One of the challenges many organizations face is understanding the nature of their relationships with other organizations. Typically, the quality of relationships are simply characterized as being (say) ‘excellent’, ‘good’ or ‘could be better’ and so on. The problem with this approach is that it is at best subjective or at worst inaccurate. For example, if you are an IT vendor and your relationship with the CEO of ABC Ltd is excellent, but with the CIO it’s very poor, how would you describe your overall relationship with ABC?
How much do you really know about your relationships?
The ubiquitous customer satisfaction survey is an attempt to apply some empirical measure to relationships. But here again, assessment will likely vary according to who completes the survey. Would ABC’s CEO and CIO give you the same rating?
The fact is relationships between organizations are too complex to be characterized by simple expressions or even a comprehensive assessment by a single individual. In real life, it is likely that many of your people interact with many people at ABC.
Finally, there is the matter of who (the people) your relationships are with. In an ideal world you would prefer they be with people of power and influence
The bottom line is that the quality of your relationship with ABC is made up of a number dimensions and perspectives. The question is; how can these various moving parts be reconciled to some simple usable metrics? And why does it matter? Well, if you can measure your relationships, you can then manage them.