A focus on relational intelligence – Blog 3/5 Series
This is the third blog in the growth-accelerating blog series on advancing the relational intelligence (RI) of AI. The second blog discussed various sciences of relational capital, ranging from the science of social networks, the science of collaboration, and the science of knowledge management that fuels human-to-human interconnections and results in a growth economy.
This third blog in the five-part series focuses on what underlies the science of relationship capital and discusses its importance for directors and CEOs to accelerate their relationship capital know-how.
In my opinion, there is nothing more imperative for a leader than to ensure that their organizational culture is a factory of trust.
Relationship capital is related to the science theory of social capital and relates primarily to the strength of attributes and qualities of personal relationships. The roots of this science lie in these leadership behaviors: respecting commitments, demonstrating social norms (emotional intelligence), respecting colleagues, valuing inclusiveness and diversity, and demonstrating integrity in all interactions.
I refer to these leadership behaviors as a dimension of synergy, which means that the more relevant the social relationship, the stronger the exchanges of trust will be.
A good example of this is the selection of board directors who may have various governance skills, ie: finance vs cybersecurity. Yet, on the other hand, these administrators may have a lot in common like: industry relevance, geographic relevance, social relevance (valuing the arts, music, sports, foodies). These common dimensions increase the establishment of trust because there are then communication channels formed to have conversations that go beyond the task at hand. Humans are social creatures and therefore the selection of directors there is an incredible responsibility to ensure that the recruitment of directors is taken very seriously because you are not only looking for a synergy of skills to advance a company, you must also be aware of the collective synergy to optimize human performance. Nothing is worse than recruiting your first female director and all the men planning after their summer board meeting, a golf outing and the new director not playing golf, and being told, it’s okay, you can play the best ball and tag with us. It happens more often than we talk about – and it impacts the synergy of trust.
From a senior executive’s perspective, building trust is the most powerful corporate DNA to sow, cultivate and sustain.
The operating conditions of the corporate culture will determine the quality of how trust flows or is blocked – much like the strands of molecular DNA. The stronger they are, the deeper the bonding agents.
Confidence needs to be measured more and as we routinely measure profit and loss – there is not often a confidence dashboard monitored in boardrooms on a monthly basis. If you know a company, I would like to know it?
We’re starting to see the emergence of measures of mental health and mood correlated with business productivity, and I believe we’ll start to see more creative approaches to the mood of health and intelligence of trust integrated into relational capital methods. It’s only a matter of time before we start putting more humanity back into our technology ways to accelerate cultural transformation and ensure our people grow stronger and trust is key.
Why is it? This is a big question to think about.
Some experts like Francis Fakuyama call trust vital to any form of social interaction or exchange and reliability “lubricates social life”.
When I was doing my doctoral studies, my research focused on the strength of collective group behaviors and how social interactions varied among different groups of people, primarily sales and customer service professionals at Xerox. There was a great understanding of how these two groups used online tools to increase knowledge flows and improve the speed of knowledge transfer.
Xerox customer service professionals love to share online how they solve customer problems and help colleagues resolve issues. Sales professionals most often want to find the quickest routes to meeting a customer’s business needs and typically rely on a few trusted key experts who often have the best advice to solve problems rather build on larger collaboration forums. I also saw this when I was a partner at a leading global professional services firm where senior partners always had a good idea of the best proposals that could move a sales opportunity forward. And, often, these suggestions were not easy to find in the millions of online knowledge sources. In other words, knowing the best people with the best knowledge was key to operating successfully. Additionally, tribes that worked with trusted tribes stayed close to each other to work on client work, so regardless of formal staffing structures where resources may need staff for billable time, people would draw from trusted networks they have worked with in the past. Thus, humans, as social creatures, naturally gravitate toward trusted tribes with proven synergies.
What does this mean from a governance perspective?
What’s important to appreciate at a board director level is to make sure they know how healthy company cultures are when it comes to relationship capital and appreciate that the density of trust is at the heart of a productive cooperation. This is an essential foundation in building a productive trust-building factory.
The concept of building trust is closely related to reciprocity – in other words, the more information or knowledge that is considered valuable to the person or people receiving the know-how is exchanged – the value of the exchange will increase. naturally and the density of trust will deepen through healthy social exchanges.
Trust is a complex and multi-faceted concept and it is increasingly important to ensure that corporate cultures trust their leaders at all levels.
Establish shared norms and understandings that enable team building, the exchange of ideas, valuing inclusivity and diversity, building storytelling skills, keeping commitments, sharing Being fair and leading by facts and having the perspective to cultivate learning cultures are all important skills to cultivate in an organization.
In every goal-driven organization, clarity of organizational purpose and the assurance of relational capital based on trust, healthy exchanges of reciprocity, clear expectations and responsibilities that support both goals individual and collective goals, are key business processes to cultivate and monitor.
This blog explored the importance of relationship capital and the importance of measuring trust. Leading companies that understand the value of relationship intelligence and the power of social media, advancing the DNA of data is IntroHive. Their branding is interesting and clear and says: Grow Revenue, Grow Relationships. Increase retention.
Who wouldn’t want to buy this message?
It’s simple and easy to understand. As we live in our online worlds, having intelligent smart software to track and analyze all our social connections in real time gives us rich insight into the strength of our communications with our customers, suppliers and employees. I’m very excited to continue my research in these areas with my company and soon with IntroHive, using AI methods to guide people to have more impactful communications.
I am particularly interested in advancing the dimension of permission to feel and emotional science, as I believe that researchers have not sufficiently integrated relational capital theories and emotional science to improve human performance.
This is the subject of my fourth blog in this series and it is called Permission to feel to accelerate happiness Economics of production.