Coo-petence: cooperate and compete successfully

Since childhood, including all phases of education, we have been inculcated and we have learned that the natural thing is to compete, not cooperate. In the studies, in the sport, in the hobbies of each one. It is true that this competition is sometimes carried out as a team, read in work groups, at school, sports teams, etc., but competition as an end has always prevailed, both within these units and in the confrontation with the others.

The same happens at the basic, intermediate and higher levels of study and, finally, in the world of work and business. Not to mention politics and public administration, where we see on a daily basis how, for the sake of a supposed “common good”, the different formations compete with each other but bleed to death in a cruel, poorly concealed internal competition.

The concepts of Compete and Collaborate go (or should) go hand in hand and need each other. However, both the educational process and its results are based on a competition that is often hidden in a collaboration that, deep down, is not such.

This leads us to ask ourselves: Isn’t it possible to compete and collaborate at the same time with success and obtaining good results both individually and collectively? Of course it is, through well-understood Coopetition.

Today, companies apply the concept of Coopetition as a natural and programmed evolution of a system that, as we said, has already been installed since childhood. The difference is that it has become necessary to apply it in a rational and planned manner. At a level that we see on a daily basis, it is mainly used in marketing and commercial strategies, such as co-branding, co-promotions and expenses of, for example, distribution of complementary products. It is also becoming increasingly evident in the financial sector, where banks and large companies have decided to take advantage of financial innovators by forming alliances and collaborating with each other instead of being defensive and competing, thus optimizing time, resources and benefiting the results of both. parts. It is important to bear in mind that the Co-opetition concept is not limited to the large players in the economy, but rather, where it should be applied the most, but unfortunately it happens in a limited way, it is in the sector of SMEs and small or sole proprietorships, for whom it is an essential tool to gain a foothold in sectors dominated by large corporations.

In short, Coopetition is more of an attitude than a technique, not only applicable to the world and strategies

business but to life, promoting joint growth without neglecting that, in most cases, in addition to complementing each other, people/companies/institutions do not stop competing with each other. The important thing is that it allows it to be done in such a way that the efforts add up, allowing the independence and uniqueness of each of the parties involved.

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