When I first walked into the offices of Marque Law Firm I was instantly ambushed by the stunning natural décor – very unlike a typical law firm. The whole office was stripped of any false pretense it was like they shattered the corporate walls of deception to show their true selves. Clandestine partitions were replaced by rustic timber logs and sections of the office were made to look like park benches surrounded by trees.
The whole Marque experience from vising the website to entering the office doors was natural, genuine and real. Gone was the intimidating façade and grand imposing interior. It was like the law firm had stripped itself naked to expose its real self, its human self. Then I met founder and managing partner Michael Bradley who embodied every element of the environment he had created.
While most companies are in business purely just to make money, Marque represents a growing trend toward conscious capitalism. This new model of business combines purpose with profit. It’s an approach to business that recognized that without a higher sense of purpose, the ability to continue making profits is limited.
As a business model, conscious capitalism is based on four core principles:
- Higher purpose –
It’s about finding the meaning and purpose in the work you do. For example – Doctors make money but their ‘purpose’ is to ‘heal’ people
- Serving all stakeholders –
It’s about creating value for all your stakeholders including customers and staff instead of just focusing on personal gain and self-aggrandizement.
- Conscious leadership –
Conscious leaders focus on ‘we’ instead of ‘me’. They inspire and bring out the best from those around them and create value for all stakeholders.
- Conscious culture –
Culture embodies the company’s values, principles and practices it fosters care and builds trust between the company’s team members and its other stakeholders.
Conscious Capitalism was developed by business professor Raj Sisodia and John Mackey co-founder and CEO of Whole Foods Market in the US. By focusing on a ‘higher purpose’ for his business it is on the Forbes 100 Great Places to Work lists while Whole Foods Market has become a billion-dollar company worth $16.14 billion and is on the Forbes rich list.
The higher purpose of Whole Foods Market is:
- To help agriculture be more sustainable (Whole Foods Market is certified organic)
- Improve health of Americans and the world
- Work with Whole Planet Foundation to end world poverty
- Promote conscious capitalism to other businesses
This is exactly the corporate culture and leadership that Michael Bradley has created at Marque by becoming a conscious business that puts purpose before profits. By default Marque is one of the fastest growing law firms –Australian Legal Business Magazine.
The purpose of Marque is to create a happy working environment that isn’t controlled by the merciless pressure of timesheets. For this reason Marque does not bill in six minute intervals and Bradley is helping to address the mental health problem that is epidemic in his industry – 33 percent of lawyers in Australia suffer depression to the point of disability and distress.
Depression and mental health issues are caused by the industry’s ruthless obsession of capturing every minute of lawyer’s billable hours. Although Bradley became successful without playing this high pressured game instead he’s firm is governed by purpose and happiness.
When Bradley acknowledged the mental health epidemic that his industry was plagued in he decided to build a firm with happy, smart engaged lawyers that are also working to create social good. Awareness about mental health is high on the radar as is helping a stream of charities including Oak Tree – which address global poverty and supporting the Griffin Theatre Company.
It’s this higher purpose that motivates, inspires and energizers Marque staff and attracts clients. Marque ensures that the culture and values of the firm conveys a sense of fun, boldness, happiness and energy. This refreshing approach has helped engage staff and keeps Bradleys’ inbox full daily with new bright applicants. This can only be a great formula for continued success and growth.
The flourishing law socially conscious law firm is also B-Corp Certified. As a B-Corp it must have a social and environmental mission and must publish independently verified reports on its social and environmental impact along with its financial results.
As a conscious business Michael Bradley encapsulates everything a leader should be. “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, then you are a leader.” – John Quincy Adams.