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Understanding essential business relationships is a critical but challenging exercise every company faces. Many unknown but already existing relationships are relevant to us that we don’t know we should be searching for.

Have you ever tried manually to capture important data about interconnections among people, companies, and institutions? How many times have you discovered meaningful relationships by luck and coincidence?

People, companies, and institutions are linked to each other through countless connections. And many new ones are coming up every day. So constantly staying on top of all the data is crucial and remains a key challenge. Organizations often struggle to fully grasp this complex and ever-growing global relationship network and keep using slow, ad-hoc and incomplete methods for network research. Analyzing thousands of relationships between companies, people and institutions uncover insights and ideas about company strategy, emerging trends, and industry consolidation. How can senior leaders explore these relationships to get signals to identify and respond to changes in their business environment?

Why Social Capital and Interorganizational Relationships Is Your Company’s key predictor of success

Relationships are the foundation of practically all industries. But most companies don’t know who their customers, partners, investors, and employees know and how those relationships can help their business. Keeping track of all the relationships and not dropping the ball on new connections are extremely hard to do. Yet virtually no dollar is spent without a relationship behind it – Almost all opportunities, successful deals, investments, and sales can be traced in some way back to a relationship. It is the single best way to surface warm introductions and open doors. 

What is Social Capital and Interorganizational Relationships

All businesses operate within their networks of clients, partners, services providers, investors, vendors, competitors, and other entities — their network ecosystems. It is a valuable space to map. Of course, businesses already use tools to manage customer and vendor relationships. These tools help companies manage their data and interactions, but they do not generate a higher layer of relationship intelligence to help new business development opportunities or new vendor discovery. In addition, they offer no visibility into another company’s relationships with other businesses. By having this new level of insight, enterprises will be able to connect far more efficiently.

When aggregated across all industries, this data adds up to a business social graph, which can help organizations assess the performance of their business relationships against industry averages. It helps business executives identify new partners and vendors who are likely to outperform current ones. And they help companies benchmark their performance against peers.

How to nurture and harness social capital and interorganizational relationships

Here are a few uses of Social Capital and Interorganizational Relationships

See Emerging Trends
You can easily track the investments of smart VC, CVC, and PE funds to get an early signal of future trends and industry consolidation. This is done easily when you are able to see the cluster of relationships.

Assess traction of startups
You can study how startups scale up by using business relationships to build brand awareness, raise more funds, increase valuation, and plan a successful exit. In addition, investors can use this information for investment due diligence.

Reveal Competitive Strategy
You can uncover the technologies, products, and startups your competitors are making early bets on. This way, you can prioritize your strategic initiatives.

Gain Network Intelligence
You can apply network analytics and graph intelligence to discover paths, indirect relations, complex structures, and cross-connections otherwise hidden.

Source new deals and targets
You can identify new deals and targets within your social capital

Unlock new referrals
You can discover who can make referrals and warm introductions to targets and find the shortest paths to outreach.

How Technology can help in managing and leveraging Social Capital

Most of our social capital and inter-organizational relationships data lives inside our communication streams and publicly available data, but this rich information has historically largely been ignored. With the latest AI and cloud technologies, it is possible to sync, map and understand this massive relationship data.

Your social capital and inter-organizational relationships are swarming with untapped opportunities. And all organizations must prioritize investment in it. Cultivate your social capital, and the returns will be worth far more than any financial gain.

Business leaders have a lot of social capital data at their disposal. But unfortunately, it’s no longer possible for them to manually track and manage this information. And it’s easy to lose track of valuable relationships. Instead, they need a smart platform powered by intelligent algorithms and technologies to support them. An automated relationship intelligence technology would enable them to track, monitor easily, and follow up with their social capital and inter-organizational relationships. For business leaders, this would be a force multiplier.

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