Our new book ‘Managing Authentic Relationships’ officially launched

This week our new book Managing Authentic Relationships; Facing New Challenges in a Changing Context was officially launched during a meeting in the Hermitage Amsterdam. In front of the painting of the cover of our book we discussed about the need for organisations to have a meaningful network of reciprocal relationships with the CEO of the Nederlands Dans Theater Janine Dijkmeijer, general Dick Berlijn and the deputy director of the Hermitage Amsterdam Paul Mosterd. At the end of the meeting, these three and the director of the Hermitage Museum Judikje Kiers were given a first copy of the book.

Managing Authentic Relationships is a book about networking, (business) relationships and relationship management

The book is published by Amsterdam University Press and the Institute of Strategic Relationship Management (ISRM) in The Hague, the Netherlands, and is written by Jean Paul Wijers, Monica Bakker, Robert Collignon and Gerty Smit. Professor René Foqué of Leuven University wrote the introduction and the foreword is by Franck Erkens, chairman of the ISRM advisory board. The book focuses on those who have the responsibility within an organization for the management of a professional business network.

“This book on strategic relationship management is mandatory literature for all who want to constructively build a world based on sustainable mutual benefits, where commerce blossoms and peace prevails.” – Dick Berlijn, former Commander in Chief of the Dutch Armed Forces

In the future more and more networks are based on a good combination of confidence and added business value. ‘In our current time, uncertainty and change are become the new normal’, the authors claim. ‘Long-term trust relationships provide the support, protection and resilience that characterise the ‘high-trust value networks’ of the future. Where contracts and procedures sometimes complicate the relationship, trust reduces the complexity of relationships and increases the agility of the parties involved needed to achieve joint common goals and solutions.’

The authors also identify the common mistake that organizations do not start expanding their network until they find themselves in need of. ‘Make friends before you need them’, the authors claim. ‘People rightly wonder about the sincerity of your intentions. By that time, the network should already be in place and have a solid basis of reciprocity and trust.’

“This valuable book is about the lost art of personal attention; Very important in building networks and relationships!” – Alexandra Messervy, Founder and Chief Executive of The English Manner, formerly of the Royal Household of HM the Queen


The ISRM consultancy and training help organizations in the transition to a modern and effective network organization that employs a purposeful and structured relationship management policy. Professional relationship management ensures that a network contributes to the achievement of an organization’s targets, providing access to the right networks and creating mutual relations with the right people.

In addition, ISRM organizes the postgraduate training program ‘Strategic Relationship Management’ for professionals who are responsible for the management and development of network management within organizations;

  • From 3 to 7 June (1 week, 5 training days) in Brussels (in English)
  • And from 18 September (6 training days in 2 months) in Amsterdam (in Dutch).

Photo’s by Steffan van Gerve