The CEO Guide to creating a Beautiful Business

What would your business look like were it more beautiful?

I have always been fascinated by beautiful things: landscape, architecture, furniture, tools, books, music, words as stories, food, businesses. Beautiful things are prepared with love. The act of creating something of beauty is a way of bringing good into the world. Infused with optimism, it says simply: Life is joyfully worthwhile. Otherwise what’s the point? I believe it is beauty that lends things their immortality; as a work of art, as a piece of industrial design, an idea that changed the world, or a memory you hold forever.

In 2016 I published ‘Do Design. Why beauty is key to everything’. Based on a lifetime’s practice. Since then, I’ve invited businesses from around the world to explore an intriguing question — ‘What would your business look like if it were more beautiful?” What is a beautiful business, and, what does it mean in practice?

I sought out leaders and CEOs, craftsmen and makers, artists and writers who lead lives with greater purpose. I went in search of profitable businesses across the globe that are enduringly beautiful. From that inspiring journey came an extensive record of companies that show business can be worthwhile, meaningful and profitable.

This guide is based on that journey together with the knowledge I have gathered over my career as a maker, innovator, mentor and trainer. I hope you find it as insightful and optimistic as I do.

These were the questions business wanted answers to:

01. How does beauty as a philosophy and practice help us craft better things?
02. How can beauty be applied to services
03. Can beauty help us become better leaders?
04. Can you code beauty?
05. What does a beautiful organisation look like?
06. How does a beautiful business yield high financial returns and still be ethical                                             07. How does beauty scale?
08. What is the language of a beautiful business?

The CEO Guide to creating a Beautiful Business. Download here.

SPECIAL THANKS

To all the people and companies that participated in our symposia, sharing their knowledge in interviews, or generally supporting the development of the Beautiful Business project, with love, goodwill and purpose. Thank you.

Xero | Dyson School Design Engineering | Imperial College London | Sogeti
Cambridge University Emmanuel College | Interface | Falcon Coffees | The Do Lectures Husqvarna | Futerra | Relae | Robeco | Freedom Lab | TU Delft | WWF | Beta-i
City Helsinki | Yeo Valley Farms | Gransfors Bruk | Philips | Discovery | Naim
Hultfors | Folkhem | Paramo | Levi’s | MIT | Sloan School of Management | Pixar |  Brunello Cucinelli | PINC | Blitz Motorcycles | Tashi Mannox | Paul Hawken  |  San Marzano | E5 Bakehouse |

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