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