Karmic Capitalist Conversations - businesses with purpose podcast

Bad news may sell. But it doesn't make things better. Seán Wood CEO of Positive News

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What do you do if the prevailing business model is very clearly saying one thing, yet your values and what the world needs are in diametric opposition to this?

That's the dilemma that faced my Karmic Capitalist guest on this week's podcast, Seán Wood CEO of Positive News.

"Bad news sells".

We hear this mantra because it's commercially true.

But as Seán says, we've reached peak negativity. And negativity can be disempowering. It leaves people feeling impotent, that it's too late, there's nothing you can do.

Which is not only a shame, but patently untrue. There's a lot going on in the world addressing the issues that we face which doesn't get a look in.

Enter Positive News. Founded by a 70 year old whirlwind of a lady from her kitchen table, who thought people should know about the good in the world, Positive News is now a high quality magazine with a significant online presence and a reach of over 2 1/2 million. It ’s led by my guest, CEO Seán Wood and is a case study of what you can do in a world where the prevailing business advice says you shouldn't be doing what you're doing, but the reality of what the world needs says the opposite.

There's a vast amount of goodness in this episode. Aside from the key topic above, we discuss a wide variety of issues relating to growing and pivoting a business. Such as...

  • Having your 1000 raving fans, but needing to pivot from how they've loved doing things in the past. And doing it while trying to keep as many of them engaged in your bigger purpose as you transition.
  • And in that vein, the importance of consistency of purpose as the business evolves.
  • Why the "and finally" segment that always used to grace the news with feelgood at the end was actually part of the problem.
  • What if succeeding in your mission means you'd be out of business?
  • The state of journalism, and the need for more solutions journalism. The shift away from a commercial model based on "hook them with a bad news headline, then sell them advertising".

And obviously, the importance of reporting what works to inspire or prompt others to do the same. Music to my ears as that is what we're doing with Karmic Capitalist.

This is one of my favourite episodes to date. Enjoy.


I host a weekly workshopping conversation with CEOs of SMEs (10 to 100 employees approx) about scaling up, allowing them to step back and do more strategic work, and doing this all in line with their values. Maximum 6 per session so we can have a real conversation.

If you'd like to join me for a conversation, find a date that works for you here.

Only CEOs / MDs as above. Peer-level conversation!

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