In their 2014 treatise, Conscious Capitalism: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business, John Mackey and Raj Sisodia outlined the four tenets of conscious capitalism. One of those tenets is that of Conscious Cultures, and they framed the seven characteristics of conscious cultures using the mnemonic TACTILE.
They stated that “conscious cultures are so strong that they have a tangible, almost physical presence; it’s impossible to… not feel the positive energy emanating from team members.”
They identified those seven characteristics as Trust, Accountability, Caring, Transparency, Integrity, Loyalty, and Egalitarianism.
Fast forward to 2018, when Raj co-authored the Conscious Capitalism Field Guide with Timothy Henry and Thomas Eckschmidt, the mnemonic had evolved slightly. (For the record, the Field Guide is a fantastic “how-to” book for actually becoming a conscious business) TACTILE now stands for Trust, Authenticity, Caring, Transparency, Integrity, Learning, and Empowerment.
Last week the Board of Conscious Capitalism of the Bay Area met for our annual strategic retreat. We had an incredibly productive retreat, and I’m excited to make some big announcements soon. One of the things we discussed was TACTILE, and we all agreed that there are some words missing in the mnemonic. First and foremost, you can not have a conscious culture without equity and inclusion.
What we decided was that it’s time for TACTILE to become multi-dimensional and incorporate more than one word for each of the letters.
Trust is still the anchor of a conscious culture; without trust, none of the rest of it is possible.
A is for Authenticity, yes, and it’s also still about Accountability. Conscious cultures are high accountability cultures. In addition, it’s about Alignment– aligned to the company’s higher purpose, and alignment among team members toward a common goal.
C is for Caring, it’s for Conscious Communication, and it’s also for Creative; conscious cultures are creative spaces.
T is for Transparency, for Teamwork, and for Transformation; conscious cultures are transformational.
I is for Integrity, Innovation, and importantly, Inclusion. L is for Learning, but it’s also for Love. Love is the secret ingredient for success within conscious companies.
And E is for Empowerment, for Egalitarianism, and for Equity. When you introduce these additional words and operationalize the behaviors associated with them, now you have not only a conscious culture but a Brave Culture™.
While we understand that the purpose of a mnemonic or an acronym is to make it easy to remember a concept, we believe that conscious cultures are far too rich and complex to be squeezed into seven words. But if we had to, we could choose just one: Love. Aho.