New book published on 4 March: ‘Mutuality determines quality stakeholder network’

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Business relationships need to be sufficiently reciprocal and offer relevant benefits. When a relationship offers insufficient mutual interest, there is no balance in the cooperation. Although relationship management is based in part on fluid components such as chemistry, the eventual success of a network mainly depends on the professionalism and mutual strategic values, tactical execution and operational quality.

The book about relationship management 'Managing Authentic Relationships 'Those are some of the findings of the authors of the book ‘Managing Authentic Relationships; Facing New Challenges in a Changing Context’ that is presented on Monday 4 March. The book is published by Amsterdam University Pressand 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. The book focuses on those who have the responsibility within an organization for the management of a professional business network.

“As personal relationships become more important in our accelerating and digitizing world, it is a huge benefit to finally have a book that defines relationship management as a true and required profession in any organization.” – Janine Dijkmeijer, CEO of the Nederlands Dans Theater

Effective and agile

Strategic relationship management is a crucial condition for the success of organizations, the authors present. ‘Managing Authentic Relationships’ describes an approach to relationship management that contributes to the achievement of strategic objectives of an organization:

  • The development of a relationship management strategy.
  • The right approach for the complex management of relations.
  • Management by tangible results; the Return-on-Relationship.
  • Clear internal responsibility for the relationship management.
  • The right supervision for the transition to a modern network organization.
  • The development of the strong networking competencies and measurable, effective networking meetings.


Although mutual interests are the foundation of every professional business relationship, authenticity is crucial, the authors write in the book. This is all about concepts such as integrity, transparency and reliability. ‘The wish to squeeze as much as possible out of the relationship harms the relationship and increases distance and distrust’, the authors describe.

Managing Authentic Relationshipsdescribes the paradox that occurs; relationships develop best in the absence of a previously stated goal and a strict timetable, but relationship management means setting goals and creating a plan.

“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

High-trust Value Networks

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 characterize 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

Presentation on 4 March

On 4 March 2019 the book is officially presented at a meeting in the Hermitage Amsterdam, in front of the painting on the cover of the book. During that launch there will be a discussion on the usefulness of maintaining a strong network and the need for a professional relationship management with:

  • General Dick Berlijn, former Commander in Chief of the Dutch Armed Forces
  • Janine Dijkmeijer, CEO Nederlands Dans Theater
  • Tanja Dik, Director of Consumer Products & Services at Royal Schiphol Group
  • And Paul Mosterd, Deputy Director Hermitage Amsterdam.

 The book about relationship management 'Managing Authentic Relationships '



Consultancy and training 

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.

Postgraduate program

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).

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