Collaborative Competition

“I’m not competitive”, some people tell me. Ahum, yeah right.

I’m paying a visit to the Datanews Awards tonight. The “crème de la crème” of the Belgian ICT sector will be present. The Top of the pops. The “place m’as tu vu” for 1000 people in black tie (except for the ladies)…but they are not competitive noooooooo sir. “It’s just for the networking and the fun of it”.

One month later – you could call it business before pleasure – the ICT Trophy, powered by Datanews, ADM and CIO Forum. Must be the 10th edition already. Over 1700 ICT people participating…but they are not competitive noooooooo sir. “It’s just for the networking and the fun of it.”

Be honest: we all want to win those Trophies!!!! There’s nothing wrong with that.

I love competition. However, it’s something you have to use with care. If you would create a culture for employees to out-compete their colleagues, I’m pretty convinced that it would kill innovation. People will keep ideas to themselves to score at the right moment and the company would become slow.

That’s why I like the idea of Collaborative Competition. Stop watching all that rubbish on TV and read “Collaborative Consumption” to find out for yourself. We are in the middle of a shift from a very individualistic, narcistic, overconsuming, ego world to a Collaborative World. Swapping, sharing, bartering, trading and renting are being reinvented. Ever heard of Zipcar, Rent-a-toy, Bag Borrow & Steal, Netflix, Neighborrow, Zopa, ParkCirca, Eatwithme, and so many others? Check them out and feel the vibe.

After the great recession, people start sharing again. They feel that the ego-world is not getting them anywhere. You see the early adopters changing everywhere. The followers will follow. They join clubs again, work more in teams, share ideas, spend more time with family, don’t spend money on “stuff”, think about nature and wellbeing, innovate to outcompete…OTHER COMPANIES.

Trust becomes more important than fear, community more important than isolation. Collaboration has become extremely easy through social media tools. So why wait? Let’s all compete collaboratively 🙂

Have Herculean Datanews Awards and may the best team win!

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