I am a partner in a relational design firm in Toronto. Our practice is founded on sociocultural anthropology, with a scope that extends from communications strategy to change management.
Often we work with institutions that depend on the strength of their relationships with audiences—such as those that fundraise.
While companies and institutions may talk about being relational, their practices tend to be transactional—and it isn't surprising. By definition, all organizations are designed to cultivate and manage resources, it is how they measure value.
The problem is when this resource mindset extends to people and culture. People are not resources. Instead, value is found in the quality of the relationship institutions have with people. This is an important distinction.