Managing Authentic Relationships; 17th century networking

Upward mobility – netwerken in de 17e eeuw

Dit artikel in het Engels/ this article in English


De adjunct-directeur van de Hermitage Amsterdam Paul Mosterd schrijft in het boek Managing Authentic Relationships over netwerken in de 17e eeuw; de historie van relatiemanagement. Mosterd behandelt dit onderwerp aan de hand van vier gildeschilderijen uit de 17e eeuw, afkomstig uit de collectie van het Amsterdam Museum en het Stedelijk Museum Alkmaar.

Een van de schilderijen is te zien op de voorzijde van het boek, de andere drie schilderijen markeren het begin van de drie delen van het boek; ‘Authentic Relationships’, ‘Managing Relationships’ en ‘Successful Encounters’. Het schilderij hieronder gemaakt door Pieter van Anraedt (in 1675) markeert het begin van ‘Managing Relationships’. 

Managing Authentic Relationships; 17th century networking

The Regents of the Oudezijds Huiszittenhuis, Pieter van Anraedt, 1675, canvas 237 x 425 cm, collection Amsterdam Museum (on loan from the City of Amsterdam)


“It is said that at a dinner, Winston Churchill was seated next to a highly-decorated young man whom he did not immediately recognise. He asked the Sir with interest how he had earned his knighthood. The young man answered proudly that he was a painter. Churchill replied: ‘I see! Art is the easiest way up’.”

“This is upward mobility – an essential premise for networking. If you can’t climb the social ladder, networking is effectively pointless. Ferdinand Bol’s career is an appropriate example of what Churchill meant. He was an extremely successful and highly respected painter, yet it was only after his second wedding in 1669 that he made a real step forward. Anne van Erckel became his wife, and she was very wealthy. Overnight, Bol went from portraying to being portrayed. He was invited to enter the board of one of the city’s most prestigious charitable institutions.

The book about relationship management 'Managing Authentic Relationships 'He is sat at the table in a manner that a true economical regent should. He sits furthest on the left: alert, composed and self-assured. He is a board member, at the mayor’s request, of what we nowadays would call a food bank. These positions were honourable for rich citizens. Moreover, it was thought that wealthy board members would be less corrupt, or in any case would keep less money for themselves. Their pockets were already filled, that was the idea. The regents alongside Bol at the table demonstrate precisely why they are on this board: they are counting money. The motto is ‘show your virtues’. The painting is therefore a depiction of their skills, yet also an open application to more jobs, or perhaps even better jobs. The message is evident: ‘you can trust us’. It is a true testimonial. Of course, Bol knew this like no other. How many careers he had been able to lift with just one painting?”


Lees meer artikelen over Managing Authentic Relationships op ons blog:
Managing Authentic Relationship is een boek over relatiemanagement en netwerken gepubliceerd door Amsterdam University Press:

A book about networking and relationship management

A book about relationship management

Een professioneel relatiemanagement kent niet alleen professionele netwerkers

A book about relationship management

This article in English

“It is often said that employees are responsible for building and maintaining their own network, because relationships are mostly based upon personal likings or functionalities. That is true, however from an organization-wide perspective there is also a need. Organizational networks should be sustainable and remain after the employee leaves the organization. By nature, all relationships can be seen as personal, but they are also crucial to and an inherent part of an organization.”

Deze quote uit Hoofdstuk 10 van het boek Managing Authentic Relationship, een hoofdstuk geschreven door Gerty Smit van de Hotelschool The Hague, gaat over een veel voorkomend misverstand in relatiemanagement. Een professioneel relatiemanagement kent niet alleen professionele netwerkers, maar ook een facilitator en ondersteuner van de netwerkers, de zogeheten ‘Manager of the Network’. De netwerkers in de organisatie verhouden zich tot de geïdentificeerde individuele relaties, de Manager of the Network heeft het overzicht en coördineert het grote -relatie- plaatje:

  • De netwerker: de interne stakeholders die een netwerk bouwen en/of onderhouden (dit is een rol, voor vrijwel iedere medewerker in een organisatie);
  • De Manager(s) of the Network van een organisatie: diegene(n) verantwoordelijk voor het faciliteren en managen van het gehele netwerk van een organisatie.

“Being professionals, we are all networkers and we all have different ways of being part of a relationship. We all have different kind of working relations (in- and externally) and also one of more different networks we (more or less) participate in. People always know other people, in formal or informal relationships, while doing official tasks, but also during lunchtime or on a social occasion. This can lead to complications; the information that is shared can come from different perspectives but also with different purposes. Roles might be unclear or overlapping and the information that is shared might be lost because of that.”

