Evening Sessions #13: I Believe in Co-opetition (Part 1)

I believe in competition.

No. I haven’t just contradicted myself.

In fact, I believe in competition AND co-opetition.

We all know what competition is so I’m not about to insult your intelligence but what about co-opetition?

Well, if you’re a management theorist you’d know that its a concept derived from Game Theory and was defined by the Yale and Harvard scholars Nalebuff and Brandenburger. They have a detailed structural model describing the interplay between the different players in business which they divide into customers, suppliers, competitors and complementers. 

If you consider competition as a battlefield then the whole point of it is to divide the spoils of war i.e. gain market share.

However, too many businesses move towards competition as a default setting far too soon and they miss the point of what their business is setting out to achieve. If, like me, you believe that creating value for your clients and customers is a priority then in order to spread its effect you need market growth. 

Co-opetition between competitors can be done by sharing technology and research for example. This isn’t a new concept really, if you’ve been following my blog I recently discussed Japansese collaborative groups called Keiretsu.

Now you want examples don’t you? In healthcare there’s GE Healthcare and Intel’s Digital Health group, in the automobile industry Toyota and Peugeot, in the newspaper industry The Boston Globe and Herald and many more.

Doesn’t sound so crazy now does it?

In part 2 I’ll take you through the theory in more detail and even go through some case studies!

Dr Saif Abed

CEO and Co-Founder

Abed Graham Healthcare Strategies Ltd

If you are enjoying this blog series, feel free to share it with friends & colleagues!




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