Monday, March 03, 2008

It's who knows you...

In his Nesta Connect Blog at the end of January, Roland Harwood talks about the importance of the 'reputation economy'. " I believe that we are moving from a knowledge economy", says Roland, ..."to being a networked economy, where organisations and individuals create value primarily through their relationships and networks."

This transition should be a key area of focus to business and organisations of all sizes. Where previously attempts have been made to secure and protect intellectual property within a company, we are now in a position where relationships hold the true value.

I met with a Sales Director this morning where we were discussing how his team could build stronger, and deeper, relationships with their clients. The key to creating more and more value from their customers lay in developing a range of strong contacts within the organisation, insuring against future changes of personnel.

Speaking with one person in an organisation will limit potential ideas and opportunities. As you build your reputation within a client's organisation, either personal or as a company, the greater your standing becomes and the more opportunities come your way. Developing your network within that company gives you the opportunity to learn more about their problems and issues and be more creative in the solutions you provide.

True value now lies in the relationships you build. As Roland says, "it's not what you know, it's who you know". Well, it's also who knows you, and individual profile and reputation becomes increasingly important.

Are people becoming more important than expertise and imagination? Roland ventures "the best idea in the world will go nowhere if the originator is unpleasant or impossible to work with".

What's most important in your organisation? And where do you invest your time?

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