Business Is a Contact Sport by Tom Richardson and Augusto Vidaurreta

By Tom Richardson and Augusto Vidaurreta

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This takes discipline, and it takes doing. ” Every company, every organization of any kind, already has relationships. Implementing RAM strategy usually means doing things that you’re already doing, but doing them more effectively and with a longer-term view. Your organization might have to break some habits. For instance, many companies will exploit a temporary advantage when the power in a relationship shifts in its favor due to supply-and-demand imbalances, new regulations, or luck. RAM strategy could call for not using the power of a temporary advantage over a stakeholder.

It comes down to thinking of the other person and his situation (as well as your own), seeking mutual wins, managing toward those wins, and acting on every opportunity to create wins on all sides. Instead of passively letting relationships hit or miss or grow or die, RAM strategy proactively builds relationships through this four-step process. It also turbocharges every organizational effort because relationships ultimately determine whether those efforts succeed or fail. P O S T- G A M E W R A P - U P ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ A company’s relationships are valuable assets because, like other assets, they enable the business to reach its goals.

Most consulting firms that we know of focus their relationshipbuilding efforts on the buyer, on the executive who hires them and cuts their checks. We believe that the main reason most rank-and-file people on the client side resent consulting firms is that the consultants act as if the client’s staff doesn’t matter. They concentrate solely on making the buyer look good and keeping her happy. We understand why consultants take that approach. Yet we wondered what the effect would be if, in addition to focusing on the decision-maker and check-cutter, we also made the client staff look good and developed relationships all the way down the line.

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