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Conscious Business: How to Build Value Through Values

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  673 Ratings  ·  78 Reviews
Consciousness is the main source of organizational greatness. Conscious business, explains Fred Kofman, means finding your passion and expressing your essential values through your work. A conscious business seeks to promote the intelligent pursuit of happiness in all its stakeholders. It produces sustainable, exceptional performance through the solidarity of its community ...more
ebook, 360 pages
Published May 1st 2007 by Sounds True (first published 2006)
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Mar 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Suzanne by: Sheryl Sandberg
Reading this book is hard. You'll realize some awkward truths about yourself. You'll find yourself sitting with the book open staring off into space because a paragraph you've read has led you to spend the past 15 minutes thinking about scenarios and conversations which completely fit what Fred Kofman is talking about. You'll use up a highlighter pen marking all the insights. And at the end you'll agree when he says "This stuff is simple, but not easy."

People describe this as an inspirational bo
Neelesh Marik
Oct 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There are two kinds of people in the world of business (including the business of life!) – those who have read this book, and those who will read it. Conscious Business is about ‘entering the market with helping hands’.

“This Way has no return and it never ends. There is nowhere to arrive, no final summit to conquer. Only higher and higher reaches of the human spirit. Whenever I feel like I’ve gotten it, that I am finally in control, I am humbled by a challenge that exceeds by ability to respond
May 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After hearing Sheryl Sandberg gush about this book in LEAN IN and then that same week reading a quote by Fred Kofman in Seth Godin's blog, that was enough for me to think the heavens were saying I needed to check out this book. I think the concepts will be basic for some people, but I also found them deeply insightful and profound. In fact, I was surprised to discover that everything Kofman says about the importance of staying conscious in business settings--admitting uncomfortable truths, being ...more
Mar 25, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Like many books in this genre (self-help/business), this whole book can be summed up in one or two points which the author repeats again and again for three hundred-some pages. In this specific case, they are "Take responsibility (even if you're not technically responsible)" and "Don't be an asshole". As valuable as these points are, both of them should come naturally to people who have an ounce of common sense and five minutes to sit and think (about how to go through life and treat other peopl ...more
Edwin B
May 18, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fred Kofman makes no bones about living by principles at work, he judges by no less than that standard. "Take responsibility, don't play the victim blaming others, and clean your side of the street," he writes.

His wise advise is to know thyself, to be conscious of the delusionary egoistic value we place on winning and being right, and then to ground ourselves on the truth about our real self beyond status, success and our strongly-held opinions. Attuned to our ever-present self-centeredness, fea
Mindful Reader
I would recommend this book as an intro to conscientious business practices. Some good applicable breakdowns of theoretical issues such as how to practice authentic communication skills in a step-by-step fashion, etc. The concepts are true and implementable to at least some degree. One hole that was never filled was how to work effectively with individuals who have not been introduced to the practices in the book on more than a passing level. Most examples in the book indicated that both parties ...more
Jul 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of, if not my favorite book I've read that is actionable. This book does a great job providing analogies that are accessible to understand and to work into your daily life--be it in a business context, personal, or relationship. I spent so much time reading this book because I tried to work on each chapter before reading the next. While the concepts are all simple, implementing them take lots of practice!

This is a must read.
James Mason
I was very torn between barely being able to tolerate this book and thinking it was full of great new mental models for communication and self-reflection. I almost stopped reading it after the first 20 or so pages because it seemed like the epitome of those useless/predatory self-help books. Eventually though it got better and I enjoyed it. However, he would periodically go to such basic things like "a fact is a " vs "a opinion is a" that were painful to get through. It also really bothered me t ...more
Jul 06, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kofman defines conscious business and outlines 7 elements to enable a conscious business life. Of the 7, I learned the most from unconditional responsibility where Kofman describes how we have the response-ability to deal with different business circumstances (In this section I was introduced to Victor Frankl who wrote 'Man's Search For Meaning'). I appreciated how the author began each chapter with a unproductive, yet realistic dialogue example, explained his proposed theory and then implemente ...more
Jimi Ballard
Aug 22, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business
Excellent book. It looks at the culture and values of organizations and people in them from an Integral Perspective. I have seen videos of the author, Fred Koffman in coaching sessions and he seems to live the philosophy he espouses in this book. Have also hired his consulting organization, Axialent, to do some staff training. Their approach and methodology is very effective.
Nov 27, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book begins by addressing the concept of work/ life balance. I love this. Dispelling the idea that while you are working, you are not living. Easy / simple read with some good takeaways for staying on mission and true to your own values.
Mar 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Two things: 1. Add this book to your shelf, like, right now; 2. Go and purchase this book, like, right now.

Review to come.
Mar 11, 2009 is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
This continues to be a book I read & re-read continuously. I really value his voice and find his approaches quite insightful to the various issues I run into on a daily basis with my consulting.
May 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: work
A highly meditative take on how to conduct oneself in life and in business with others, Kofman’s book contains much to discuss and learn. I picked it up in response to reading an article by the CEO of San Francisco tech firm Inkling, where the book is required reading for all employees. Having just wrapped up my first experience taking an early stage startup from 1 to 20 employees, and wishing to understand more about how leaders may intentionally create business culture where employees can not ...more
Li Li
Aug 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An excellent books full of insights. I have to admit that attention to detail without summary and highlights makes it very challenging to finish this 9-chapter book.

