The undeniable power of purpose for our employees


There is something almost magical that happens when an organization clarifies and embraces its purpose. It is something that may be most dramatically seen with our team members, affecting everything from recruiting to retention to productivity. Ultimately, it leads to results that having an eye-opening effect on the bottom-line success of an organization.

Recruiting the best
Attracting talent is one of the areas where the power of purpose really becomes evident. As one report from Deloitte revealed, “Overall, 60 percent of the Millennials we surveyed say a ‘sense of purpose’ is part of the reason they chose to work for their current employer."

This is just one of many studies that continue to illustrate a growing desire among recruits in today’s market. But what’s even more intriguing are findings that demonstrate purpose is going beyond being a preference to becoming a prerequisite for some. A study from Rutgers University spelled out the significance of this by reporting, “Over half — 58 percent — say they are willing to accept less pay in order to work for an organization that shares their values, and 45 percent say they would give up 15 percent to have a job that seeks to make a social or environmental difference in the world."

Recruits are telling us that purpose is important to them. And they’re willing to put their money where their mouth is.

Retaining the best
I often talk about purpose having a certain magnetic quality that attracts the best candidates. But it is a magnetism that goes beyond attracting to ensuring that talent sticks with our organization. As another report noted, “…purpose-driven employees have 20 percent longer expected tenures, are 47 percent more likely to act as ambassadors for the organization, and are 64 percent more likely to be fulfilled in their work."

Promoting purpose creates a sense of meaningfulness in our work. It’s that meaningfulness that generates this extraordinary magnetism - especially for our top talent.

Boosting productivity
It should come as no surprise that team members that are drawn to a purpose-driven organization also end up being more productive than their counterparts in less purposeful organizations. It just makes sense. A purpose-driven environment leads to more highly-engaged employees. And highly-engaged employees are more productive employees. As an example, “A recent study found that when employees feel they’re working toward a good cause, they are 30 percent more productive."

Of course, co-opting purpose to solely drive more productivity won’t work. Team members have a keen sense for that kind of inauthentic manipulation. The productivity is a rewarding byproduct that will emerge when we engage people in work where they genuinely feel they are making a difference for those around them.

Building success
There are many reasons to embrace a purpose within an organization. But the bottom line is the bottom line. And this is where purpose excels.

According to a study from Deloitte, “91% of respondents (executives and employees) who said their company had a strong sense of purpose also said their company had a history of strong financial performance."

This is one of the many findings that continue to surface, helping us all understand how purpose is driving success across all divisions and departments.

It is undeniable how it has become a decision driver and an impact issue for our people. Which means it has become an impact issue for the whole organization. By powering recruiting, retention, and productivity with purpose, it’s an impact that we can nurture to ripple out all the way to the bottom line.

Daniel Edwards on rebuilding thriving life in overlooked communities

November's Conquer For Good: Connect talk featured Daniel Edwards of Movement KC, a real estate development company whose focus is rebuilding life in overlooked and forgotten communities. Daniel and his wife, Ebony, dive deep into what makes neighborhoods function better and turn that into a community empowerment initiative where they strive to create the best community possible, starting in East Kansas City. Check out his full talk below.

Why Conquer for Good Means Hope


When the Will & Grail team decided to launch Conquer for Good earlier this year, the goal was simple.  Let’s get people together to hear and learn from stories of people driving social innovation and purpose-driven business initiatives that are making a positive impact on lives, communities and the world. We knew good things were happening, the stories just get lost in the chaos and the rat race of life.  

We are fortunate enough to work with, consult and advise lots of organizations and businesses who are working to balance purpose and profitability - working to do good and do well.  We see their efforts in all stages of development - from the inception of ideas and the struggle to get traction to growth and expansion to optimize their positive impact on a global scale.  

It is through this perspective that we identified three forces that can change the world - entrepreneurial innovation, enterprise scale and an egalitarian sense of good. We have also seen the blurring of lines with how the three sectors work and work together - for profit, nonprofit and government (including education). The evolution of our world bases on these factors and blurring of lines is leading us toward something incredibly powerful - a new mindset that looks for a balanced approach to money and meaning. The recognition that we can’t chase profit at all costs.  But also that we need to use capital and resources in the most efficient way possible to optimize impact in solving social challenges.

From the launch of our Conquer for Good event in March of 2017, we received incredible feedback from attendees, and from the Kansas City community who helped us spread the word. We’re planning Conquer for Good 2018 now and will release information shortly.  But that’s not enough - because there are too many stories to share and too much momentum to be lost if we don’t continue the conversation and collaboration between folks interesting in putting into action the conquer for good mindset  So we launched Connect in August, to provide a monthly gathering to listen and learn from folks advancing social and purpose-driven businesses and organizations.

To say the first three Connect events have been insightful and inspiring would be an understatement.  The three speakers all come from different paths.  The organizations they’re building and leading are focused on different ways to drive positive social change.  The stories showed different approaches and different needs to bring time, talent and treasure together in the form of a business model that is sustainable and scalable.

We’ll share in a future edition of Catalyst the collective insight that we can all gain from the stories told by Brent Lager of UncoverKC, Emily Moon of By Grace Designs, and Doug Cowan of Community Services League.  

What we can tell you is that all of them, to the core, are driven by passion for what they do, a deep faith that they are doing work that matters, and it’s all driven by love for people.  

We’ll be releasing soon, to accompany the video of their talks, an interview with each speaker. One question we ask is what the term conquer for good means to them.  Their answers point to why we started Conquer for Good - to talk about doing good in the hopes of putting the world on a better course for the future.  

As Brent Lager said, “Conquer for Good means hope. There is so much to lose hope over in the world that if we want to survive the pain and evil, we must overcome it with happiness and good.” Well said.

We invite you to learn more about Conquer for Good at - and please let us know if there are stories we should share or you have ideas to make the experience even more powerful.