Comm Solutions is a network integration company. Paul Black is the founder and CEO. Below are excerpts from his recent comments about our work together.

We sell information technology solutions, specifically infrastructure, to enterprise clients. As Chief Executive Officer, I set strategy, involve myself in large deals and major client relationships, and also relationships with our partners. I try to pick areas for Comm Solutions to invest in that have rapid growth and the potential to be lucrative.

I became aware of David Nour and his work when I attended a conference in 2011 sponsored by Computer Reseller News (CRN). They positioned the conference as “Best of Breed” and targeted attendance from the largest 500 companies in my industry. We at that time had just made it into that 500 bracket (we’ve now achieved the low 300s—we’re growing and progressing up the list). David presented a keynote and a workshop on Relationship Economics at that event.

I’m not much on speakers; I rarely come away with visionary ideas. Minding my relationships and keeping them strong has always been a core belief and a value for me. I thought I knew a lot about relationships before I heard David speak! I was really impressed with how much further advanced David is than I am at managing my relationships.

I knew they were important, but relationships weren’t the filter through which I looked at the world. They were for David. After the keynote and the workshop that reinforced the same theme, I committed to myself that I would be more purposeful about maintaining the relationships that are important to my business, and would be more strategic about the relationships I cultivate, both internally and externally. And I did, with good results.

I changed in many different ways. I’ve always had an “open door” policy here, but upon returning from the conference, I held a series of one-on-one meetings with all of my employees. Out of those one-on-ones, I was hoping to cultivate a sense of continuous improvement at the company.

We give continuous improvement awards every year for the three best ideas that we implement in the largest way at Comm Solutions. But I wasn’t getting the amount of participation that I wanted. I met with everybody. I communicated directly to everybody what value they contributed. It was a great relationship-building exercise. As a result, I was able to harvest a lot of ideas that improved the business in every different aspect. No one left my office without giving me some nugget of an idea to improve what they were doing.

I continue to meet with people, on an ad-hoc, as-needed basis. I have a great relationship with all of my key employees.

In addition to that, I divided our customers into strategic groups, and I make sure that I visit our most important customers on a regular basis, so they know who I am and I can hear their feedback. They know they’re important to me personally. I do the same thing with our major strategic supply-chain partners.

I’m looking forward to having David speak to our company, specifically to help me have that breakthrough moment with my outside sales force. If I can get them to see the world through the relationship filter, I think there’s a high potential that they will become more effective professionally.

Nour Takeaways

  1. Even highly effective senior leaders like Paul Black of Comm Solutions, who prioritize client and partner relationships, can learn to leverage their relationship capital for more impact as a business asset.
  1. After hearing me speak on strategic relationships, Paul committed to one-on-one meetings focusing on continuous improvement with every employee in the company—and was able to harvest a bounty of ideas that measurably improved business outcomes.
  1. Paul has engaged me to bring a “breakthrough moment” to Comm Solutions’ outside sales force: a realization that when you view the world through the lens of relationships, you become more effective personally and professionally.


David Nour is an enterprise growth strategist and the thought leader on Relationship Economics® —the quantifiable value of business relationships. In a global economy that is becoming increasingly disconnected, The Nour Group, Inc. has attracted consulting engagements from over 100 marquee organizations in driving unprecedented growth through unique return on their strategic relationships. Nour has pioneered the phenomenon that relationships are the greatest off balance sheet asset any organizations possesses, large and small, public and private. He is the author of several books including the best selling Relationship Economics— Revised (Wiley), ConnectAbility (McGraw-Hill), The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Raising Capital (Praeger) and Return on Impact—Leadership Strategies for the age of Connected Relationships (ASAE). Learn more at www.NourGroup.com.

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