Look for the opportunity to stop competing

by Daniel Batten on February 12, 2010

Politics, law and business are all based on battle.

Politics is based on the idea that intelligent progress can be

made when two opposing camps face opposite eachother like

opposite armies and tear down eachothers ideas on principle.

Whether the idea can help society or not is irrelevant.

The law is based on the idea that having 2 legal teams face

opposite each other, attempting to tear down each others

arguments. What actually happened and may be true is


Business was based on the idea that you promote your product

because you happen to be at a company that sells that product.

You find evidence that your product is good and your competitors

are bad. The actual strengths and weaknesses of each product

is irrelevent.

Recently, I have seen evidence in business that this is starting to

change. Business is changing first, because unlike politics and

law, it is less rule-governed and rule-bound.

  • In business, the idea that negotiation must be a win-lose has 90% shifted.
  • In business, new terms such as “co-opertition” are being invented to describe how companies compete at times and cooperate elsewhere
  • In business, there is a small but perceptible shift towards not putting down competing products but complimenting them for what they have done, and then focusing on your own offering – given that is what you know best.

And this approach is paying financial dividends. Harvard research

showed that win-win negotiation is a more effective negotiation style

resulting on improved financial returns for both parties.

Customers are choosing to do business with people who are honest about competitive

offerings rather than dismissive. And new business partnerships are evolving

between previous opponents (such as Microsoft/Apple; HP/IBM).

In business, the law of monopoly is giving way to the law of reciprocity, as we

see through the plethora of companies thriving through giving away free tools,

free information, free product.

Law and politics will follow slowly. In the meantime, take a deep breath and

see that in business: there is no longer any battle to fight – just friendships to make, people to serve

and dreams to make real.

Competition and warfare require many resources, and leave you exhausted. Identify the areas where you  can collaborate, so you can save your competitive spirit for where it is most needed.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Leslie March 14, 2010 at 8:27 am

At the end of the day, bear in mind that the objective of negotiating is to inspire or coerce the other person to agree to your terms. Interesting business documentary ‘The YES Movie” produced by Louis Lautman

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