06 Nov

THE RELATIONAL LENS REVIEWED

By VINCENT NEATE, Chief Executive of Relationship Capital Strategies

I have been working with the ideas in The Relational Lens for over five years now and have not yet identified a more powerful way of affecting beneficial change within and between organisations and teams.

In the context of my work with organisational relationships I frequently talk to leaders about what I think is their greatest challenge in embracing this philosophy. That is that they must make themselves vulnerable to the change they are proposing to implement. On a personal level, if I want my bond to you to become stronger I need to know what behaviours I need to change to make you come closer. On an organisational level when I lead my organisation into a relational change programme I need to accept that the cumulative behaviour changes by my people that bring your people closer to all of us may well put power over us in your hands and that I will be the most vulnerable person to that.

This really is Relationships 101: trying to make you change so that you like me better is probably futile.

I have experienced many individuals risen to positions of authority whose prioritisation of time has proved disastrous, both to their organisations and to them as leaders. I quote “The more highly paid you are, the more you value your time…It’s easy to assume your time is worth more than other people’s”. When you read it blandly on the page like that it is obviously something that will isolate you and produce masses of discontent but we all do it. We value our time more as we think of ourselves as more important and as more important than the other’s time as we think of ourselves as more important than them.

‘The Relational Lens: How to see, understand and manage organisations differently’ ends with a call to action. The authors are openly advocating that whilst we might adopt their thinking for commercial benefit they do not believe we can do so without reappraising some of our the most deeply entrenched aspects of our businesses. To become relational is ultimately to become purposeful; and that means purposeful in a sense we would all recognise as more morally responsible, kinder and productive.

This book has been many years in the making but it arrives at just the right time. If we are to repair the relationships between business and society, and those between people and public service, people and politicians and people and people then we truly need a relational lens to look at the world. The authors of ‘The Relational Lens’ have given us one.

After a successful career with KPMG, Vincent Neate is Chief Executive of Relationship Capital Strategies. He is a Chartered Accountant and Master Practitioner of NLP with industry experience in the public and private equity spheres from banking to construction. Relationship Capital Strategies is the go to global company for managing and strengthening relationships in business driven by a passionate belief that every human relationship that is strengthened makes business more efficient, more resilient and more responsible.

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