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Why Collaboration Is Better Than Competition

By Brandon Schaefer April 25, 2016

I travel regularly as a part of leading Five Capitals. Generally, my “go to” airline is Delta because nine times out of ten they are the cheapest airline out of Myrtle Beach and with Atlanta as their headquarters, I can get anywhere fast. Not only that but my family can take advantage of the frequent flyer points!

Needless to say, I’ve become a fan. Their customer service, quality experience, tangible initiatives to live out their vision and values and ability to ignite a workforce of over 80,000 employees makes them a company to really pay attention to.

Therefore, I wasn’t surprised to see the new promotional cover on their latest edition of their monthly Sky Magazine on my last flight. They were letting their millions of customers know (myself included) that they were upping their collaboration with ten major players around the world to offer cheaper flights and overall better flight options - so, please stick with Delta!

 

Partnership: The smarter way to do business.

sky magazine small

Why is this a big deal? Because Delta gets it. At a corporate level, leaders are thinking about to how to collaborate way more than they are thinking about the competition. It’s about discovering and linking arms with those who are like-minded and complimentary, creating win-win scenarios where everyone benefits and companies get to focus on their strengths rather than their
weaknesses.

We’ve all heard the saying, "Work smarter, not harder." The updated tagline is, "Think collaboration, not competition." With the clients I work with, it looks like:

  • The HVAC company partnering with the landscaping business for referrals.
  • The website company partnering with the video production business.
  • The networking organization partnering with the content creation initiative.

You get the idea. So the question becomes:

Who are you partnering and/or collaborating with? And if you’re not, why?

There are so many advantages to this kind of thinking about proactive partnership, especially given the trend towards collaboration. If you’re not thinking and acting this way, over time you might find yourself edged-out. Here are a few key benefits we believe happen as you pursue strategic connections:

 

Key Advantages:

  • Freedom to live into your niche or core competencies.
  • Access to customer networks you normally wouldn’t have access to.
  • Opportunities to trade off the relational capital of other businesses to increase your own brand equity.
  • Create strategic friendships and collaborators within your market.
  • Gain business without additional work.

Take some time this week to reflect on who the complimentary businesses are within your market context and how you might partner with them to work smarter?

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