With blogs, such as this, or any social media connection—email, text, online media in general—it seems that building relationships has become a lost art. However, I beg to differ and will explain.
This blog is about Relationship Economics and how it’s still as valuable as ever and even in vogue. In today’s economy, relationships are perhaps the new currency. A relationship describes a connection or association between people and/or things. Economics is about resource abundance, scarcity and allocation, the distribution and consumption of capital, and investments or factors of production. Thus, Relationship Economics is the association of people and things with resources, distributed or consumed, that influence our individual production and outputs. David Nour, the author of Relationship Economics sums it up well, stating, “Relationship Economics isn’t about taking advantage of friends or co-workers to get ahead. It’s about prioritizing and maximizing a unique return on strategic relationships to fuel unprecedented growth.”
How does this relate to our business and who we want to be? Businesses and people that do not focus on relationships are setting themselves up for failure. Relationships govern important exchanges of capital or resources, including time, information, knowledge, money, technology and services. Managing relationships well improves productivity and profits in many ways. Not only relationships with customers but with co-workers as well; understanding, empathy and listening are key to building strong teams who believe in the organization and want to succeed.
In general, we rely on relationships every day to make our lives better. Businesses also depend on relationships. They depend on relationships with partners to deliver products and services, with customers to maintain healthy revenue, and with employees to sustain productivity. The best business technologies must support the Relationship Economy by helping people connect along the business relationship continuum.
Thriving in the Relationship Economy starts with trust—not naivety, but creating trust through integrity (see my post on the ROI of integrity). It is essential that we nurture commonality, which helps us empathize and relate to each other. Focusing on relationships, we can provide the goods and services that others require, which in turn can help us grow profits.
At Determine, the principle of Relationship Economics influences our business in meaningful ways. First, we strive to promote abundance by developing tools that help people create, access and organize large quantities of community-generated information. We believe that focusing on openness and transparency makes our solutions more practical. By providing relationship oriented resources and tools we build trust, helping people do what they need to do rather than telling them what they can do.
Our business cloud platform connects people and processes at every level of an organization. Our cloud applications enable collaboration with deep functionality in specific work streams, such as sourcing, contract management, spend analysis and payment systems. All these tools can be put in place at once or over time via our platform and are designed to work for you, not the other way around.
We know that maintaining relationships is vital to success going both ways with suppliers and all people that are affected by the business. That’s why our goal is to help people connect, so that they can do what they need to do to get their job done well. We believe that our tools do just that, by supporting the exchange of ideas, organizing suppliers’ communications and data, and making it easier to work with others. Our cloud platform helps you decide what relationships are important and provides you with the tools you need to build those relationships.
At the end of the day, technology serves to enhance relationships by helping people and businesses execute the commitments they make to each other. We built our business process management cloud platform with relationships at the core.
Relationship Economics is a kind of symbiosis or synergy between the connectedness of people and things and our economic productivity. Successful businesses leverage technology to build relationships—with other businesses, vendors, partners, customers and employees. Our goal is to help you foster a healthy Relationship Economy to support growth and benefit your organization.