Investigating the Relationship Economy
In search of the “Relationship Economy”… Since March of 2007 I began work to build network connections that could cushion the blow when consulting contracts expire. At that time, I was on the final leg of a contract with Unilever in Trumbull, CT. I knew that I had to grow my contacts in the industry quickly so I could find additional work in the near future. Once I discovered how much it fit my personality, I really started to get serious about it.
I started with LinkedIn and Plaxo to support my growing address book and follow-up with contacts to whom I thought I had some value to offer or that were of immediate value to my jobs search. I then started a bit of expanding the range social networking sites to afford me wider exposure and inbound invitations from others to avoid having to stop connecting to others when I reached the network limitations.
Since then, I have gone on to work in other networks covering geographies outside the US to a more global community. Ecademy and Viadeo are the two primary networks I used for this purpose. Both have been great adjuncts to my efforts but, still something was missing. How is it that one can properly and efficiently both deliver and extract value, monetary or otherwise, from this multitude of connections. For that I turned to current authors and promoters of the Relationship Economy.
I first heard about the “Relationship Economy” from Jay Deragon. At the time, I was only aware of his one blog A Relationship Economy. He repeatedly had thought provoking commentary on contemporary issues and incidents that struck a familiar cord. Often short and challenging, his questions always urges one to consider the norm and how it may or may be normal for much longer. The internet and rapid communication is transitioning power to people to create grass-roots demand for products and services as they wish them to be. Not unlike the mid-fifties transition from a salesman approach to the marketing approach, the new relationship economy is on track to derail the corporate freight train that pushes products primarily driven by inertia. Once today’s corporations start an ad campaign, they are loath to change course based on a few poor customer feedback incidents.
I also began following LinkedIn giants in the recruiting industry. To date, I have had a healthy relationship with only one recruiter/placement agency for whom I had any trust and could reciprocated with any sense of loyalty.
A superconnector named Vincent Wright was using much of the tenants of the Relationship Economy espoused by Jay Deragon. I was quite encouraged by what I saw and more importantly by what I was able to read and listen to on podcasts about Vincent and his method of establishing reciprocal relationships assisting both employers and employees to find their best matches. Finally, a recruiter who was not just out to “sell” me at the best margin for his sake. Vincent has an entire roster of networking groups with similar credo. That being said, most do not have the community wide recognition like Vincent’s My Linkedin Power Forum . Visiting and joining his group has been quite enlightening from a new millennium recruiting and placement perspective.
Also of worthy note is the Adam J. Kovitz, CEO, Editor-in-Chief of The National Networker . His staff of dedicated authors and thought leaders constantly produce networking and relationship capital related articles designed to illicit thought, changes in attitude and values as they relate to businesses of the future and the present.
These are just a few of the resources and people who have created them who have inspired me to research further into the Relationship Economy, RC (Relationship Capital). They motivate me to find how I can add more value to every relationship and deliverable I commit to in my business and my personal life.
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