Sure, technology is a connector force. But there is nothing like one in-person human presence pressing up influentially against another in-person human. A roll of the eyes can deep-six the public relations agency's pitch for the healthcare account. A big smile can be the tipping force in the decision to support the legal associate for partner in the white shoe law firm.
No surprise, the power phrase of our times when business can't afford human mistakes is "well connected." That's code for "this professional makes and breaks reputations." Forget all the digital Yelps.
The level playing field piece of this is that just about anyone can be "well connected." A solo ghostwriter/scriptwriter in the Southwest I have become a player because I have, well, become "well connected." A lot of that is the result of my three syndicated blogs. A little of it is because I know how to listen. And a nano bit is due to my being a legal writer who thinks like a lawyer. Folks want to stay on my good side.
The challenge, of course, is to stay well connected. That will be deconstructed in another post.