Technology makes it possible to create an enormous level of relationship wealth

A coworker shared a LinkedIn function that creates a graphical map of your contacts. I created my own and marveled at the pretty colors and curving lines. Other than looking like a new and highly personal art form, what did it mean?

Truth be told, I’m still not entirely sure. Yet I keep looking at it as though it hangs at Tate Modern. Maybe what fascinates me is the idea that I can have a visual on the entirety of my professional life’s relationships.

My investment portfolio. As I grow older, I’m progressively more aware that these contacts are the result of a significant investment of time and energy between people that has become its own form of currency. The ability to help someone find a job, gain a reference, and ask an important question of someone you know well has a very high value.

There’s an argument for doing the same (and for the ROI) at the enterprise level made in an article “Social enterprise moves closer to reality” published yesterday.

The opposite is also true

If this is a form of currency, then not making and maintaining those relationships is to be poor in network. As the World gains an ability to connect with each passing moment, to be network poor can go further and become a liability (a debt and the opposite of having currency).

I’m not claiming this wealth can be measured on Facebook or LinkedIn, but it has to be found somewhere, even if in the aging Rolodex. I am saying is that it is becoming gradually more important and definitely more measurable. And now visual.

Technology is making it possible and valuable to create and maintain an enormous level of relationship wealth. Are you taking advantage of it?

Chris Taylor joined Nimbus in 2009 as VP Consulting Americas, and leads a team of business process improvement consultants who serve major corporations across the world. Chris’s clients include Nestlé, Cisco, Northrop Grumman, ThyssenKrupp and many others, who use Business Process Management (BPM) tools and techniques to drive process standardisation, improvement, quality and compliance initiatives. His insight to what makes BPM a sustainable success for so many client organisations makes him a valuable industry commentator. Before joining Nimbus, Chris held senior consulting and leadership roles focused on business transformation with ILOG (now IBM), Perot Systems and Accenture. In his early career, Chris managed aircrew and flight operations while flying for the US Navy. He is an avid skier, hiker and sailor and spends most of his off time exploring the mountains and coasts near his home in Southern California and the rest of the world.