If you come up to me after one of my speeches and ask a question about improving the success of your career, I’m going to do my best to answer it. We will probably exchange business cards, and if you make a follow-up request, I will certainly honor it.
But I will not become your long-term partner and advocate. This is not because I lack generosity or loyalty. It’s because a single, short interaction is not nearly enough to create a powerful, lasting bond between us (or anyone).
To create such a bond, you have to:
- Recognize the utter importance of such bonds
- Have a strategy for creating such bonds
- Decide with whom you want to create a bond
This, is a highly simplified sense, is the message of Co-Create. It asks, “With whom do you want to co-create a future together?”
That is not the same as asking “with whom do you want to keep in touch?” or “which account would you most like to close?”
I’m blessed to speak professionally for a number of corporations, associations, and academic forums these days, in conjunction with the recent release of my new book, Co-Create: How Your Business Will Profit from Innovative and Strategic Collaboration. Right now, I’m literally traveling around the world on a mission to get both professionals and their organizations to think in much more powerful terms about the relationships they need to establish.
The vast majority of folks I encounter are much too casual and superficial when it comes to strategic business relationships.
Case in point: major B2B companies routinely reorganize their account coverage plans, often without regard for the personal relationships that have been established between buyers and their team members. And it’s not just buyer relationships you should be thinking about; your mission should be operational entanglement, where multiple relationships co-exist between your team members and your buyer’s team members.
“None of us is as smart as all of us” only applies after you co-create an “us”. Me selling to you does not equal an “us”. It takes a conscious, concerted, and persistent decision to create an "us."
I’m on an evangelical mission to change the ways that leaders and their teams think about business relationships. It’s not a new mission - I’ve been speaking widely for over 15 years - but my intensity and commitment have only increased as I watch how the business world is changing.
We see more volatility and uncertainty than ever. Even large and innovative companies such as Google, Tesla, and Apple have to partner with others to provide the services their customers expect. No one and no organization can go it alone.
People don’t understand this. They don’t take strategic relationships seriously enough. They don’t engage strategically in co-creation.
That’s why I wrote the book.
That’s why I’m in Italy today, instead of waking up in Atlanta.
If you want to act smarter and make smarter decisions, co-create your future with others who will enhance your intelligence. In the process, do the same for them. It is the only strategy that makes sense.
This post originally published on LinkedIn Pulse.
David Nour is a keynote speaker, consultant, and advisor that helps companies (such as Hilton, ThyssenKrupp, Disney, KPMG and over 100 other marquee organizations) drive profitable growth through unique returns on their strategic relationships. Nour has pioneered the phenomenon that relationships are the greatest off balance sheet asset any organizations possess, large and small, public and private. He is also the author of ten books translated into eight languages, including his new book, Co-Create: How Your Business Will Profit from Innovative and Strategic Collaboration (St. Martin’s Press, May 2017).
Contact David Nour to learn more, subscribe to the Blog, sign up for the Rendezvous Newsletter or request his speaking schedule availability for your organization’s next event.