Go Beyond the Merely Transactional

From branding to bonding: CorporateHIstory.net reflects on the value of positive transactions in business and in life. (Photo credit: Shutterstock/YP_Studio)

Let’s resolve in 2022 to propel our business dealings beyond the merely transactional. Let’s make them more cooperative. More open. And (dare I say) friendlier. Ultimately that makes all of us more successful.

Alfred D. Chandler, the “doyen of business history,” wrote about three types of capitalism. There’s competitive capitalism, found in the USA. Personal capitalism, found in the UK. (It can veer into crony capitalism, not a good thing.) Cooperative capitalism, found in Germany and other European countries (but not all). Which is the most sustainable these days?

This month marks CorporateHistory.net’s official 17th anniversary. Our projects are long-form. We spend from nine months to two years with clients, chronicling business anniversaries and changes in leadership. All of our engagements have been successful by competitive measures. Clients hired us. We delivered. Often they referred us to new business.

Many engagements, however, went beyond into the realm of the truly memorable. They reached that cooperative level. They strengthened our clients’ brands—and ours. Our client Earl Copus Jr., president emeritus of Melwood, said it well. “Creating a book is no easy task. Yet by working with CorporateHistory.net, it became an endeavor of excitement and love. You became a friend to Melwood as well, embracing our story as if it were your own.”

Another CorporateHistory.net client, BAYADA Home Health Care, goes beyond the transactional through practices embodied in The BAYADA Way (“Compassion. Excellence. Reliability.”), as this YouTube video shows. (Try to watch it and not shed a few tears!)

Business to business, manager to employee, person to person—we all transact daily. (This blog post by management consultants The Bailey Group describes well the risks of having merely ‘transactional’ relationships with peers.) Bottom line: positive transactions—those with high levels of trust, clear communication, and useful feedback—improve the quality of life.