The best books on conscious business

Bruno R. Cignacco Author Of The Art of Compassionate Business: Main Principles for the Human-Oriented Enterprise
By Bruno R. Cignacco

Who am I?

As a consultant, author, and researcher, for several years I have been very passionate about the study of companies that are very successful in the marketplace, but that are also human-oriented. In other words, I am very interested in companies that are profitable, but at the same time, are kind, compassionate, and caring with their main stakeholders. I like that these companies continually aim to foster robust long-term relationships with these stakeholders, and look for win-win agreements with them. What I love about these companies is that they focus on the quantitative aspects of business (e.g., profitability, growth, etc.) but also in its qualitative aspects (empathy, support, gratitude, generosity, etc.).


I wrote...

The Art of Compassionate Business: Main Principles for the Human-Oriented Enterprise

By Bruno R. Cignacco,

Book cover of The Art of Compassionate Business: Main Principles for the Human-Oriented Enterprise

What is my book about?

There are several well-ingrained assumptions regarding the dynamics of work and business activities: employees being viewed as commodities, competitors perceived as threats, companies’ resources seen as limited, and customers perceived as scarce and difficult, etc. All of which leads to the question, "Is there a way to perform business activities more humanely?"

This book challenges the reader to change the way they perform in business situations and become more focused on the human aspects of business activities. The users of this knowledge and those affected by them will undergo a profound transformation in the way they perform business activities. When readers put these principles into practice, positive ripple effects are bound to affect other stakeholders of the organization they work for or own.

The books I picked & why

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Making Work Human: How Human-Centered Companies Are Changing the Future of Work and the World

By Eric Mosley, Derek Irvine,

Book cover of Making Work Human: How Human-Centered Companies Are Changing the Future of Work and the World

Why this book?

I personally recommend this book because it clearly pinpoints the importance of some relevant values (e.g., gratitude, purpose, meaning) and their practical application to the work environment. I like the way this text discusses the regular use of these values and their direct relationship with business key parameters (e.g., growth, etc.). I found useful the description of the human workplace shown in the book, which includes traits like trust, meaningful work, empowerment, and others. There are some interesting insights on the importance of employee experience and specific ways to enhance it, among other topics. Finally, it is interesting that this book is littered with valuable statistical data backing its more relevant themes.   

Making Work Human: How Human-Centered Companies Are Changing the Future of Work and the World

By Eric Mosley, Derek Irvine,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Making Work Human as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Join the movement to harness the transformative power of people-and lead your company to superior business results!

By building a sense of belonging, purpose, meaning, happiness, and energy in every employee, you'll create a profound connection between your workforce and your organization and its goals. And that's the key to business success.

From the pioneers of the management strategy that has transformed business culture worldwide, Making Work Human takes you step by step through the process of implementing a culture of performance and gratitude in the workplace, seizing the competitive edge and driving business sustainability. Mosley and Irvine use game-changing…


The Human Moment: The Positive Power of Compassion in the Workplace

By Amy Bradley,

Book cover of The Human Moment: The Positive Power of Compassion in the Workplace

Why this book?

I like that this book pinpoints the importance of compassion for the workplace in a very well-justified manner. I really love that not only does this book explain the main traits of compassion, but it also pinpoints the reasons why compassion is missing in many workplaces, for example, communication breakdown, lack of empathy, etc. I find it very insightful that this book provides the reader with easy-to-apply strategies to develop more compassion in the work environment. This book also provides some specific cases of real organisations which have developed compassionate workplaces.   

The Human Moment: The Positive Power of Compassion in the Workplace

By Amy Bradley,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Human Moment as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

We live in a world in crisis. Societies are becoming fractured, opinions polarized and people are increasingly isolated. In an attempt to seek out human connection, many people spend more time at work than they do with family members, yet few of us have someone at work who we trust enough to share our vulnerabilities. To be human is to suffer, yet our struggles can remain hidden from work.

This book argues that compassion is a core human value, which is too often overlooked in business. In these challenging and unprecedented times, workplaces have a crucial role to play in…


Bring Your Human to Work: 10 Surefire Ways to Design a Workplace That Is Good for People, Great for Business, and Just Might Change the World

By Erica Keswin,

Book cover of Bring Your Human to Work: 10 Surefire Ways to Design a Workplace That Is Good for People, Great for Business, and Just Might Change the World

Why this book?

