Fred Kofman’s book The Meaning Revolution provides significant contributions to business management, self-improvement, and economics which is remarkable for a single book. The Meaning Revolution explains why organizations who seek to hire top talent need a noble purpose. This noble purpose is necessary not merely to get talent in the door, but to keep them engaged and retained. Leadership is fundamental to creating the corporate culture that Fred Kofman describes in the book, and his professional experience makes him uniquely qualified to speak on the matter. This book is not just for C-level executives but provides a basis for a shared culture for employees at all levels of an organization. Successful organizations should discuss these ideas and implement these practices.
Kofman calls for self-awareness when leading a team or interacting with co-workers. This emphasis on purpose, emotions, and effective relationships lie outside the preview of the most corrosive corporate cultures. The book persuasively argues that companies cannot afford to ignore these subjects. Indeed, with the growing competition for top talent, employees increasingly don’t decide where to work on a financial basis. Kofman encourages us to be better employers, workers, and human beings by explaining what it means to live and work more consciously.
If that were not enough, Kofman makes significant contributions to theories of the firm in this book. Economists, particularly in the Austrian school and Public Choice, have thought deeply about the role of prices in economic calculation. This book should be read in conjunction with Oliver E. Williamson’s Markets and Hierarchies: Analysis and Antitrust Implications and F. A. Hayek’s Individualism and Economic Order. Kofman argues that corporate culture and a noble mission is a nonexcludable, nonrivalrous, good that thriving companies invest.
The last chapter of Kofman’s book has overlap with John Mackey’s book Conscious Capitalism: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business. Kofman inspires business leaders to pursue more than mere profits for shareholders. This chapter is more than rehashing the Mackey versus Friedman debates, which can be found on Reason’s website. This book articulates the need for more conscious capitalism in a fresh way that, if adopted, could significantly improve the lives of millions of workers and stakeholders.
This book is a must-read for everyone who wants to live a better life, be more productive, or construct a new company engagement initiative.