The Soulful Company

The Soulful Company

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The Soulful Company

My recent TEDxRainier talk on “The Soulful Company” — a new generation of firms that won’t just tap the soul, but feed it too.

(8 minutes)

#bcorp #socialenterprise #socialentrepreneurs #management   #soulfulcompany


  1. Thank you for linking this video Gideon Rosenblatt. You’re quite a gifted speaker! Let me know if you plan to speak near Maryland sometime, and I’ll gladly come see you.

  2. Great talk… I actually have lots of comments! But one question — what’s the source for the finding that companies that can engage their customers/employees at that level of soul that their sales go up by 85%? Fascinating…

  3. Thanks so much, Brian Gundersen. That means a lot!

  4. Thanks Maia Duerr. The problem with talking about soul connections, of course, is that we’re talking about something very precious and subjective. The riskiest part about daring to bridge these worlds is the danger of cheapening a word like the soul. It’s a word that we’ve somehow been pretty good at reserving for something extraordinary.

    The research I’m referring to in this talk is about companies that know how to deeply engage customers and employees, and it comes from Gallup. Here’s a link that will get you to some of it:

    Whether these firms fully engage the souls of their people is something we’ll never know, but deep engagement does mean something, and it’s why I think this work by Gallup is so good. Thanks for your question, and I’d love to hear any comments you have on this topic. That’s the reason I shared it on this community!

  5. You’re plenty cool, Skoti Brendel. 😉

    Just juggling trying to get our kids down, which I need to do right now and your question actually deserves a more in-depth answer. It’s actually a real tough one. Let me check back in in the morning with some thoughts.

  6. Skoti Brendel from my point of view, they can steal what you did (product), but can’t steal your soul. Therefore, if you have your soul and (still your) product, you’re about to win. Just a question of time.

  7. very soulful and soulfelt

  8. OK Skoti Brendel – I’m back. Actually, I think I misunderstood your point last night. What I thought you were asking about was what happens when a company is founded on a soulful path, but then gets taken over by a bigger one that was not. That’s a really interesting question, if anyone wants to get into that.

    But I think what you’re talking about, Skoti, is creating something very soulful that a company comes along and steals. And if that happened to you, I’m very sorry. That is very painful. Painful not to have your creation recognized. Painful not to be compensated for it. Painful not to be able to guide its evolution going forward to ensure it remains soulful.

    If that did happen to you, there’s really nothing that I can say to make that pain and frustration go away.

    What is clear, however, is that this company’s actions don’t diminish your soul, in anyway. There seems to be something about the soul that loves to create, almost like an echo of its own creation. And so when we create, we celebrate the soul. We feed it. And no one – no company, no person, no thing – can ever take that away from us. Your mind may hesitate at the thought of making something new, but your heart will not. It craves to do it again, and again. And so, it seeks to carry on, creating, even in the face of adversity…even in the absence of recognition…even in the absence of compensation. And by carrying on in this way, it helps us create the kind of meaning that nothing can ever steal from us.

    Thanks for stopping in, Skoti. I hope this helps in some small way.

  9. Perhaps there should be a Soul Union within each Corporation to ensure its value(s) and survival.

  10. Thanks for the feedback, Joanne Weissman. That means a lot.

    A Soul Union. That’s an interesting idea. Say more…

  11. Well, union in a formal way, but not just re: labour issues….more of a formal social union, reckon that would be a society. I thought union because of our perceptions of it being a serious, legal way of ensuring workers goals and protection. Hmmmm, something there…not sure exactly. Glad it rang a bell for you. Success with your work. Really interesting!

  12. I’m very interested because some years back I did qualitative study on organizations that value a more contemplative and reflective approach to their work (and organize themselves around that value).

    The term I coined from that research was “contemplative organization.” It was kind of a riff off of Peter Senge’s “Learning Organization.” I think there are all kinds of ways to talk about ‘soul’ — interesting how some words trigger associations that may be obstacles to people getting this concept.

    Thanks for the Gallup link… I’ll check it out.

  13. That’s interesting, Joanne Weissman. I’ve been noodling with something similar I guess, but in terms of a framework around which the firms’ various stakeholders can convene, connect and work things out. I’m thinking of something with technology and human factors baked deeply into it. This is becoming a focus for me over this next few years. A union is a nice way of thinking about it, at least as we use the term in the broader sense. Unfortunately, at least here in the U.S. it has a lot of psychological baggage (good and bad) that are usually mixed in with the term.

  14. Interesting term, Maia Duerr. The Nathan Cummings Foundation has a program around Contemplative Practices:

  15. Gideon Rosenblatt — tx for the link to the Cummings Fdn. If you’re interested, here’s the work that I did:

  16. We just joined the ranks of #Bcorps.

  17. That’s awesome, Mike Gifford. How many other Web of Changers are B Corps do you think? 

  18. As far as I know just Ryan Ozimek know any others?

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