The Relational Lens shows how relationships work in and between organizations, and explores their role in social and relational capital, risk management, value-creation and competitive advantage. It sets out the Relational Proximity framework® – a scalable analytic tool which has been used successfully for twenty years to understand, measure and influence relationships in organisations, and which can be applied at almost any level in the private and public sectors worldwide. Relationships are key to organisational performance – whether in companies, schools, hospitals, social care, prisons or NGOs. But until now there has been no satisfactory way to measure relationships, and thus no basis for creating relational KPIs or effectively managing relational processes in organisations. New corporate governance codes and Integrated Reporting have recently highlighted this need. Drawing on the authors’ many years of experience, and integrating insights from many disciplines and sectors, The Relational Lens examines the conditions within which people are more likely to form and conduct effective relationships. This provides the language and concepts to enable constructive discussion and actionable solutions in building trust and sustainable value.
John Ashcroft John Ashcroft is Research Director at the Relationships Foundation and co-author of Relationships in the NHS (with Geoffrey Meads, 1999) and The Case for Interprofessional Collaboration in Health and Social Care (with Geoffrey Meads, 2005). Roy Childs Roy Childs has worked in organisations at senior levels for more than twenty years focusing on developing capability and building relationships. He is an Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society and a Chartered Occupational Psychologist. Alison Myers Alison Myers is an experienced consultant, facilitator and trainer. She has been a senior managing consultant with Accenture’s Change Management and Human Performance practice and is now an ordained Anglican minister. Michael Schluter Michael Schluter is an economist and social entrepreneur who has launched ten not-for-profit organisations and was awarded a CBE in the Queen’s New Year’s honours in 2009. He co-authored The R Factor (with David John Lee, 1993) and The Relational Manager (with David John Lee, 2009).
“Had the Volkswagen engineers and managers read The Relational Lens before installing the software in some eleven million diesel cars in order to cheat emission tests, they might have thought twice… It’s too late for current VW engineers and managers, but I hope future generations of engineers, managers, directors, presidents, deans, all people with multiple stakeholder responsibility will see The Relational Lens as essential reading.”
Jean-Pierre Lehmann, D.Phil, Emeritus Professor of International Political Economy, IMD, Switzerland
“There is widening acceptance that organisations – large and small, public and private, commercial and charitable – may be failing to meet the wider needs of their societal stakeholders. This has, in some cases, caused a rupturing of trust, a loss of social licence. To restore trust, organisations will need to look at themselves through an entirely different lens – a Relational Lens. This book not only provides a compelling rationale for doing so. It equips companies with the tools to begin the slow process of rebuilding trust, relationship by relationship.”
Andrew G Haldane, Chief Economist, Bank of England
“All organisations – whether public or private – are complex webs of human relationships dedicated to a common purpose. The Relational Lens explains how our organisations actually work: it is essential reading for anyone with management responsibilities in government, charitable and corporate sectors.”
Lindsay Tanner, former Minister of Finance in Australia
“The Relational Lens supplements the approach to corporate governance in South Africa beautifully. One of the notions underpinning the King III Code is the African concept of Ubuntu which is captured by the expression ‘uMuntu ngumuntu ngabantu’ – ‘I am because you are; you are because we are’. It is a recognition of the relational nature of our human-ness. As the authors illustrate so well, the relational is pervasive and this is as true for organisational and governmental endeavour as it is for the individual. The value of The Relational Lens lies in taking relationships from the realm of the abstract to the concrete through liberal use of case studies and examples. We all can work towards better relationships for the greater good.”
Ansie Ramalho King IV Project Lead, Institute of Directors in Southern Africa