I spend a lot of time on the internet finding free things that expand my knowledge and consciousness. Suddenly, I really get that changing a lifetime of attitudes, beliefs and behaviors REQUIRES surrounding myself with new messages for many moons.

The messages about doing what I love, being a great inclusive leader etc., are still a minority consciousness in our command/control culture. There is pressure from the old style leaders to continue their ways, and from the current money culture to ignore human capital, human values.

For example, I ran across this quote in a fascinating article about employee satisfaction and profit:

“[Costco’s] management is focused on … employees to the detriment of shareholders. To me, why would I want to buy a stock like that?” Equity analyst, quoted in Business Week

That question is partially answered by Professor Alex Edmans of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in his paper Does the Stock Market Fully Value Intangibles? Employee Satisfaction and Equity Prices. Dated June 23, 2008, the “paper analyzes the relationship between employee satisfaction and long-run stock performance.”

Contrary to popular opinion, a focus on employee satisfaction also provides greater profits. From the paper’s abstract:

A portfolio of the 100 Best Companies to Work For in America earned an annual four-factor alpha of 4% from 1984-2005. The portfolio also outperformed industry- and characteristics-matched benchmarks, and the results are robust to the removal of outliers and other methodological changes. Returns are even more significant in the 1998-2005 sub-period, even though the list was widely publicized by Fortune magazine. These findings have three main implications. First, employee satisfaction is positively correlated with shareholder returns and need not represent excessive non-pecuniary compensation. Second, the stock market does not fully value intangibles, even when independently verified by a publicly available survey. This suggests that intangible investment generally may not be incorporated into short-term prices, underpinning managerial myopia theories. Third, certain socially responsible investing screens may improve investment returns.

It is affirming to know that my values are emerging as good for business as well as being good for people.