The Power of Purpose Symposium

The Power of Purpose Symposium was launched in 2017 as a joint venture between the Møller Institute and the International Leadership Association (ILA). The symposium grew out of a need to bring theory and practice together to expand our understanding of the power that purpose can have in an organization. Studies and research show that it is increasingly important that organizations embrace purpose and consider the value that they create for society as well as their shareholders.

Explore these resources from our first two Power of Purpose symposiums, then plan now to join us for Power of Purpose III – Measuring the Economics of Purpose 8-9 April 2021 in Chicago.

White Papers

Power of Purpose

Power of Purpose II - Igniting Organizational Purpose to Drive Business Performance and Societal Impact

Building on the first symposium, the focus of the second in December 2018 was how to implement purpose and use it to enhance business performance. Participants delved into how purpose drives employee engagement and how it is channeled by organizations to benefit society as well as shareholders and stakeholders. The whitepaper begins with a visual summary of the symposium, followed by an overview that presents research on the value of purpose. Next, three case studies demonstrate how companies currently approach organizational purpose. The paper ends with a summary of key findings and concludes with a consolidation of these outputs and suggestions on further research areas.

Download Whitepaper (pdf)

Power of Purpose

Power of Purpose I – Does Purpose Impact Stakeholder and Shareholder Value

In April 2017, 50 CEOS, HRDs, and leadership scholars worked in facilitated discovery workshops to share valuable experiences and initiatives that they had found create momentum and engagement and to address what purpose meant to them individually and to their organizations. This white paper begins with an Executive Summary of key findings from the symposium followed by an article by Georgia Sorenson on why today's leadership is about purpose-led companies. You then will get a glimpse into the process of the symposium before getting into the rich content and outcomes in the white paper. The document concludes with what more needs to be done.

Download Whitepaper (pdf)

Additional Articles from the Power of Purpose Symposiums

Group at Table

Organizational Purpose: Corporate Learning at the Nexus of Theory and Practice (August 2017)
Gillian Secrett summarizes the first symposium and discusses themes that emerged, how purpose affects various stakeholders, and next steps.


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Leader separate from group

Leadership: Person or Purpose (March 2017)
Forget about romanticized and heroic leaders. Today's leadership, writes Georgia Sorenson, is all about purpose-led companies that are organized or branded around an idea. Originally published in Global Focus Magazine.

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Thought Bubbles

CEO's and Thought Leaders Explore the Power of Purpose (June 2017)
Successful CEOs and HR Directors joined forces with globally-renowned leadership scholars to examine, at the nexus of theory and practice, the power of purpose.


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