The quality of the relationships in a company directly impact the success of the business.
When people talk about a company such as Goldman Sachs as “The bank”, or “Goldman” as if it is a real person, they are glossing over the most important feature of the organisation, which is that it is made up of thousands of people in relationship with each other.
The nature of the relationships is really what a company is all about. If relationships are mercenary then the company is mercenary. If they are caring then the company is caring. Relationships that are functional create functional organisations and conversely dysfunctional relationships end in dysfunctional companies.
Just like in marriages – sometimes dysfunction can go on for a long time and reach it’s own equilibrium. It works in it’s own strange way.
Better are those organisations that work for a long time off the foundation of functional relationships.
Next time you describe your company – describe the relationships – it’s the most accurate picture of what is really going on.