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A good kind of capitalism

Posted on by from Changeboard

In his third year speaking at the Future Talent Conference, philosopher Alain de Botton highlighted the positive lessons business can learn from the historical concept of capitalism: that it is about promoting happiness, not just profitability.

“We shouldn’t sell on the promise of providing happiness, we should actually be selling what brings happiness,” he argued. He suggested organisations should create a culture to align with the feelings of their employees, enabling people to draw greater meaning from their work. Too many employees are disengaged because they do not have a sense that their work has purpose.

“Humans crave love, friendship and a sense of purpose,” he said, citing companies such as Facebook, with business models based on feelings. He added that organisations should be alive to the possibilities of psychology improving profitability, pleasure and happiness. “We shouldn’t see psychology as an enemy of good business, it is a useful backdrop against which to do business. How much does psychology contribute to your bottom line?” he asked.

"We shouldn’t see psychology as an enemy of business"

“We are all very fragile, and we are all slightly mad, but use these things as part of business life rather than shunting them to one side,” he advised delegates. “I recommend to you the concept of a more psychologically aware kind of capitalism.”


To read Alain de Botton's full length interview, click here.

Emily  Sexton-Brown

By Emily Sexton-Brown

Emily is the commissioning editor at Changeboard

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