Flourishing Enterprise: Returning to a relationship-based economy

Craig Mitchelldyer

Paul Werder founded LionHeart Consulting in 1983.

Editor's note: This is the second contribution in a series by Paul Werder on the 'Flourishing Enterprise,' a working concept and the title of his forthcoming book that looks at the intersection of spirituality and business. You can read his introduction to the concept here.

John R. Ehrenfeld, a vibrantly youthful man approaching his mid-eighties, has been thinking and writing about sustainability for a long time. He fits my definition of a thought leader, as evidenced by his two books; "Sustainability by Design" and "Flourishing: A Frank Conversation about Sustainability," written with his colleague Andy Hoffman. I had the privilege of working with John as Fowler Center Distinguished Fellows working on the forthcoming book called The Flourishing Enterprise, and asked him to share his thoughts on a few questions that are critical to our future.

Paul Werder: What did you learn from our experience of nine very different people writing one book with a unified message?

John Ehrenfeld: We all had to be open and listen more than we were used to! But most importantly, the idea of spirituality shifted for me. It went from just a little thought about what it is and where it comes from, to seeing how important it is. I realize now it is not just one of the many concerns we need to take care of, but that it is a separate category all of its own: It's a transcendent mystery that has been part of human experience from the very beginning.

Werder: Why is the idea of returning to a relationship-based economy so important when our society is becoming more and more transactional in our business dealings?

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