning.
We need truly innovative, conscious, spiritual-based business leaders who can catalyze progressive changes in the economy. The role of business education and that of the business school is crucial to promote a new view that management is not just about making money, people are not necessarily greedy and opportunistic, and ethics is more than materialistic self-interest.