I certainly will reread this book and be more focused on all the examples he provided - I've skimmed through some of the examples just to make sure I can finish where I started. On and off, took me a month to finish a book, very unusal.
Geert Hofman
Very thoughtful book that should be required reading for everyone who wants to build sustainable relations doing business. It's even good advice for all kinds of relations, not only in a business context. The advice in the book is really practical and well organized. With the table of contents at hand you can easily recall the lessons introduced. As said, this is a practical, thorough and well structured book for everyone actively trying to build a better world in cooperation with other people.
May 20, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Roller coaster ride. I've found myself highlighting and reflecting throughout the first half of the book. The attention to detail as the book progressed caused me to disengage over time, but the first half is worth the price of admission and more.

Must read for the modern work environments. Leaders and front line will find value!
Glen Leavens
Jun 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Challenging read. 12 chapters (sessions!) with Fred. Responsibility, Wisdom, Humility, Compassion, courage, Honesty, Respect, Creativity, Integrity, discipline, commitment & Vision. Much more than words and new way of thinking.
Jose Maria
Mar 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good book about leadership, easy to read, with a lot of lessons to learn.
Ron Gross
Mar 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book, you can hear the compassion and awareness of the writer, with effective lessons of how to apply/learn it.
Andrea James
I rarely give books five-stars and whenever I do, I still second guess myself a little. Why was this book THAT good? And I suppose, more pertinent to my insecure vanity, how will *I* be judged? Of course, rationally I know that it's simply down to "did I enjoy it? did it give me value/insights?" and that you may completely disagree with my opinion but there's a small voice in me that says "is this the height of experience? And if this experience was that great, then that somehow makes life disap ...more
Feb 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So much helpful information packed in one book. A great guide to interacting with and managing others in a workplace and defining your moral stance/purpose. I did feel that it dragged a little bit in parts, but overall a worthwhile read.
Feb 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book helps the reader having the right mindset in tackling with life and at the same time enjoying it. A definetely must read book for everyone, it doesn't matter whether you are a business man, a housewife, a recent graduate out of college etc. It is very inspiring and transformative. A piece of gem you will appreciate, once you read it.
Sep 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book. Kofman talks of living consciously and how conscious business is good business. For a company to be successful, it must not just concentrate on profitability, but the impact on all its stakeholders, including employees. If employees feel fulfilled, they are engaged and contribute to the company's success. Lots of good, actionable information. Also ties in to many other books, Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap...And Others Don't, First, Break All the Rules: What the ...more
Alessandro Veneri
Nov 01, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After reading this book, you might find yourself at a point of non-return, heading toward the integration of compassion in all aspects of business.
I suggest you run this risk. Highly recommended.

The book addresses seven major qualities of a conscious leader:
- Unconditional responsibility
- Essential integrity
- Ontological humility
- Authentic communication (arguable in its phrasing, as it might be the 1000th time you've read it; the paragraph is very well written and insightful, though)
- Constru
Dec 15, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
1. I have a history of saying too much, and causing problems for myself. I read 'Radical Honesty,' by Brad Blanton, hoping to find out when NOT to say everything, and it did not help. He gave no boundaries or useful techniques. The book was very disorganized. In contrast, Freddy says that your thoughts are not the truth, they are
the top layer, and you must practice the skill of digging deeper to uncover that actual truth of what's going on, then say that real truth. I think this idea is going to
Jul 12, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read this for my work book reading group so really spent some time taking notes and trying to figure out how to apply to my own work experience. He has a number of good points about being ethical and true to ourselves while also being productive with other coworkers and customers. He makes a point throughout the book that his methods aren't easy and explains why that cooperation toward group goals at a higher levels doesn't always work out. Still that doesn't mean we shouldn't try. The two main ...more
Ashton Fourie
Feb 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A compelling case for bringing the full YOU to your life

In a world of competition and hyper competition, Koffman brings us back to the core of humanity and the fundamental connection between being human and doing business.

If you believe intuitively that there should be a clearer connection between basic human values and the actions that connect integrity with success, then Conscious Business will most probably help you to surface and articulate the source of this awareness. Raising it from the
Megan Mcswain
Jun 17, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The author describes how to expand consciousness, meaning an honest awareness of self and social interactions, in order to make truly authentic business and life choices. That sounds awfully touchy-feely, and it is, but it is also purposeful. The book details a number of extremely helpful methods for bringing out the truth, including negative criticism, and conflict communication. Particularly recommended for those who have difficulty working through conflict (whether because they hide their fee ...more
Oct 16, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought the author's writing came off as arrogant, and it's clear he's never actually worked in a corporate setting. Despite that, there were a few sections that I really liked and will stay with me, such as thinking of mistakes as "symptoms": often the best way to diagnose an illness is through evaluating the symptoms, and similarly mistakes should be evaluated to diagnose processes that should be improved (+1 star just for these sections.) Overall, even though I didn't like this book, I'm gl ...more
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“Controllers want to prove that their perspective is the correct one. That proves that they are right—as a matter of self-worth, not just of accuracy. Controllers equate being right with being effective.” 3 likes
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