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Posted on May 24, 2010 | Author: Adam Brandenburger | View 224 | Comment : 4

Business is cooperation when it comes to creating a pie and competition when it comes to dividing it up. In other words, business is War and Peace. But it's not Tolstoy — endless cycles of war followed by peace followed by war.

It's simultaneously war and peace. As Ray Noorda, founder of the networking software company Novell, explains: “You have to compete and cooperate at the same time.”

The combination makes for a more dynamic relationship than the words “competition” and “cooperation” suggest individually. This is why we've adopted Noorda's word co-opetition, and made it the title of our book.

What's the manual for coopetition? It's not Leadership Secrets of Attila the Hun. Nor is it Leadership Secrets of St Francis of Assisi. You can compete without having to kill the opposition.

If fighting to the death destroys the pie, there'll be nothing left to capture — that's lose-lose. By the same token, you can cooperate without having to ignore your self-interest. After all, it isn't smart to create a pie you can't capture —that's lose-win.

The goal is to do well for yourself. Sometimes that comes at the expense of others, sometimes not. In this book, we'll discuss business as a game, but not a game like sports, poker, or chess, which must be win-lose.

Putting co-opetition into practice requires hardheaded thinking. It's not enough to be sensitised to the possibilities of cooperation and win-win strategies. You need a framework to think through the dollars-andcents consequences of co-operation and of competition.

Comments (4)

Co-operation is part of social life, to help and eredicate the weak elements in the business society, where as the competition is to make perfect the weak element in the business. If both co-operation and competitioned are joined together, then business will improve as both the elements i.e. compititon and cooperation are out, and naturally co-opitition will come in to exisstence, and business will be better, but professionalism of business wil not remain there, and co-optition will bring roughness in the business which shall not be good sign in healthy business, in my views compition and coooperation both are improtant for the healthy business. If there is goal to obtain in business, then both are important otherwise there will be no aim of a person to act for any business.

Posted by Sahibraj Bajaj , CEO at VIKRANT IMPEX | 25 May, 2010

Co-operation is the major component for creation of wealth,knowledge etc by groups within which there will be competition among individuals and sub-groups.Whereas competition is the major component for distribution of wealth or sharing of knowledge within which there will be co-operation among related individuals and sub-groups.

A great leader is one who 'balances' co-operation and competition aspects and brings in maximum creation abd best distribution and thereby maximum well being for all the members under the leader/leadership. Sometimes the leader/leadership increases the co-operation component and sometimes increases the competition aspect depending on the need. He/they has/have a feel of it. This is basically a subjective/spiritual world. Here you can not quantify things. Generally it is a feeling and great committed leaders normally possess it. So the leaders have also to pass on these feelings to the next generation there by ensuring maximum well being to human societies. In history the instances of such style is very few and hence humanity has not seen the maximum impact of balancing between co-operation and competition by synergysing them.The leader/leadership should also be committed. Mercenaries or self promoters can never do this. The leader/leadership should be able to visualise the overall good of the organisation/society and steer the path. Unfortunately there are no/very few organisations addressing this issue in the world. Leaders who addressed this are also vitually negligible. A new paradigm seems to originate in this new era out of survival instincts.

Posted by Venkataramanaiah Chekuru,CEO at CVR SYNERGY MANAGEMENT SERVICES|25 May, 2010

Collaboration of species in the ecosystem is a way of nature and life, with win-win for all. Survival of the fittest does not mean survival of 1)the strongest or 2)only ONE. Interconnectedness and absence of firm outlines and boundaries where one entity or its interests end and another's begin is unnatural in any case.

Posted by JPSingh , Management Consultant at JPS Consulting | 24 May, 2010

Cartels is a form of cooperation among competing rivals for the same market. It is to ensure that there is no price war or that there is a floor price.Sharing information and cooperation when it comes to dealing with government is also known.Capitalism says that perfect competition ensures the survival of the fittest. The prices for products, services remain low unless and until cartels are formed.In respect of technology and knowledge, we see some cooperation, joint ventures to develop and commercialise technologies and ideas.

Posted by Santhanam Ramasubramanyam | 24 May, 2010

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