vSente is a marketing consultancy. We help challenger enterprises wage and win battles for market shares.

Disciplines - Advertising | Marketing | Sales
Competency - Challenge | Defend
Deliverable - Profitable Market Share
Audience - CEO's | Marketing | Sales
Scale - Small | Medium-sized Enterprise
Services - Campaigns | Workshops
Location - San Francisco | London


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Cooperation Is Open Arms, While Competition Is A Boxers Pose.

Ron Crossland, Chairman of Bluepoint the leadership development group, just wrote a commentary about cooperation and competition. He used the typical progressive frame of cooperation good, competition bad. Crossland says:

Cooperation is open arms while competition is a boxer's pose.

So either you hug somebody or give them a bloody nose. Not a very nuanced view. More importantly somehow Crossland thinks that you can select whether you cooperate or compete:

Leaders should select and use them (cooperation and competition metaphors) with the same deliberation they use in any other strategic action...

Critical word is "select". Most of the time leaders selecting "cooperation" are thwarted by competitors/adversaries who select competition - quite often the kind bent on your destruction or elimination.

Bottom line is that you do not select your competition, nor do you control their means or methods. Yes, you can attempt to influence them, but if Vladimir Putin, or Larry Ellison, or Osama Bin Laden decide they want to compete, and compete on terms you may not like, then you have two choices - compete or forfeit the game.

You can download Bluepoint's September newsletter here which contains Crossland's commentary.

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