Raymond (Ray) Raad, co-founder of RIVIA Mind, joined our Senior Leader Network in March 2022. Ray had always been a proponent of capitalism but knew that consistently prioritizing short-term profits wasn’t a sustainable business model and didn’t adequately support all stakeholders. By implementing ideas from Conscious Capitalism, RIVIA Mind has been able to better serve the needs of its clinicians and patients.
A natural fit
Ray has long believed in many of the core tenets of Conscious Capitalism. John Mackey and many of the philosophers and economists referenced in Conscious Capitalism: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business were influential to Ray’s own personal development. “Later in life when I had my own company,” Ray said, “Conscious Capitalism was a natural movement to consider and to join.”
Ray is an ardent supporter of capitalism and believes Conscious Capitalism is a phenomenal representation of that support.
“I believe that capitalism is the best social-economic system for human beings. My family is from Syria, and that’s where I lived until age five and continued to visit for some time afterwards. It is always striking to me how much better life is in the US than Syria – and the reason for that striking difference is capitalism,” Ray shared. “It’s important for business leaders to take an interest in the broader society and the kind of economic system that will lead to the most prosperity.”
Mental health matters
In addition to his affinity for capitalism as a system, Ray is passionate about our collective mental health. “Mental healthcare is a supremely valuable service for so many people in our society. When done well, it helps us classify and understand our strengths and challenges, and encourages us to use self-reflection, effort, and medications and other treatments to make personal changes in line with our goals.” This passion is what became Ray’s Higher Purpose: “to bring excellent quality mental health care to people around the country, in a way that is accessible and reliable.”
The quality of that care is also very important to Ray. He laments that many other mental health providers work to maximize client time in order to maximize revenue. That leaves holes elsewhere, though. “What about clinician experience and quality?” Ray asks.
“Clinicians need time to learn and to improve their skills over time. So, you need to make the decision based on other factors. And Conscious Capitalism’s principles of Stakeholder Orientation and Higher Purpose helped me here. I know that clinicians have a better experience when they have more education and administrative time, and I know that our purpose as an organization includes education, so I decided to prioritize education time at RIVIA Mind.” This education can come from internal education, academic discussions, or learning on the job from more senior clinicians. RIVIA Mind’s culture prioritizes continual learning and improvement.
In addition to the focus on clinician development, RIVIA Mind offers a more comprehensive set of services for patients. “Many mental health companies focus on psychotherapy alone, or medication management alone, and expect the patient to go elsewhere for the other. We encourage and equip our clinicians to do both,” Ray explained.
Ray measures the results of this philosophy a number of ways, but chief among them is client retention. RIVIA Mind’s higher retention rate signals that patients find their style and services to be consistently valuable.
Practice what you preach
Given RIVIA Mind’s focus on learning and development, it should come as no surprise that Ray makes it a priority for himself. He enjoys that Conscious Capitalism has allowed him to connect with like-minded business leaders. “So much learning comes from hearing the stories and challenges that others face and having a community of people to share and discuss ideas with.”
Through Conscious Capitalism Ray has connected with leaders of larger companies and made an effort to learn from them. “Some [leaders] have been facing significant recession risks and difficulties with revenue targets. And those [conversations] showed me the value of keeping calm and remaining a driver of positive energy and forward momentum even in difficult times.”
Ray’s advice to fellow Conscious Capitalists
When Ray was getting started, he worked to build confidence in himself as a leader and a businessman. This confidence in turn helped him build the strength to face challenges. Ray recommends considering your own Higher Purpose and letting that ground you.
“I’d recommend that other leaders also establish for themselves confidence in what they are building and why. And what difference it might make in the world.”
By learning and growing as a member of the Conscious Capitalism community Ray has been able to continue to build that confidence and continue to work toward his Higher Purpose.
We caught up with Ray at the 2022 CEO Summit. For some of his thoughts, listen below.