11 December 2014

Conscious Capitalism is not Future but Ancient Chinese Confucius Business Practices

The call for Conscious Capitalism is not at all new to the Overseas Chinese Businessmen, who for centuries past, have been following the Confucian values in doing business. They are know as the Confucian Busineemen 儒商 Ru Shang. Here are some poems that describe their values and practices.
From the decade, there are many books written to encourage us to add 'Conscience' to the capitalism of money only economy. Some examples are Conscious Capitalism: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business by John Mackey,  Megatrends 2010: The Rise of Conscious Capitalism by Patricia AburdeneFirms of Endearment: How World-Class Companies Profit from Passion and Purpose… by Rajendra S. Sisodia etc.

The present concerns with the poison milk power, using sub-standard and industrial materials for consumer oil and foods in PRC and Taiwan, also tells us that such Chinese businessmen also need to follow the call of the West to put our conscience back when doing business. They have departed much from the good practices of their fathers and fore-fathers.

Here are some poems that capture the spirit, the values, and the practices of the Ancient Confucian Businessmen.

Their Values:
Pay attention to race and culture. Foundation of Love, Rightness, Conduct, Wisdom & Honesty. Care for country and social responsibility. Follow ethical business practices. Don’t take money from unrighteousness means. Speak integrity, emphasize charity. Build up top level business culture rationale. Care for staff. Help the poor and weak. Build reputation and raise business opportunities.

Their Practices:
Dress like a gentleman, speak with wisdom and open-mindedness. Know about the culture and lifestyles of the world. Know about the great mountains and rivers. See and forget not. Speak with wisdom. Count with the heart and speak out the answer. No matter who, can be like old friends. Everyone like them and loose out not to celebrities.  Good reputation and win many friends. Keep promises made. Walk the talk. Gather the country wealth and bring benefits to all people.

Their History and Practices:
古有陶朱子贡,今有儒商千万。 Past has TaoZhu ZiGong  Now has many Ru Businessmen.
打造诚信品牌,虽予千金不换。 Build the Integrity Brand  Incorruptible by money.
不求日进斗金,但求无亏无欠。 Don’t seek lots of profits daily. Only ask not to have losses and debts.
力保供求双赢,有钱大家同赚。 Try best to preserve win-win for both. All share the money to be made.
先要成为朋友,再做合作伙伴。First become friends then become business partners.
友谊醇酒醉人,生活香茶一盏。 Friendship is like good wine. Living is having tea together.
经商必先做人,本是儒商高见。Being a person comes before business. Root is key to us.
经商必做儒商,不负今生所愿。 Must be a Ru Businessmen to do business. Don’t neglect the wish of this life.
打下人品根基,自有风光无限。Build a strong character foundation and future will be unlimited.

We can do a google search to findout some of the work and contributions of the famous Overseas Chinese Businessmen like Aw Boon Har (of Tiger Palm fame), Tan Kah Kee, Lee Kong Chian etc.
They used their wealth to build schools, hospitals, charities, support governments in their war efforts against their agressors etc.

Of course, it does not mean that there were no bad business practices and bad businessmen. There were called 奸商 Evil Businessmen and not busineemen. Businessmen are supposed to be honest.

Let's promote such values in business. 

Lim Liat (c) 11 Dec 2014