I had a conversation with some colleagues the other night about the presence of collaboration versus competition in our agencies. It was an interesting discussion point that made me think about the importance of collaboration, as well as the necessity of competition.
I do believe strongly that we could all accomplish even more with additional opportunities to collaborate.
That said, I also strongly believe that a comfortable amount of competition pushes us to do more with less, and to think in ways we wouldn’t, if all we did was collaborate all the time.
So, an important question for me to consider is when to collaborate and when to allow for competition. I think that it makes sense for organizations to first make sure that opportunities for collaboration do exist, and are explored. If we aren’t capable of collaborating with others, than we’re missing out on great opportunities to learn from the successes and failures of others.
I think that relationships that have collaboration as a foundation aren’t as likely to be impacted by regular competition. In other words, if we can find a way to collaborate with our competitors, then we are more apt to use that competition for the good of all, rather than just the good of one.
So, in my eyes (though this is just the opinion of one), I don’t think I could lead with just collaboration or competition as a vehicle. Instead, I find that I need to have both present in order to be as effective a thinker and doer, as possible.