For a business that’s founded on people, it never ceases to amaze me just how few “relationships” are actually out there. This came home recently listening to one in-house team grumbling about their agency; when less than 10 days before a major launch, they’d apparently failed to deliver THE PLAN and the client was definitely NOT HAPPY.

In the on-going furor it finally came down to “tell them they HAVE TO DELIVER” and threats of immediate termination if they didn’t get all the top media in the room and coverage to boot.

Lots of noise and without doubt, a huge amount of baggage, but in reality who was at fault; the agency for not getting the plans together and approved, or the client for not managing them better? After further huffing and puffing, I suggested that a ten-day window didn’t provide room for posturing and greater success would be derived through urgent and focused collaboration; the client to identify the available assets and the agency to drive through on the outreach.

Unfortunately this scenario is all too familiar and the sad reality is that bully tactics often work as the loudest voice gets attention – usually too late and at a cost of morale and self-esteem – and then claims success for delivering the results. Even more worrying is when they’re the one managing a team, external or in-house and short on management skills, not to mention a basic understanding of reward and recognition; they leave a trail of frustration and eventually, inadequate results.

It reminded me of a lesson taught to a small girl aptly nick-named “bossy boots” when my dad told me that I could doubtless get things moving by stamping my feet; but imagine how much more world-conquering could be achieved with charm …?

At the end of the day, very few people actually want to let down a client or a colleague, but like the old rules of computing, Garbage In, Garbage Out. So, just a thought, but how much did you invest in your (enterprise) relationships today?