I'm with John Woods on the subject of cooperation and competition
being complements not contradictions. The Japanese invented a word
to capture this continuum that has been picked up by the auto
industry: co-opetition, the combination of competition and cooperation.
A little awkward to say perhaps, even more difficult to make into
a verb, but it captures the essence of the duality. Co-opetition
is how the Big 3 describe their dozen plus R&D alliances and how
small firms across the US, inspired by the success of similar
ventures in Europe, explain cooperating on projects today then
going back to fierce competition tomorrow.
My favorite example of this is Harry Brown at EBC Industries in
Erie, PA, who has maintained a "co-opetition" network of some
16 small manufacturing firms for a decade now. They come together
for big contracts, share tons of information, and then go back
to competing when the big jobs are done.
There are a number of recent articles on co-opetition (including,
ahem, shameless self-promotion here, a couple that Jeff Stamps
and I have done). Both INC. and NATION'S BUSINESS has also done
features on Harry Brown.
Since this is my first posting to the list, hello. I'm enjoying
the many varied contributions and am particularly interested in
hearing from anyone with experience working in VIRTUAL TEAMS, title
and subject of new book that we're working on (due out from John Wiley
& Sons in Spring, 1997).
Jessica Lipnack <email@example.com> The Networking Institute, Inc., 505 Waltham Street, West Newton, MA 02165 USA Tel: 617/965-3340; Fax: 617/965-2341; Web page: http://www.netage.com
Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <firstname.lastname@example.org> -or- <http://world.std.com/~lo/>