Business Relationships: With A Slim Margin of Error, Why Take Chances?

November 4, 2016

business relationships

In the world of business, the careful, strategic development of relationships is often the edge needed to increase your chances for success. Whether it’s external relationships with customers and business partners or internal relationships when a leader works to build trust and community among her management team, the effective Relational Leader succeeds when she takes an “intentional” approach to business relationships.

This Intentionality runs from the macro planning level all the way to individual daily relational micro moments and manifests in increases of Relational Capital—the value created by people in business relationships, distinguishing Relational Leaders from their colleagues and competitors.

In the information age, everybody is really smart. So today, relationship advancement is your last competitive distinguisher. When you approach each interaction with a deliberate intention to positively affect those around you, yes, the results will certainly be reflected numerically. But most importantly, these results manifest themselves in smiles and body language—the way people carry themselves around you.

And in the end after decades of business evolution and all of those complex organization charts success really comes down to one simple formula:


This formula certainly does not challenge Einstein’s theory of relativity, but in a real way, it is all about relativity. The relationships between diverse human beings are the secret to successful engagement inside and outside of companies and organizations. We have created complex organizational structures that, while well-intended, can create blurred lines rather than sharp connections among people, functions and suppliers.

Leadership and management books are usually about strengthening the solid lines in complex organization charts. However, after all of this research and analysis, I have concluded that sometimes the best approach is not complex, but really simple and straightforward. At the same time this simplicity can be very profound.

Organization 3.0: One-to-One Relationships.

Organization 3.0 does not seek to marginalize or erase all of the thoughtful strategic rationale for today’s organizational structures, it merely sets out the simple tenet that eventually people need to connect at an individual level to get stuff done. It reminds me of the thinking behind movie productions. There is a great deal of complexity in making a movie, beginning with the script, moving through funding, selecting actors, going through rehearsals, then shooting and editing the movie and ending up with a product that will be “coming to a theater near you.” All of this complexity has one overarching goal—connecting personally with each movie-goer during the two hours they spend in the theater. It’s that individual connection that manifests in people talking about the movie and then a snowball effect happens and more and more people attend the movie. These thousands and sometimes millions of personal, one-to-one connections result in great financial performance and notoriety for the movie company.

Similar to movie productions, Organization 3.0 is about getting back to the basics where people connect individually in powerful ways regardless of organization structure. The structure will exist and evolve based on the management theories du jour; however, Relationship Capital transcends structure. It’s really a way to look and become intentional about the connections that lead to relational organizations and not the structure.

In business relationships, nothing else matters!

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Upholding positive interpersonal communication skills and business relationships among colleagues, subordinates and superiors is the key to maintaining a successful work environment.

About The Author

Ed Wallace is President and Chief Relationship Officer of Relational Capital Group. He is the author of Fares to Friends, Creating Relational Capital, Business Relationships That Last, and his most recent #1 Amazon bestseller, The Relationship Engine: Connecting with the People Who Power Your Business (AMACOM Books, 2016). In addition, Ed is currently on the Executive Education faculty of Drexel’s LeBow College of Business and Villanova University’s Human Resources Master’s program.


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