De ontwikkeling van een netwerk wordt niet aan het toeval overgelaten, want netwerken dienen bij te dragen aan de strategische doelen van een organisatie

“Networks should not be shaped at random, but in such way that they contribute to the goal of the entire organization. To achieve this, a network should be structured and transparent. Access to networks is shared among colleagues and the organization benefits from each other’s relationships.”

The book about relationship management 'Managing Authentic Relationships 'De Manager of the Network is er om dit doel te bewaken. De Manager of the Network bewaakt de strategie en doelstellingen van de organisatie en is ondermeer verantwoordelijk voor:

  • “Translating the overall strategy of an organization into a Networking Vision and Relationship Management Strategy and communicating this vision and strategy in the organization;
  • Mapping and managing the internal stakeholders, defining roles/responsibilities and assisting the Networking Teams in mapping and managing the external stakeholders;
  • Forming the Networking Teams: linking the networkers within the organization to the external stakeholders, those operating in the same network;
  • Measuring results, formulating the KPI’s and calculating the Return-on-Relationship;
  • Supporting the networking activities by making sure the CRM-system is fit to support the Relationship Management activities and used properly by the networkers, by developing basis-routines in mapping and managing external stakeholders and by developing a training program for the networkers;
  • Keep the overview of data management and all social media activities;
  • Developing networking activities such as networking events, newsletters etc.;
  • Keeping track of the external networking activities the organization is involved in.

To manage and facilitate a network in a coordinated way, the Manager(s) of the Network stimulates the networkers towards certain goals by dividing roles and tasks. A so-called transactional leadership transform the networkers by focusing on the importance of the Relationship Management and its purpose, as well as the added value of the networkers when working towards the Relationship Management objectives.”


Lees meer artikelen over Managing Authentic Relationships op ons blog:
Managing Authentic Relationship is een boek over relatiemanagement en netwerken gepubliceerd door Amsterdam University Press:

A book about networking and relationship management


A book about relationship management

Relatiemanagement; de ‘oren en ogen’ van de organisatie

A book about relationship managementThis article in English

In het boek Managing Authentic Relationships schrijft Robert Collignon dat de relatiemanagementstrategie niet alleen een top-down maar ook bottom-up benadering is. Het relatiemanagement is de ‘oren en ogen’ van de organisatie, want relaties zijn wederkerig.

De ontwikkeling van een relatiemanagementstrategie is cruciaal voor een succesvol relatiemanagement. Een relatiemanagementstrategie zorgt voor strategische resultaten van de investing in de relatie met de stakeholders. Het relatiemanagement verschaft de organisatie ook inzicht in kansen en bedreigingen. In het boek schrijft Collignon daarover:

“Relationship Management can provide valuable input to the strategy of the organization such as:

  • What are key areas of interest to insiders (those within the network) and what are considered threats by outsiders (those outside the network)?
  • What is the current position of the organization as perceived by stakeholders?
  • What do stakeholders want to get out of the relation with the organization?
  • What activities are effective in building targeted relationships?
  • What are key requirements to achieve this?
  • Which relationships or stakeholder connections have become (more) important to the organization?
  • What are opportunities to fortify and deepen relationships to contribute to the longer-term vision of the organization?”

In the top-down approach the Manager of the Network can provide feedback, identity requirements and limitations and as such – via an iterative approach – improve the strategy. In the bottom-up approach the Manager of the Network can actively feed the strategy debate by playing back insights derived from the network of the organization. Constructive participation of the Manager of the Network in the strategy debate of the organization requires the manager to synthesize the ‘noise from the network’ into valuable insights to the organization.”

Dit onderwerp komt uit Hoofdstuk 4 van het boek Managing Authentic Relationships, gepubliceerd door Amsterdam University Press in maart van dit jaar.  Hoofdstuk 4 gaat over de ontwikkeling van een relatiemanagementstrategie en de rol van de ‘Manager of the Network’ in de strategie-ontwikkeling van een organisatie. De ‘Manager of the Network’ is degenen die voor de organisatie effectieve netwerkactiviteiten faciliteert.


