RECENTLY I HAD A GREAT DISCUSSION with a local service club about Conscious Capitalism. One of the members remarked that he’s heard about companies wanting to “do good” for decades. So what does Conscious Capitalism – and similar kinds of thinking – bring to the discussion?

This is a fabulous question! Because, in fact, some companies have engaged in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and other kinds of philanthropy for a long time.

What’s new is how this is growing and accelerating. First, because people have been developing some core competencies and given us a language.

That’s the value in writing a book and developing an organization. Business leaders start to see that they don’t have to make it all up on their own – there’s a larger group which is developing some consistency.

The second thing that’s new is that we’re seeing things like the B-Corp certification. That indicates that we’re seeing and desiring more consistency, and willing to be recognized for putting our money where our mouth is.

The third new thing is the alignment of the government sector. Colorado’s Public Benefit Corporation is a great example of the state realizing that it’s a benefit to support and encourage these innovations.

But the most powerful shift, by far, is in how people think. When I speak with younger generations, many are fully committed to building businesses, or buying from companies, or working for employers, who are committed to higher ideals. Many are happy to spend a little extra to buy from companies they believe in, factoring into purchase decisions large and small.

This is encouraged by the rapid growth in transparency, where most everything about your business is easily discoverable. Inauthenticity and dishonesty becomes pretty obvious, and at times can be brutally punished by the market.

There’s no question that the world of business is changing to be more conscious, values based, and mission driven. Employees are looking for it, as are customers. Not to mention those entrepreneurs who really do want to live in a better world.

And companies have a lot of economic power.