Life Enabling Enterprise: An Alternative
Approach to Commerce Volume 1: The Model and Other Critical Knowledge
by Raphael L. Vitalo, Ph.D., Christopher J. Bujak, B.S.M.E.
If you have a review to share, please send
it to us here.
Research, Sobering Implications, and Hopeful Prescriptions"
||James S. Byron - Head, Organization Change
Making, Lincoln Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
This book is an extraordinarily well researched examination of the empirical
findings in the fields of economics and biological, medical, psychological,
and evolutionary sciences that should underpin the commercial models that
govern, shape and regulate the well-being of societies. This work is both
enlightening and disturbing. It challenges our traditional thinking and
dispels the crystallizing myths that govern our thinking about how our
economy actually works and how it should work in order to meet our human
The book also provides an innovative alternative approach to commerce
that Vitalo and Bujak label, Life-Enabling Enterprise. They present
both a well-developed conceptual model and operational guidance for conducting
a commercial enterprise at every level of human and organizational performance,
from governance and policy to procedural and process implementation.
approach offers individuals and society as a whole an empowering framework
that is consistent with the deep investigation and findings from the
last 50+ years of human performance outcomes research. Life- Enabling
is an inspiring and thorough account of what is possible to truly support
the conditions that sustain human survival and enable the emergence
of healthy people and cultures.
||A book that
anyone who cares about others as well as themselves needs to read
||Richard Wheelband, F.I.M.L.T., A.R.T.
I have now read all of Volume 1, Life Enabling Enterprise as compared
with capitalism. As the authors' research reveals, many people behave
in other-regarding ways. Such people are not recognized by capitalism
that sees all of us as self-serving by nature. Capitalism to me has always
been a malignant manipulation of others for profit only. Hence, other
important human needs that science has documented humankind requires
The authors' research and presentation are immaculate. My question
is: will this alternative free-market approach to commerce they describe
fly? My earnest hope is that
it will fly. The cynical side of me says that the malignancy of self-serving
capitalism has now gone beyond the point of no return. I do hope that
I am wrong and that these authors' vision of a life-enabling enterprise
model will become well established.
The fact of "other-regarding" people has to me always been
in place. Such people are relatively benign and peace loving. This behaviour,
whilst comforting in many ways, has always been its Achilles heel that
capitalism has exploited. Probably the other-regarding behaviour of Homo
Sapiens is why we still thrive as a species today. Certainly, as this
book documents, evolutionary scientists think this is so. The non-other-regarding
(my words) elements of our society have always been there too. Thoughts
of us collectively being "beyond the point of no return," however,
have been bothering me, to say the least, particularly for the last 20
years. The authors' warning [in Chapter 16] is most pertinent to my concerns.
Capitalist companies seem to be more aggressive than ever in shutting
competitors down. Society is becoming deeply divided. Increased violence
is rearing its ugly head. Your readers would be far too naive to fail
to take this into account.
The book's appendices are also an important component of its contribution
to our understanding. I especially resonated with the section on page
500 that addressed "Reduced law enforcement" [of commercial
enterprises.] This has been watched by many including me. Governments
are becoming less involved in what I call "necessary control." The
reasons are complicated but the overriding reason is the influence of "big
for a Free Market Alternative to Capitalism ...
||Chris Holmberg - Founder, Middle Path
The Life Enabling Enterprise by Raphael Vitalo and Christopher Bujak
is both a rigorous critique of capitalism in theory and application and
a detailed description of an alternative approach to commerce. The authors begin with a detailed and rigorously researched critique
of capitalism, first targeting its theoretical underpinnings and then
moving on to the social and political impacts of capitalism as the dominant
economic model. Along the way they cite numerous empirical studies disproving
unsupported "traditional wisdom" suggesting that capitalism
is the only common sense framework for commerce. Possibly the most basic
of these is the belief that people are fundamentally selfish and will
maximize economic benefit to themselves without regard for others. The
authors show numerous studies disproving this theory. If you have ever
had the feeling that capitalism is not working and longed for a strong
research base to substantiate those feelings, you'll love this section.
This isn't an emotional reaction to capitalism as an economic framework
but a philosophically sound and deeply research-based take down of the
If the basic premises underlying capitalism are unsound, then what
could an economic model based on proven theory look like and how would
based on the model be structured and operate? Here again, Vitalo and
Bujak don't skip steps. They begin with first premises - What is commerce?
What are the functions of a commercial framework? How would we know if
a framework works in practice? Only when these are answered do they go
on to build the "Life Enabling Enterprise" model. Supporting
their propositions at each step, they describe the strategic, operation,
and executive components of an enterprise built on the model. The level
of detail in describing each component, its purpose, how it is built,
and how its success can be measured is exhaustive. A business leader
wanting to apply the Life Enhancing Model to S/he organization would
have everything S/he would be left wanting little for the practical application
of the model.
The book ends with an appropriate warning. The authors take time explaining
the real-world implications of applying the model in markets where capitalistic
thinking predominates. Taking the path of the Life Enabling Enterprise
model will create active resistance amongst those whose identity and
enterprise are based on capitalistic thinking. Yet, even here, the authors
provide references to research that this approach is not just a "good" thing
to do, but one that will succeed economically.