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Home » The Power of Purpose in Business: Ashley M. Grice (Transcript) 

The Power of Purpose in Business: Ashley M. Grice (Transcript) 

Here is the full transcript of Ashley M. Grice’s talk titled “The Power of Purpose in Business” at TED conference.

In this talk, strategist Ashley M. Grice highlights the profound impact of a well-defined and authentic corporate purpose. She begins by sharing a personal experience on a Delta Airlines flight, where a small act of kindness by a flight attendant exemplified Delta’s customer-focused purpose. Grice emphasizes that purpose is more enduring than a company’s mission or vision, rooted deeply in its ethos and values.

She stresses the importance of authenticity in purpose, using examples of companies where purpose is integral to their brand identity. Grice advises leaders to critically excavate purpose from within, acknowledging the discomfort that can come with aligning idealism with realism. She asserts that purpose should pervade all levels of an organization, from the C-suite to front-line employees, to truly embed it into the company’s culture.

Grice concludes by illustrating how purpose, when integrated consistently across an organization, becomes a powerful force for cultural change and business success.

Listen to the audio version here:


In 2019, I took a 9 a.m. flight from Atlanta to New York City. I was the first person to board that day. So as I death-gripped my phone to step over that little crack that leads to the runway, I caught a glimpse of the flight attendant. Head in her hand, like this, eyes closed.

The moment she heard me, she looked up, she put a smile on her face and she said, “Good morning.” “This is not your first flight of the day, is it?” I asked. “No,” she said, “it had been a really early one.” I made some silly sleep joke and she laughed, and I went to go sit in my seat.

She couldn’t have been more than 25 years old. During the flight, we exchanged pleasantries, and at one point she came to offer me a snack, and she asked me what I was going to New York to do. I said that I was going to deliver a speech and that honestly, I was cutting it kind of close. “No time for lunch?” she asked.

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