We Shouldn’t be Strangers
I’ve seen you in a couple meetings – the tall redhead who’s always carrying a large (or is it grande?) cup of coffee…or is it tea…or diet soda? I think you work in marketing…or sales…or client relations.
We have no relationship. We’re strangers.
Yet, we work in the same building for the same company. Our clients and vendors are the same. In theory, we have the same corporate goals.
So when I need your help in understanding the terms for a particular contract with a vendor, I e-mail some generic address and make some factual and bland statement. You don’t recognize my name, you have other fires to fight, and you get back to me “at your earliest convenience.”
There is no relationship trigger that makes you want to respond in a flash. There’s no desire to help out “firstname.lastname@example.org,” no interest in having some fun banter with a friend, no inner personal desire to be responsive.
Organizational relationships are not simply a “nice-to-have” in today’s world. With businesses of any size requiring that seemingly disparate functions work together toward a common vision, a company’s productivity, quality, and efficiency cannot be purely driven by processes and systems.
People are executing the plans toward the vision. People are working in the processes and using the computer systems. People are driving the company, and that works best when it’s the inner drive of people to help others with whom they have a relationship.
“I want you to succeed. I want to help you. I know you, your role, and your importance to the organization. More than that, I care about you as a person and want to support you in that relationship. And you want to do the same for me.”
Processes, systems, data, and structure are wonderful things in business. But it’s the people in relationship with each other – using the data and systems – who determine if an organization succeeds or fails.
Be in relationship with each other to build the teamwork needed for success.