Some people see money as the measure of success, while others believe it is status and power. Our world is outward focused. Many people are obsessed with the latest shiny object, status and latest gossip.

“Common Sense Is Not So Common.” – Voltaire

If you ever want to get a message across an organization, don’t bother with formal channels. It’s amazing how quickly information gets across a company through informal networks, especially today with easy access to tools that help spread information quickly. This has become true of everyday news as well. CNN is reporting on what’s happening on Twitter, which is highly amusing if you think about it. When did TV stations ever report on what was happening on the radio? Never.


Information is King,  Speed is Queen

This is where organizations will start stumbling since in today’s 24/7 world, people don’t want to wait for the official word. They will go to the people they have relationships with not only to get the information but to also get their perspective on what the latest scoop actually means.

The Decline of Trust

Trust has never been more important than in today’s world. And ironically, trust in institutions, politicians, educators and brands is at an all time low.The 2014 Edelman Trust Barometer shows the largest ever gap between trust in business and government since they began the study in 2001 and a sharp decline in Poland, US and Mexico.

How We Connect Today is Changing

More and more people of all ages are joining social networks to reconnect or stay in touch with family and friends. Because of the Internet and social technologies like Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Quora , Pinterest and LinkedIn, we can forge new connections like never before. The ability to build relationships is what many are missing when it comes to this new era where human beings can create and do more because we are connected. It’s not simply about sending an email; it’s an opportunity to build relationships by having more conversations. I have a strong relationship with a number of youth in Kenya who I’ve only met virtually on video conferencing platforms like Google+ Hangouts and Skype.

Regardless of Age, Life is About Relationships

If you are over 40, you may think this is simply nuts. Your world has always been one where in-person connections were how you built relationships. Anyone born in the 90s has always had access to the Internet and isn’t that why we call them the digital natives? It is integrated into who they are.  Being online and connected has always been part of their world. If you are in your 20s and 30s, you probably have thousands of “friends” on Facebook and Snapchat but you may not know how to build strong relationships. And you should! Conversations are becoming trendy again!

And as much as technology creates change, we are going back to basic human needs of human relationships. People want to belong and be part of something bigger than them. For a movement or community to form, we simply need a reason for people to care, and a way for them to interact with each other. If you are hoping to promote your idea, brand, service or product, the power of community (both online and in-person) is critical in building meaningful relationships with people who share your interests. Who do you need to connect with to get to where you want to go (new sales, new job, etc.)? Where can you work out loud?

The time and opportunity is here if you choose to use social media platforms to build relationships rather than simply use old world advertising techniques of yelling at as many people you can on Twitter, for example, and hoping someone will respond. I have had more conversations and lifelong relationships develop from how I integrate social media tools into my business and life. You too can build your community by focusing on the people and relationships you seek.

Image: yaminahall