9Imbue the Organization with a Higher Purpose

Robert E. Quinn and Anjan V. Thakor

Many organizations perform below their potential. They are composed of self-interested people playing zero-sum games, pursuing external rewards, engaging in conflicts, and living in alienated relationships. Yet it is possible for those same people to willingly pursue the common good, to value intrinsic rewards, and to live in trust and experience high collaboration. This transformation occurs when a leader helps to imbue the organization with a higher purpose. Yet few executives understand how to do so. In this chapter we explain the barriers that block them from imbuing their organizations with a higher purpose, and we offer three strategies to help you do so. ...

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