Do You Have a Culture of Purpose? Or is it Lost in a Silo?

By Todd Cohen, CSP

Corporate culture is often defined by the silos where people work and toil, not by how people matter. Silos isolate and keep people from engaging and collaborating, and they thwart an understanding of individual value and purpose because silos prevent the bigger picture from being revealed. Silos kill sales, wreck morale and provide false security.

What’s missing from this tired and worn out narrative? A focus and commitment to foster individual purpose. Purpose drives behavior, morale, employee and customer retention. Purpose equals profits.

People leave their jobs because they feel no purpose – no connection to the heart of the company. They don’t see a connection between what they do and the actual impact of their work and contribution. Are you creating a company where people make the connection between what they do and how it creates a business? This culture is no longer optional because the costs of turnover are far higher than the costs of creating an environment that destroys silos.

People want to know their purpose because “no one wakes up and is proud to be overhead.” Unfortunately, the silo prevents individual purpose and value from being understood in this context because it can be challenging to see beyond the silo walls.

The employee’s responsibility is to figure out their value proposition by asking others, “what is it you think I do?” It is a high-integrity move to make yourself vulnerable to ask others how they see your value and purpose. Leadership is responsible for hard-wiring the organization to allow for this kind of engagement across the silos, which accelerates the development of a sales and purpose culture.

The answer isn’t your title because that doesn’t explain what you do. What you do means in simple terms, “why should I engage you?”

We are responsible for bringing down the silo by acknowledging how people’s contributions have a purpose. This narrative conveys meaning and value by showing them they have made a difference.

When that bridge is built for people by people, we give them a strong sense of purpose, and in parallel, we create a sales culture. It’s pretty simple. Take the time to tell someone that what they did was helpful and profitable, and they will repeat that behavior over and over again. Then you have the destruction of silos, higher employee engagement and retention, and more sales.

If you are skeptical, just run the numbers. If you still don’t see it, you are risking your most valuable asset – your people and chances are pretty good that your competitors do get it and are running past you.

About the Author
Todd Cohen, CSP, has been inspiring and motivating audiences for over 12 years, teaching them to sell themselves to achieve goals and incredible success. You can learn more about Todd at

We are responsible for bringing down the
silo by acknowledging how people’s
contributions have a purpose.