Competition vs Collaboration

Yesterday I was listening to Clubhouse where people discussed “Competition vs Collaboration”.

It was an interesting time hearing that, some say more of competitions others prefer collaborations. Talks swang right and left.

But in that discussion what I felt especially interesting are these opinions:

  • Things begin as a collaboration but become a competition
  • Competition and collaboration can be coexist

I like the first idea “Even if it started like collaboration, once someone becomes prominent and stands out it changes to a competition.” This goes for things like “let’s get more SNS followers by sharing technics” or “let’s make a presentation and make a pitch to the leadership team”.

The second statement was illustrated by a guy who was on a rugby team at UCLA and used a sports team as an analogy. He said sports teams always be collaborative to win the game but at the same time, there exists competition internally as to who’s going to play.

Listening to them drove me to consider this topic.

Now that I think of it, the trick is that competition and collaboration are not exclusive but always coexist to some extent. The real issue is rather how to balance them and let them coexist harmonically.

As described above, a sports team balances collaboration and competition well. The key is that every member shares the same purpose or vision. Because they aim to win the game or the championship as a team, they can collaborate even in the environment of harsh competition.

In business situations, it’s not so easy to share a common purpose. Most of the people work not only for the company’s vision but also for salary, work experience, building up skills, and so on. The wrong way is to assume employees joined because of vision. Not all that.

Then what to do? Well, things I believe are important are below:

1.The passion of the leader

First and foremost, how the leader is eager to achieve the goal to realize the vision counts. Without passion, the team will either collaborate with less performance or compete without loyalty.

2.The system to grow engagement

Adrenaline comes out during sports. Dopamine comes out when we win the game. Thus sports teams enable members to work collaboratively in internal competitions. You need the same trick in your business. Make the most of technics to let adrenaline and dopamine flush out.

I know there’s a case where only collaboration works. This can be seen in music bands. They feel less competitive because each member’s skill does not overwrap. That’d be said, most of the business team would fit the circumstance with collaboration and competition making harmony.

Web developer, Data analyst, Product Manager. Ex investment banker( structured finance ). Learn or Die.

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