Deals vs Relationships

Generating deal-flow is the default expectation of a transactional economy.

The path to the presidency is now paved for deal-makers. Everything seems to get measured for the sake of increasing deal-flow. An insidious theme grabs mindshare in a society where relationships grow or die based on the potential for sealing deals and advancing oneself. Technology has accelerated a false narrative that deals should be closed in every interaction before time runs out.

The concept of relationship has evolved. Much of the deal-making world sees the study of relationships as some kind of hippie-kumbaya thing, not fundamental to professional advancement. A few leaders like Marc Benioff beg to differ and portray a nicer way of getting along.

Is it possible to re-assemble a deal-making society like America into one where relationships stand the test of time?

Link (servicespace blog)

Question: how do relationships factor into social policy and societal change?

Nipun: We can most certainly extend this to our world. Today’s world is entrenched in the opposite of relationships i.e. transactions. A few years ago, on Valentine’s day, the media ran a story about a couple that wanted to quantify everything in their relationship – if you are doing these dishes, you get X point; if you are changing diapers, Y points. The goal is to get even. And there was this Valentine’s Day story on how someone had turned the relationship into a whole bunch of transactions. That is the world we live in. What we lose in transaction is the multi-dimensionality of relationships. I may have dropped kids off to school, but I also talked to another parent and was able to listen to her. It create a lot of unexpected value along the way, that doesn’t fit into a neat ledger.

As a culture, we desperately need to figure out a migration path from transactions to multi-dimensional relationships — otherwise, everything will become shallower and shallower, just like Facebook friendships! 🙂 Only kingly connections can restore this balance. If we reduce everything to transactions, everything becomes a deal and a negotiation.