Lees meer artikelen over Managing Authentic Relationships op ons blog:
Managing Authentic Relationship is een boek over relatiemanagement en netwerken gepubliceerd door Amsterdam University Press:

A book about relationship management


Banquet of Guardsmen from the District IV under Captain Jacob Backer and Lieutenant Jacob Rogh, Nicolaes Pickenoy, 1632 (detail), canvas, 198 x 531 cm, collection Amsterdam Museum

Wat we kunnen leren van netwerken in de 17e eeuw; kleine gesloten netwerken gebaseerd op wederzijds vertrouwen

Dit artikel in het Engels/ this article in English


In maart publiceerde Amsterdam University Press het boek Managing Authentic Relationships; Facing New Challenges in a Changing Context. Een boek over netwerken en relatiemanagement geschreven door Jean Paul Wijers, Monica Bakker, Robert Collignon en The book about relationship management 'Managing Authentic Relationships 'Gerty Smit en met bijdrages van onder andere Prof. René Foqué, Paul Mosterd, Paul Spies en Tom Verbelen. Het boek richt zich op het bouwen en het beheren van een sterk netwerk en wederzijdse relaties voor de hele organisatie door de implementatie van een professioneel relatiemanagement op strategisch, tactisch en operationeel niveau. Het boek richt zich op diegenen die binnen een organisatie de verantwoordelijkheid hebben voor het management van een professioneel, zakelijk netwerk. 

De cover van het boek is een 17e-eeuws gildeschilderij van Nicolaes Pickenoy, afkomstig uit de collectie van het Amsterdam Museum. Het schilderij is op dit moment te zien in de permanente tentoonstelling ‘Hollanders van de Gouden Eeuw‘ in de Hermitage Amsterdam. In het boek Managing Authentic Relationships staan nog drie gildeschilderijen; het zijn historische voorbeelden van succesvol netwerken. De Adjunct Directeur van de Hermitage Amsterdam, Paul Mosterd, schrijft erover in het boek:

“In the Netherlands, there are no larger militia paintings than the ones that are displayed in the Hermitage Amsterdam. They remind us of the Golden Age; a period in which trade and culture flourished in our country. Within just a few generations, an incredible economic boom occurred in the newly-established Dutch Republic. The wealthy and powerful citizens who were then in charge, had themselves eternalised in monumental paintings. Nowadays we see them as large, beautifully painted works of art. We can also decipher the codes and analyse the messages that are hidden in these artworks. The paintings served as a kind of LinkedIn on the wall for citizens at the time. They hung in semi-public buildings and were intended for observation and consideration.

De gildeschilderijen fungeerden als een soort LinkedIn van de 17e eeuw

Militia members who contributed financially received a place in the painting. Being portrayed towards the front of the painting was relatively expensive and for a full-length depiction, you paid  full price. It was certainly worth it however, because a work of such prestige could boost your career. It was an opportunity to demonstrate your good citizenship and to show that you acknowledged your responsibility to the city. You could also indicate ‘where you came from’ as well as showing how well connected you were. “

In deze video legt Paul Mosterd uit wat er te zien is op het schilderij van Nicolaes Pickenoy


In Hoofdstuk 1 ‘The Importance of Networks and Relationships‘, schrijft Monica Bakker ook over netwerken in de 17e eeuw: “The Amsterdam admiralty, which was the economic and administrative power in the city, consisted of several closed networks, most of them based on strong family ties. People from within the network where called “friends,” whereas people from outside the network were referred to as “outsiders.” As an outsider, it was profoundly difficult to become part of these networks. The members enhanced their interdependence by gifts, invitations, and favors that at some point it was assumed would be returned. The network ties were based on reciprocity and trust and aimed to strengthen the group’s own economic and social position within Amsterdam society.”

Toekomstige netwerken zijn net als 17-eeuwse netwerken: kleine gesloten netwerken gebaseerd op wederzijds vertrouwen

De schilderijen bieden niet alleen een historisch voorbeeld, ze geven ons ook een visie op de toekomst. Een visie die wordt uitgelegd door Monica Bakker in Hoofdstuk 1: “The expectation of networks of the future is that they will be more closed and centered around a certain shared purpose in so-called high-trust value networks creating both social and financial capital to support their cause. So even while technological developments allow us to be in touch with an ever-wider range of people, the tendency is to use these new technological possibilities to create networks that are:

  • More personal.
  • More closed to outsiders.
  • Relatively small (to safeguard the self-generating power of the platforms).
  • Based on trust and reciprocity.

The seventeenth-century network of friends and outsiders probably looks very dated at first but it is actually coming back, just in a much more complex state, not bound to a shared geographical location and with less face-to-face interaction. Quite like in the decade of the Amsterdam admiralty, personal and organizational success will depend on networking power.”


Lees meer artikelen over Managing Authentic Relationships op ons blog:
Managing Authentic Relationship is een boek over relatiemanagement en netwerken gepubliceerd door Amsterdam University Press:

The book about relationship management 'Managing Authentic Relationships '