ver the past five articles, we have exemplified how critical connections are to a business or an organization. Pretty much everything has been covered in those five articles, but there are other five related points that matter that I want to discuss here today and get through with the series. All in all, there is no organization that is going to thrive and reach its highest goals if it is disconnected and disjointed both within itself and with the world outside. So we have seen the following points so far:
Protection from what? One might ask. You remember the saying that a mango tree with no fruits does not get any attention. People throw sticks and stones at a mango tree that is fruitful. In other words, for as long as you are thriving as an organization or even as an individual, chances are that you will go through some threats. It is how well connected you are that you will have great protection against the threats. Some of your connections might actually warn you beforehand. I remember being tipped off some years back of what a group of people that I was relying on to execute a project were planning to desert. It was through a connection. That tip off helped me circumnavigate that conundrum and got the project off the ground still.
I know that we have talked extensively about connections being our Public Relations. There is a great difference between public relations and marketing. The two are related though. Public Relations is done so as the organization can remain circumspect, trustworthy and likeable. Marketing is done so that we can reach our clients and offer them our products and services. Without marketing, our clients will not know what we are offering. The best form of marketing though is not a billboard, or a radio advertisement. The best form of marketing is our connections. When our connections interact both with us and with our products or services, it is their “sneezing” that markets us the most. I cannot begin to tell you how many “recommendations” I have given for different products and services and they have been taken hook line and sinker. I can also not begin to tell you how many countable products and services within my vicinity were bought not because I was responding to a billboard advertisement, but a recommendation from my connections. Your boss expects you to know this, but might not necessarily train you in it.
We are only as strong as our weakest link. I am talking about connections within the organization and connections the organization has with the world. The more powerful connections we have in as many facets of life as possible, the stronger we are as an organizational. The less connections we have with the outside world, the weaker we actually are. Further, the few strong connection we have, the better. It is one thing to have multiple connections but weak ones. Those are not going to make you strong. It is a lot of work to keep working on your connections to make sure that they are strong. Connections will not work themselves out. They will need lots of work, lots of patience, lots of compromise and lots of value addition. In other words, the more we serve our connections with our relevance, the more strong those connections become. Any organization with weak or with no connections is a weakling that will crumble in due time.
Merit has its place in the world. However, connections trump merit any time of the day. Before merit can even be a yardstick, there is a connection. So the more you are known as an organization favorably, the more you are favored in your endeavors. A connection might take you places where your merit wouldn’t. That does not just apply to an organization, but it applies to individuals as well. I can trace most of my achievements to a series of connections. In fact, the greatest break that has led me to who I am today was a connection that was favorable. It went right over the need for merit. The beauty is that when I got there, I proved to the world that the merit that they needed from me was a smokescreen. So you need to understand how important favor is to your business or organization and how connections are smack in the middle of it.
“Innovate or die”. We have probably heard that a gazillion times. At the time when smart phones were in the rise, there was one giant cell phone manufacturer. They were and still are called Nokia. At that time, a Nokia cell phone was the standard of “class” in society. Even as Nokia reveled in serving the whole wide world with their product, something new was cooking. How come they never got wind of this? First Steve Jobs wowed the world with the iPhone. However, the iPhone was pretty expensive (still is) as compared to what Nokia was offering. But Nokia was not offering the smart phone technology that had marveled the world and caught people’s imagination.
A connection in the world of innovation would have pricked Nokia into action. To add insult to injury, Android phones appeared on the market to rival the iPhone. They had pathetic battery power, something that Nokia knew how to sort. What did Nokia do? They passed on that innovation even when Android phones were being sold at nearly the same price as their keypad phones. In the end Nokia is nowhere. “We did nothing wrong”, said the then Nokia CEO. Really? You did not connect with innovation. That’s it.
So ladies and gentlemen, those are the things that your boss needs you to know about connections. There is a small chance that some organization will teach you these things, and that is why I am sharing with you.