I really like this book because it provides the reader with very actionable ways to develop a more human-oriented workplace. I found interesting the way this book thoroughly dissects relevant themes related to the work environment, such as: the importance of an authentic voice, employee wellness, the significance of sustainable actions, and the value of giving back, among others. It is very useful that this book includes several examples of companies to illustrate these topics. I found it valuable that each relevant theme discussed in this book is accompanied by a human action plan, with very practical suggestions.  

Bring Your Human to Work: 10 Surefire Ways to Design a Workplace That Is Good for People, Great for Business, and Just Might Change the World

By Erica Keswin,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Bring Your Human to Work as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The secret to business success? Get REAL and be HUMAN!

As human beings, we are built to connect and form relationships. So, it should be no surprise that relationships must also translate into the workplace, where we spend most of our time! Companies that recognize this will retain the most productive, creative, and loyal employees, and invariably seize the competitive edge.

The most successful leaders are those who actively form quality relationships with their employees, who honor fundamental human qualities-authenticity, openness, and basic politeness-and apply them day in and day out. Paying attention and genuinely caring about the effects people…


Humane Capital: How to Create a Management Shift to Transform Performance and Profit

By Vlatka Hlupic,

Book cover of Humane Capital: How to Create a Management Shift to Transform Performance and Profit

Why this book?

I really like that this book discusses, in detail, the relationship between acting well in business and being successful. It grabbed my attention that this book thoroughly explores the main reasons that underpin the need for more human-focused organisations, such as: the value of humanised management, the upsurge of disruptive technologies, demographic changes, and others. It is very valuable that this text also provides the reader with very actionable ways to develop more humanised organisations. I found it interesting that various meaningful examples from the public, private, and non-profit sectors are dissected in a thorough manner, accompanied by a myriad of strategies to bring about significant shifts in these sectors.  

Humane Capital: How to Create a Management Shift to Transform Performance and Profit

By Vlatka Hlupic,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Humane Capital as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Featuring a foreword by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Despite decades of research and evidence, there is still extreme scepticism that businesses can combine a more humane style of management with superior shareholder returns, or that busy managers can be guided effectively by both their heads and their hearts. Vlatka Hlupic has spent 20 years investigating this paradox, developing an insightful critique of why such strong evidence has had limited impact and providing an alternative, practical approach that any employer can implement in order to overcome the unique challenges faced by their organizations. A clear correlation exists between companies that…


The Empathy Edge: Harnessing the Value of Compassion as an Engine for Success

By Maria Ross,

Book cover of The Empathy Edge: Harnessing the Value of Compassion as an Engine for Success

Why this book?

I like so much that this is a practical book that pinpoints the importance and advantages of empathy in business. I found it very insightful that the book also highlights the main traits and practices regarding empathy in leadership. It is very interesting that the text explores what makes empathetic cultures distinctive. Other relevant topics that grabbed my attention in this book are the importance of empathetic brand and the value of reputation, among others. This book stands out because each of the topics covered in the book is supported by clear and thorough explanations as well as suitable examples. I like the lists of practical tips for sharpening one’s empathetic edge provided in this book. 

The Empathy Edge: Harnessing the Value of Compassion as an Engine for Success

By Maria Ross,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Empathy Edge as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Furious customers? Missed deadlines? Failed products? The problems your business faces may stem from a single issue: lack of empathy.

Being empathetic at work means seeing the situation from another's perspective, and using that vantage point to shape your leadership style, workplace culture, and branding strategy. Pairing her knowledge as a branding expert with proven research and fascinating stories from executives, change-makers and community leaders, Maria Ross reveals exactly how empathy makes brands and organizations stronger and more successful.

Ross shows why your business needs to cultivate more empathy now, and shares the habits and traits of empathetic leaders who…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in organizational behavior, compassion, and empathy?

7,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about organizational behavior, compassion, and empathy.

Organizational Behavior Explore 23 books about organizational behavior
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