You hear it all the time in business - the relationship is key. But in an age of social media madness, email overload and declining travel budgets, we tend to easily forget as we tweet our life away that a "relationship" is much more than ones and zeros.
This past week I had the pleasure of joining over 100 industry analysts from around the world from prestigious and influential firms such as Gartner, Forrester, IDC, etc. at the Dell Annual Industry Analyst Conference in Austin. The brainpower in the room was thick and exciting - a delectable mix of apprehension and delight as the analysts rolled in to be meet with Dell's Executive Leadership Team and Line of Business leaders. And they were definitely not disappointed as the solutions strategy rolled out to them red carpet style! But the overriding theme of feedback was the face-to-face interaction. The opportunity to actually speak with a real life person not by keyboard. What a simple concept, but yet extremely impactful. The true essence of relationship building. By connecting in-person, it becomes much more than a business discussion, but a human one. You not only learn that, yes, there are fantastic things happening at Dell, but there are some fantastic people behind the effort. What I observed were discussions that brought us closer as individuals. An opportunity to balance the business with real-life. Something that gets lost in the daily hundreds of tweets and Facebook updates.
Don't get me wrong, social media is an incredible tool that has definitely spawned a new world of communication (as I sit here typing this for a blog post), but it does lack the emotional side at times?the relationship. It's important that we don't forget that a voice, a face behind the business brings reality into focus. We are human and that interaction is powerful to understand one another and truly embrace the essence of the business. It takes People, Process and Technology. I like putting the "People" first.