or every vision to be attained, for every goal to be achieved and for every desire to be met, connections remain the sole conduit of success. This is so in all spheres of life. There is not a human entity existing that will not benefit from the conduit of connections. That is why we have to be very careful and intentional about the kind of connections we create, manage and keep. We are social animals as humans. Our world would literally end if we removed connections from it. That is why the Trillion Dollar companies of the world today are strongly using or enabling connections around the world.
“For every vision to be attained, for every goal to be achieved and for every desire to be met, connections remain the sole conduit of success”.
When we conduct interviews, we are looking for someone, especially in the current economy, who is able to make sense of the different connections of life and business. The person that understands the importance of connections and can further demonstrate how they have used connections in the past will stand head above all the rest who are geniuses in other areas of life. That is how critical connections are. Unfortunately, people are mostly trained these days on how “parts” work, and not how to connect “parts” to other “parts” in order to make a complete ecosystem. The world is an ecosystem. Business is an ecosystem. Organizations are ecosystems and they do exist in an ecosystem themselves. To understand the connections within and outside an organization is the beginning of success.
There is a debate online on whether management guru Peter Drucker actually said these words:
“Culture eats strategy for Breakfast.”
Well, I am not going to get into that debate on whether it was was said or not. What I need to derive is “is it true or not?” The answer is simple. “This is how we have always done it” is a strong statement that will negate any new strategy that you will want to introduce in an organization. If you will not help people understand this “new” strategy by training them and changing their mindset, that change will not happen. Why is that? It is because we form cultures nearly everywhere we go as humans. There is a culture in Europe as there is in Africa and in Asia. There are different subcultures all over the world. They dictate how the world works.
These cultures are formed through connections. Connections that form culture are so very strong. They operate on both written and unwritten codes. These codes embed such things as trust, togetherness, belonging, tradition. At the core of culture, there is the search and preservation of comfort. Culture wants to keep us as certain and as comfortable and predictable enough. That is why we make connections to form a culture. That is why we form cliques. It is a protection mechanism. It is a preservation mechanism. When the former Nokia CEO said those infamous words, “We did not do anything wrong”, he was making a very strong culture statement. It is in wanting to preserve culture that they seemingly, “did nothing wrong”.
Your employers therefore expect you, although it is not in written code, not only to identify with but also to protect as much as possible the culture that the organization has. This is a tricky thing to say because for the most part, culture is never taught, it is for the most part caught. The interesting thing there is that to “catch culture” you have to get “connected” into it. The connections that you are required to form and those that you naturally do create at your workplace will contribute to the strength of the culture that is available or weaken it…but make no mistake. The moment you come up and deemed to be weakening the connections of the organization that is the moment that your job is in danger.
The following things are important to do in order to leverage the connections that form the culture in your organization.
Connections are eternal, and so are some disconnections. The most important thing at work is your relationships and not your targets. The simple principle here is already explained. You are part of a whole. The whole operates in parts. Therefore, to be successful, each part must supply and be supplied. There are people in organizations who use others in order to “ascend the ladder”. Think of such a one in your life the past five or so years. My question to you is this: Where are they now? In both in your life and in the life of that organization…I am willing to bet that they are nowhere! You can see why your boss wants you to know about connections.
Emotional Intelligence is a subject that is increasingly becoming important in organizations these days. The reason is obvious: People are the nervous system of the vibrancy of the organization. They therefore ought to work together in tremendous harmony. This harmony is not just about doing what is required, but going a step ahead to get “connected” beyond the written code. Of course we have people with different backgrounds, temperaments, maturity levels and stress levels. To understand how to make the connections work, we ought to understand ourselves first and then understand others. It is absolutely critical.
The most amiable person in the organization is one who intentionally has some degree of care for others. Learn to detach your care from the give and take that is characterized by work. Learn to care for people just as they are, as if you cared for them outside of work. It goes a very long way to cement that culture and those connections.
In summary, your boss would want you to understand the crucial importance of connections in the organization and most specifically on the aspect of cementing the culture of that very organization.