The Economics of Higher Purpose

One-Day Workshop
   When employees are disengaged and underperforming, the reaction of many managers is to try new incentives and ratchet up oversight and control. Yet often nothing improves. Why? Because the assumption behind such conventional approaches is that work is fundamentally contractual and that employees are self-interested agents who will seek to minimize personal effort. And that assumption becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy: Employees do just what is needed to earn a reward or meet a standard, and nothing more.    

But there is another way. Rally the organization behind an authentic higher purpose—an aspirational mission that explains how employees are making a difference and gives them a sense of meaning. If you do that, they will try new things, move into deep learning, and make surprising contributions. The workforce will become energized and committed, and performance will climb.

What Gets Covered

  1. The Value of Higher Purpose
    Conventional thinking leads to a reactive life. Having a higher purpose changes everything. Drawing on the most recent research, participants will discover the potential of bringing higher purpose to life, leadership, and organization.
  2. Becoming a Purpose-Driven Person
    Drawing on research from the psychology of higher purpose, the group will learn how to become self-empowering, and to shift from a focus on survival to a focus on flourishing.
  3. Becoming a Purpose-Driven Leader
    We will examine how to become purpose driven leaders who can turn any situation positive. The group will engage in an exercise that provides practice in entering the fundamental state of leadership. (operating at a higher level of influence) Participants will also practice how to invite others to join in purpose driven networks.
  4. Becoming a Purpose-Driven Organization
    In this segment participants will examine the research that provides the business case for higher purpose. The group will join in an exploration of eight counter-intuitive principles for creating a purpose driven organization or group. The group will explore how to implement each principle.





Who We Are

Robert E. Quinn is the Margaret Elliot Tracy Collegiate Professor Emeritus at the University of Michigan, Ross School of Business.  His research and writing focuses on purpose, leadership, culture and change.  He is one of the co-founders and of the field of Positive Organizational Scholarship and a co-founder of the Center for Positive Organizations.  Quinn has published 18 books.  His volume, Deep Change is a long-term best seller. His book, The Best Teacher in You won the Ben Franklin Award designating it the best book in education. His latest book is The Positive Organization: Breaking Free of Conventional Cultures, Constraints and Beliefs.  In 2019 he will publish, The Economics of Higher Purpose: Eight Counter Intuitive Steps for Creating a Purpose Driven Organization.  In terms of research, he is in the top 1% of professors cited in organizational behavior textbooks.  Quinn is particularly known for his work on the competing values framework which has been used by thousands of organizations.  His paper, Moments of Greatness: Entering the Fundamental State of Leadership, was selected by the Harvard Business Review as one of the ten Must Reads On Managing Yourself.  In terms of teaching and speaking, Quinn is the recipient of multiple teaching awards.  In a global survey he was recently named one of the top speakers in the world on the topic of organizational culture and related issues.  His recent talk on purpose went viral and has been viewed by over 15 million people.      
Anjan Thakor holds the John E. Simon Professorship of Finance at Washington University in St. Louis. He is Director of the Olin Business School’s PhD program, and Director of the WFA Center for Finance and Accounting Research.  Anjan’s research interests focus on banking, information economics, and corporate finance. His current research focuses on financial stability, bank capital, innovation, culture and the economics of higher purpose.  In an article published in 2008, he was identified as the fourth most prolific researcher in the world in Finance over the past 50 years based on publications in the top seven Finance journals over that time. In another paper published in 2017, he was listed as one of the five-most prolific Finance authors in the world during 2005–15.  Anjan has won numerous teaching awards.  He is actively involved in corporate consultancy and expert witness work, including extensive work in corporate finance and banking.  He is a frequent speaker at corporate events and has helped various types of organizations, including numerous Fortune 500 firms, navigate the complexities of financing, capital investment, and performance evaluation for strategic decision-making. 

Roll-over photos to learn more

Learn More