PART TWO IN A SERIES – Be Relevant
Relevance is achieved when we add value. Now this is so important, it needs to be fully understood and digested. We are relevant only when we add value.
When we stop adding value, we diminish.
The concept is so important we’re going to say this in a slightly different way.
Because we are social creatures, we must find a way to be worth the social effort it takes to have us around. If the relationship becomes too unbalanced, we risk rejection, being ignored and abandoned, or death. In childhood we are socialized; we learn what it takes to be relevant within our social environment. The lesson for the rest of our lives (and our organization’s life) is to fit what we want (our goals and vision) into our chosen social environment in beneficial ways.
We must constantly monitor our situation:
- If we take too much without adding value, we use up all our resources (including loyalty, goodwill, trust, etc.).
- If we do not do enough, we invite competitors to take our territory.
- If we work on the wrong things, we stagnate (diminish relevance).
- If we do not understand how we are evolving, we cannot manage our growth and are unlikely to remains relevant in the long run. What we do right now determines what our future will be.
Note: The good news is, once our work becomes valuable to a person or organization, our work and we becomes highly relevant and the environment adapts easily to include us. Once we are included, we have some momentum we could ride, if we choose. I’m always surprised that people will stop adding value after they have done something good so they can ride on their past successes. For me, a better choice would be to use that momentum to launch my next success. However, I understand the concept of letting the culture get used to change. If that is the motivation, I am able to concur.