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Manifesto

Capital Conversations was created to help business people have conversations that generate value and regenerate the business. We believe that because of the “numbers trap” and the obsession with targets, people are working too hard and thinking too little and value is being destroyed as a result.

Capital is a key asset that generates income for a business, but there has been a real shift in the type of capital that drives success. Physical capital is ever less important, while the complex web of relationships, individual skills and know how that constitute human, or social, capital is increasingly the driver of competitive advantage. Generating returns on this capital requires collaboration and connection, celebrating differences not judging them.

The digital revolution has created the connected age, rendering mechanistic metaphors redundant – rather than ‘leveraging capacity utilisation’, business needs to “optimise” its human capital. With ever more data and intelligence we need more insight and imagination to make a real difference.

We believe that by engaging people in a motivating and clear purpose, work is more joyful and you will generate greater value.

Studies suggest that we are using only 5-6% of our brainpower – just getting this to 10% would double the return on every person. With ever more sophisticated “cognitive labour” performed by algorithms, we need to do this by encouraging more connection and relationship. The brain works best in the presence of a question and it performs most powerfully when it is receiving high quality attention. Dialogue, listening in a way that ignites thinking and questions that generate breakthrough insights, are the foundations of conversations that generate returns.

When people are in strong relationship with each other, highly present and engaged with the real issues, there’s a level of connection that rarely occurs in business meetings. Feeling valued and invested in, people can focus on why the business exists, what they are uniquely good at and what will make the business more competitive. With meaning and purpose aligned, actions translate into enduring value

To generate greater value you need to have the conversations that matter.

We need conversations that are generative – that bring new ideas to the world and new ways of seeing the issues we face, conversations that access our wisdom as well as our intelligence. While the future is more unknown and uncertain than ever, competitive advantage will be increasing driven by the quality of conversations we are prepared to have, the questions we ask and the attention we give. Better conversations that inspire better thinking will fundamentally drive value. Business will be better for everyone as a result.

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