Why think relationally?

STARTING WITH RELATIONSHIPS IS A SIMPLE AND USEFUL IDEA

Set up the right kinds of relationships – between people and stakeholder groups – and organizations will work better.

It even applies to big forms of organization like economies and international treaties. People interested in this kind of approach are already taking it into education, business and the EU.

Organizational thinking in the West has often failed to connect relationships to larger and more abstract goals like equality, justice or productivity. But relationships drive almost everything in organizations. And organizations have a powerful effect on the way people, and groups of people, relate to one another.

Here are some of the ideas being explored in relational thinking:

  • It’s possible to measure quality in relationships.
  • The dependence of all social processes on relationships means that businesses, services and organizations can profit from naming good relationships as a goal.
  • It’s possible for organizations, and even economic or social/political systems, to create relationships that are too narrow, too one-sided, or too divisive.
  • The Western emphasis on rights is a mixed blessing if it creates competitive relationships between rights holders and leads to unrealistic allocations of scarce resources.
  • Systemic relationships can be improved by asking simple questions like “Is this fair to both sides?” and “Does this create greater understanding and alignment between parties?”
  • Relational thinking can generate new tools for customer relations, investor relations, risk assessment, team development, and corporate governance.

Relational thinking is an exciting way to approach business, economics, politics and social organization, because the idea of starting from relationships is new.

Across the globe, people are exploring different ways to put this approach into action, and we’re reporting some of them on this site.

Please join in. Make use of our resources. Let us put you in touch with others who have the same interests as you. And come to one of our conferences!

If you’re an organization, you can join the Relational Thinking Network – a global movement that’s building better organizations and stronger societies – either as a Partner or as a core Member.   

 

IDEAS

Freeing minds

An excerpt from Tim Montgomerie’s assessment of the impact made by Michael Schluter, untiring advocate of an alternative to the materialism of Left and Right. The Jubilee Centre and its leader – Michal Schluter – offered something different. Something that

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CITIES

How do we make cities work?

See the presentation by Michael Schluter CBE on Finance and Relationships Across Cities, from the 2017 Relational Thinking Week, held in Cambridge UK. https://youtu.be/4koV_uB8I0Y

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CONFERENCES

Working with relationship algorithms

The inaugural Stakeholder Relationship Algorithm workshop by Consult Ren was held on 7th November 2017 in Singapore. This workshop is designed to help participants breakdown the complex algorithm of forming strong relationships into simple steps. Through hands-on activities and reflective

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BUSINESS

Why is it only 31% of people thrive at work?

The latest RBEFF call was held on the evening of 28 November 2017. As the name suggests the call is for anybody interested in the role that relationships play in any of those three overlapping worlds – business, economics and

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