Business’s compassionate awakening?

According to Ryan Honeyman, the world’s biggest consultants are trying to persuade corporations be more socially and environmentally mindful.

Lion’s Roar
2 October 2014
Goldman Sachs Headquarters. (Photo: “30hudson.” Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0)

Could big business be finding a heart? According to business consultant Ryan Honeyman, the world’s biggest consultants, including Goldman Sachs and McKinsey & Company, are trying to persuade corporations be more socially and environmentally mindful, and not just because it serves their financial goals.

Honeyman made his case in an article for Fast Company, citing a report by Goldman Sachs that said businesses should “provide rewards beyond financial gain,” demonstrate “a visible and authentic commitment to sustainability,” and help their employees “align personal and corporate values.” The report suggests doing that by incorporating making their mission more value-based, fostering healthy work-life balance, and encouraging volunteerism.

Of course, digging deep enough, we still find that sustainable business has a bottom line. Honeyman says there’s ample evidence that responsible business equates to financial gains, including “if nothing else the chance to “open up new business opportunities while creating value for society.”

In an interview in the Shambhala Sun’s January issue, Thich Nhat Hanh argued that there’s nothing wrong with businesses profiting off of the mindfulness brand – so long as they walk the talk. “We don’t have to worry whether meditation is being misused to make money. Meditation can only do good. When you experience the wisdom brought about by meditation, then naturally you want to conduct your business in a way that will make the world suffer less.”

Read the Fast Company article here, and see the whole interview with Thich Nhat Hanh here.

Lion's Roar

Lion’s Roar

Lion’s Roar is the website of Lion’s Roar magazine (formerly the Shambhala Sun) and Buddhadharma: The Practitioner’s Quarterly, with exclusive Buddhist news, teachings, art, and commentary. Sign up for the Lion’s Roar weekly newsletter and follow Lion’s Roar on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.