Tuesday, November 22, 2005

John Mackey Rocks (he's Whole Foods' CEO)

Check out John Mackey's blog. The man's a genius.

And check out this 20 questions interview for a briliant overview of the true function of businesses. I'm developing our concept for "conscious capitalism" over here at Zaadz and Mackey epitomizes the ideals around which we're striving to build our business.

Brilliant. Brilliant. Brilliant.

(btw: for those of you who didn't know, John's a vegan. Cool article on that progression and Whole Foods' remarkable success.

Great quote from that article--among many many others: "If you look back 100 years from now, history will show that Whole Foods will be in the top-five companies that changed the world."

thought on animal care:

Mackey's new determination to raise Whole Foods' standards for animal care -- a command decision to which there has been nothing but assent internally -- may rock the cattle, pork, and poultry industries. After six months of meetings, Whole Foods settled on rules for ducks, and this summer will begin setting standards for pig raising. And Mackey believes Americans will soon shun factory farms that raise and slaughter 9 billion animals a year as if they were protein products, not creatures. "Right now," he says, "Americans have to pretend factory farms don't exist. They turn their eyes away, because there's no alternative, there's no choice." Once there is a choice, he says, we will allow ourselves to be outraged. Equally dramatic transformations have happened in the past 25 years. Consider the revolution in attitudes about drunk driving and smoking in the United States.

In 20 years of making predictions about his company and his business, Mackey has never missed a bet, except for underestimating the market for organic and natural foods. (At one point in the early 1990s, he said there were only 100 good sites for Whole Foods markets in the entire country.) Sitting in his office in 2004, he says without hesitation, "Twenty years from now, factory farms will be illegal in the United States."


I could quote so much from each of those articles. Highly recommend you read em both.

A final thought from Mr. Mackey: "...follow your heart wherever it takes you. Choose love instead of fear. If you do, a wonderful life adventure awaits you! Carpe diem!"


At 10:19 PM, Blogger Ryan G said...

Count me as an admirer of Mackey - I even lept to his defense on Vegan Freak recently! I had actually read the '20 questions interview' for supporting evidence, but the FC one looks like a must-read too - one to pass on. There is an audio interview here that is worth the listen as well.

I would love to see a Whole Foods in Calgary here - given the the standard of living, money and growth here, I am sure it will happen within a few years. Although I love my local co-op, WF is a business woth my dollar votes.

I confess that in many ways I am pessimistic about the future - AIDS, inequality, poverty, decreasing biodiversity, global warming, terrorism etc - but that reference to smoking as evidence for the speed of change for the good is one that I oft thing about too (also in recent years, how homosexuals are viewed by the 'dominant ideology' or whatever - in Canada, homosexuals can marry). In a few years, my guess is their will be laws restricting adults(including parents) from smoking around kids - seriously how can one justify smoking in a house or car with kids in it? But I digress...

At 2:26 PM, Blogger HMBT said...

Wow! Someone new for me! I am really down with his way of working from the hip and the heart. Great stuff thanks Bri!
I just bloged you.
and I wrote a letter to/for John Murtha ...way to go Brian... with you, it's all about the issue not the topic...I like that.
Ummm, One quick question...how much longer til we get to play with the new zaadz goods? I'm dyin ovar' here...Heather
ps my validation code for this post was no kidding...poowew...heheheh! I've had to much sugar today...sorry.

At 4:33 PM, Blogger Greg Aurand said...

I'm not sold! Mackey gives great lip service about what an enlightened business model Whole Foods is, but having worked for the competitor, Wild Oats, I got to see first hand just how ruthless Mackey and his team were. They went out of way, at the expense of communities and customers, to try to put Wild Oats stores out of business. I hired away a number of their disillusioned managers and employees, who were seeking positions with a company that walked their talk! Too bad it wasn't Wild Oats that bought out Whole Foods.

At 4:36 PM, Blogger Brian Johnson said...

thanks for your comment, Greg. Enlightened business doesn't exist outside of the context of a competitive landscape. And, fact is that if Wild Oats was as well run as Whole Foods, they would have been the ones buying...

At 11:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey there! i don't know john personally, but he sounds like a pretty intelligent and genuinely loving person. maybe he needs to hear that the little worker bees who keep his conscious business going need a little more love and attention. i have run across people who have worked for the company from southern to northern california that were pretty frustrated with the way corporate was run. i wanted to get a job there at one point because i loved whole foods as a shopper (although the prices have been a little high in comparison to trader joe's), but several people advised me otherwise (at least 4 at different times). i also heard that there was a recent settlement involving old employees not getting correct pay? anyway, just on a quest for the truth! THANKS!


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