So . how do you react when you go to a networking event or worse still a Boardroom Mastermind group only to find that your competition is sitting right across the table from you? Will you stare and glare and bare your teeth? (I do mean metaphorically speaking of course . well not unless you are ‘inspired’ by the full moon – that’s on the 13th by the way!)
The trouble with much of the business advice out in the world, it that it cultivates a territorial mentality which is about competitors and competition and competing to win/succeed/be better than ….. and so on. There is little to encourage open discussion and creative problem solving.
People FEAR competition because it is the hungry beast that will swipe food from the table – just when you are about to eat having been lulled into the false sense that you have earned that crust and have the right to enjoy it.
Wouldn’t it be great if we could change that culture?
What would happen if a group of people were brought together who are perceived competitors and a challenge was put to them asking them – are they actually hungry for the same client?
As someone who helps people with their marketing, I will bang on regularly about the need to think about our niche markets. There are many ways of defining your niche – some can be more surprising than others. Give me the growling competitors any day and I will show them how they do not need to feel threatened by being in the same market place – they just have to have the willingness to keep an open mind. There are bound to be exceptions of course – but I feel that there are more opportunities for collaboration than there are threats.
It is not inconceivable that two people who do exactly the same thing could actually turn up to a Boardroom session. It has happened in my Bristol Boardroom – the results were interesting. But how would you react if you found yourself in the same situation? Would you feel comfortable baring all in front of someone who could potentially discover your secrets and run amok with them?