Business Is a Contact Sport by Tom Richardson and Augusto Vidaurreta

By Tom Richardson and Augusto Vidaurreta

Enterprise is a touch game simply because human touch, connection, and cooperation is the essence of commercial. Even in our transaction-driven, more and more digital international, sturdy, long-lasting relationships are nonetheless basic to luck. but in such a lot businesses, relationships with clients and staff or even extra so with providers, vendors, licensees, licensors, shareholders, creditors, strategic companions, board contributors, universities, charities, the media and the group are the main underutilized resources.

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What if the economy tanks? What if our technology is superseded? What if our two largest competitors agree to merge? These are only samples, but questions like these must be answered by management, whose job it is to set the company’s direction, or by the individual in a one-person shop. Managers often ignore questions about success factors and risks, which results in “management by wave of the hand”—setting goals, communicating them to the troops, and hoping 36 ❘ BUSINESS IS A CONTACT SPORT that people somehow rise to the occasion.

Those stakeholders must be considered so that, when appropriate, they can be brought into implementation efforts and, when necessary, be kept from impeding those efforts. In sports and in any other endeavor, a team with a solid strategy will outperform a team without one. Given the strategic importance of relationships, every organization needs a strategic approach to identifying, building, and managing them. P O S T- G A M E W R A P - U P ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ Your Relationship Universe includes every person or entity you know.

RAM helps you avoid costs, problems, and aggravation. So, in this identification and evaluation phase, ask yourself what it is worth to your company to avoid employee defections, supply shortages, government investigations, negative coverage, community protests, and the like. There’s value in avoiding trouble, and it should be considered in any strategic evaluation of relationships. STEP 2: ASSIGN AN OWNER TO THE R E L AT I O N S H I P Only the most antisocial among us would set out to destroy or squander a business relationship.

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