Musings on relationships, experience, engagement, and relationship


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It occurs to me that we, the folks in the world of business, are blind to relationship, relationships, experience, and engagement. It occurs to me that we just don’t get it! Let’s start with relationships and work our way through to relationship (no there is no typo here).

Customer Relationship Management

Whilst we talk about relationships, sometime a lot, in business it occurs to me that we don’t get relationships. That was the whole issue with CRM and still is. Within the context of CRM, R stood for let’s put in technology that makes me more powerful and allows me to control you. That is still what relationship stands for! It take a genuine connection with our own humanity, our feelings, our existence to get relationships. If you haven’t seen this TED video then I invite you to listen to it. Enjoy!

Customer Experience and Customer Engagement

Now the talk has moved on. It is no longer cool to talk about customer relationships. Now the talk is of customer experience and customer engagement. And, who is doing the talking? The same people who didn’t and don’t get relationships. And they are equally ignorant of experience and engagement. Are you up for getting to get what experience is for human beings? Are you up for getting what engagement is for human beings? Are you up for getting the experience of relationship? Then I offer you this video – please see it through the end:

Relationship: life itself is relationship

Are the soil, the plant, the sun, the rain, the bee separate? Of course they are! Our language tells us that they are. But is that really the case? Can we treat these separately doing what we want without consideration of the bigger picture?

Of course, we cannot. They exist in relationship! What happens when we take out bees as we are doing right now? Who pollinates? Without pollination what happens to the plants? And when the plants that require pollination by bees collapse? What happens to us? All that is, is in relationship. That is the central point of ecology, of systems thinking. Get it?

The “I” is an illusion, a very persuasive one, yet nonetheless an illusion. You don’t believe me? Please allow me to put you in a vacuum and then I want you to tell me that you are an “I”. We exist in relationship. All there is, is relationship. Yet, we are not mindful of this especially when it comes to the world of business. And so I leave you with the following infographic on climate change. Why? Because climate change (like our feelings) is an indicator of the health of relationship of life itself:


Republished with author's permission from original post.

Maz Iqbal
Experienced management consultant and customer strategist who has been grappling with 'customer-centric business' since early 1999.


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