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Relationships are Key to Surviving Digital Disruption

As every industry and profession around the globe wrestles with what the world has coined “Digital Disruption,” I can’t help but think about the art of the relationship and how it may suffer.

I may be a little long in the tooth, but I believe that relationships will get us through the age of digital disruption. The new breed of young professionals hitting the work force that we affectionately call Millennials are very relational, and are also the group that will help steer us through the digital space. More on that in 2018.

Strengthening Relationships Amidst the Digital Disruption

What is digital disruption?

It’s the impact an emerging digital technology (i.e. a new app or a new phone) may have on existing products and services. Often these new products and services disrupt the current market.

The holiday season is probably the most common time of year where we tend to reflect on our relationships. Beginning with Thanksgiving, we slow down our personal and professional juggernauts – our education, our careers, our entrepreneurial ventures – and shift our hearts and attention to family, friends, volunteering, or giving our time to the many philanthropic organizations we value. 

This annual shift of our attention revolves around the relationships we’ve developed during the past year, or those we’ve developed through the course of our lives. Regardless, they are relationships we thirst for. We invest time, effort, blood, sweat, and tears into anything and everything we value and rely on to keep us going personally and professionally.

Let’s be honest, though  some of the relationships you and I are thinking about aren’t in a good place or are harder than others to work on and develop. Ironically, they may be the ones that are the most important to you, either personally or professionally.

Professionally, I’ve made a 25-year living focusing on relationships. I place a great value on those relationships.

Throughout the years, the many clients, companies, customers, and collaborators that I call relationships have been with me through contract negotiations, critical hires, confrontational terminations, wins and losses, profitable and non-profitable years, economic high tides, and low tides.

Some were partners that are now competitors. Some are in completely different industries. Some are truly dear friends. They are all valuable relationships I’m thankful for year-round.

Personalize Your Relationships in 2018

As 2017 comes to an end, I challenge all of you to think about your professional relationships and make them personal. Our hearts, our time, and even our money go toward the objects we value. I can almost guarantee that all of your professional relationships require time and money.

Imagine if you put a little heart into those relationships. The uncomfortable meetings, arguments over price or budget, personnel decisions, etc. would no doubt be easier.

There would be a passion paired with persistence and an attentiveness coupled with action, and together we will get through this digital disruption.

Togetherness is what I’m most thankful for heading into 2018.

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