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Joomla Development Insights

Joomla Development Insights

John is the owner and senior developer of Blue Bridge.

Relationships as a Competitive Advantage

Relationships as a Competitive Advantage

My parents went on a cruise to Panama last winter. The first night they decided to order room service for breakfast the next morning. The ship's staff called after it was placed outside their door. Free of the pressures of their normal routines, they were sleeping like the dead and the phone rang and rang as my mother tried to figure out what was going on and scrambled around the room in the dark trying to answer it. She put her ear to her blow dryer just as my dad flipped on the lights. She eventually answered the right “phone” and they had a good laugh and breakfast.

Hypothetically, if someone had called them early one morning at home, even if they were exhausted, my mother could navigate her way around out of the room and down to the living room to the house phone in just a few seconds and without flipping on the lights. This is because she intimately knows their home and trust that things will be where they're supposed to be. Just like how they affect someone navigating a darkened room, familiarity and trust affect the speed with which organizations can execute projects.

Relationships As a Competitive Advantage

In business, one of the classic personas is the "type A" corporate shark who views the market as a Darwinian jungle in which it is their personal goal to become the apex predator. This is a depressing paradigm, one in which people are either opportunities to exploit or enemies to crush. However celebrated they might be in their own mind, these people alienate others. This turns out to be a major liability because the market is a give-and-take system and not just a take system.

I don't propose that the opposite is the ideal, but being friendly enough, outgoing, and trustworthy is an excellent set of interpersonal characteristics for a person to have in business. These simple traits are the foundations of relationships and relationships offer numerous benefits: improved decision-making, access to resources, insight to scarce information, allies to amplify power, backup, and links to others who can provide the same. Just like how being familiar and trustworthy can help a person's career, it can help an organization execute projects.

Your Organization Can't Do Everything…

… And that's okay. However because you can't do everything, you're going to need outside resources, vendors, or consultants. The first question most people ask themselves when they're looking outside of their organization is, "what's this going to cost?" A better question would be, "what are the chances will need help with this again in the future?"  Because if every time you look outside you have to spend time locating people, vetting them, and cutting deals you're wasting money and time and applying a heavy dose of friction to your ability to execute projects. Instead, find trustworthy professionals and develop relationships with them. It's an investment up front that tends to pay for itself in the first project and amps up your organization's ability to execute these types of projects: greasing the skids for every project thereafter.

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