Collaborating with the Competitor
We are living in a new era, a new age. Companies that once stared each other down, daring each other to even think about a partnership, are now beginning to move as one. They are communicating and sometimes merging together for their very survival. This concept has been around for some time, but because of our current economic condition, it’s getting stronger.
Welcome to the land of coopertition. (I’m not quite sure who coined the phrase, coopertition, “competitors teaming up to help each other” but it’s perfect for this article.)
In this rugged land of coopertition, many competitors are casting aside some of their old ways of thinking and becoming business partners. The days are quickly disappearing when a person or company will get a chance to stand at the top of the mountain of success and proclaim “I and I alone have conquered this mountain.” Chances are, the so-called competitor will be somewhere nearby to share the glory because of their contribution.
Coopertition is something our mother tried to teach us when we were growing up. It’s something she tried to instill in us because she already knew that one day we’d need each other’s help on this journey called life.“Y’all learn to play together,” she’d often say.
Now that we’re adults, we must learn to WORK together, laying aside our competitiveness to help each other succeed. For those who spend most of their time trying to figure out how to beat the competition, or lose sleep thinking about the competition, it’s time to start sleeping a little more peacefully. Sure, there’ll still be plenty of room left for you to remain fiercely competitive, but at some point, you must fold up your tent and befriend your foe.
I believe this is a much healthier way of doing business. In some instances, the former way of doing business is similar to trying to clap with one hand, yet expecting the same sound you’d normally hear with two. It just won’t happen. The end result is not the same. In other words, it will be missing some flavor and excitement.
Coopertition is NOT for Everyone
Most men by their very nature will always struggle with this idea and yes, some women too. Nevertheless, there must be a certain level of maturity in the relationship and hopefully, both teams are offering something of equal value.
In addition, both parties must understand that the world is much bigger than their own backyard. They must believe that there are enough resources in the world and in their community for everyone. They cannot be afraid to join forces and empower each other. For instance, being in marketing and advertising did not keep us from allowing other marketing firms to advertise their services in our business magazine. Unlike a few business people we know, we weren’t afraid to open the door and let them in. There is no lack in the world. Lack only exists in the mind.
So ladies, if you’re still thinking that you have the strength to move forward without the help of those who are in your same field … Good Luck as you travel the road alone. Just make sure you carry an extra blanket because it gets mighty cold out there.