Becoming a Purpose-Driven Organization

Discovering and Charting a Course to Exceptional Results through Purpose

Created in partnership with: Robert E. QuinnAnjan Thakor

Becoming A Purpose-Driven Organization

Available Formats

  • Executive Session - 90 minutes over two days with one 30-minute online lesson and an expert-led 60-minute live virtual event
  • Sprint - 3 hours in a 1-week interactive virtual learning experience with daily 30-minute lessons and an expert-led 60-minute live virtual event
  • Guided Learning Journey - 3 to 5-week (12 hours) applied virtual learning experience with 30-minute daily lessons, three expert-led live virtual events, group coaching, and analytics

What You Will Learn

  • Develop a purpose-driven organization with a higher probability of learning, adapting and increasing performance
  • Transform assumptions of limitation to become people who can do purpose-driven work
  • Unleash positive energizers who inspire others and drive cultural change
  • Increase employee engagement, customer satisfaction, and economic performance

What You Will Do

  • Assess your company’s purpose, prescriptive interventions, and measure progress
  • Use an 8-step framework to collaboratively discover, validate, and refine your organization’s purpose
  • Apply a purpose-driven leader toolkit to focus organization performance on the organization’s higher purpose


Many leaders think of their workforce as being self-interested and motivated only by additional wealth or promotions, so they view the pursuit of higher purpose as not being in their best business interest. When an organization’s view employees this way, they create the very problems they expect. Consequently, employees not only fail to see opportunities but also experience conflict, resist feedback, underperform, and personally stagnate.

If a majority of the Global Workforce is disengaged what can organizations do to inspire great leadership? Through their research, Professors Bob Quinn and Anjan Thakor have found that there are 8 counter-intuitive insights associated with creating a purpose-driven organization. One of the most important is that in a company that has an authentic higher purpose, all decisions are arbitrated by the purpose. This leads the company to move from decisions of expediency to decisions of principle. The organization therefore does hard things, and doing hard things leads to new internal and external behaviors and interactions.

In Purpose-driven organizations employees get value beyond the paycheck. In such an organization there is more understanding, trust, commitment, engagement, collaboration, and learning. It is an empowering environment.

Through this program, participants will learn how they can align their organization with an authentic purpose, one that intersects with business interests and helps guide decision-making. In an organization of higher purpose, despite constant pressures to regress to the norm, the people interact with one another with respect and develop a win-win mentality that supports high levels of collaboration.

By creating a purpose-driven organization, employees believe they work in an organization of excellence. Externally, customers begin to perceive that they are obtaining added value by dealing with a company of authentic leadership, authentic employees, authentic brand, and authentic products. They are drawn to this excellence and confirm it by joining in the co-creation of the organization’s future.

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Course Outline

Expert Faculty

Robert E. Quinn
Professor Emeritus of Management and Organizations
Meet the Expert
Anjan Thakor
Washington University, St. Louis - John M. Olin School of Business, European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)
Meet the Expert

Additional Material

Upcoming CorpU Open Offerings

You can take advantage of CorpU right now by joining leaders in a mixed company setting. Join us for a high-impact week with 30-minute daily online lessons, interactive discussions, and a capstone event with our expert faculty.
Learn More About CorpU Open

  • Becoming a Purpose-Driven Organization
    July 22 — July 28, 2020
    Capstone: Live Event July 28, 2020 1:00 pm ET