10 min read
The opinions of the employees of You are personal.
Everyone is gradually adjusting to the “new normal” and the post-COVID-19 era. You have probably already read or heard what many are saying about their vision of how the world will change in the short, medium and long term after the pandemic changes in all areas (personal, family, professional, economic, social, political, etc. ).
One of the positives that the new coronavirus brought with it was how many people in the world (and maybe it happens to you) are raising their level of awareness and connecting from a new, more holistic perspective, to say the least, “more spiritual”. And I concentrate on the positive aspects, because if anything, we as entrepreneurs need to have our own skills Small and Medium Business (SME) always sees the positive side of things. The learning behind the challenge of the problem.
Today I want to propose a completely different, and perhaps even disruptive, way of understanding your competition.
In the last few centuries, the vision of business competition has been closely linked to the – incidentally very limited – scheme of the “law of evolution” or survival. That said, you have certainly learned, like most of us, that there is a law of survival for the “fittest” in nature and that this should also be the case in business.
Countless authors have referred to and borrowed concepts and tools from writing The art of war from Sun Tzu to apply it to the business field. In business terminology, phrases such as: “Beat the competition”, “Strategies for Competition”, “Competitive Analysis”, “Beat the competition” and otherwise.
What if I told you that the “law of the strongest” or that “Law of the Jungle” does not exist and has instead asked you to open your consciousness and observe for yourself to discover that the only thing that exists in the universe is that COLLABORATION? There is no competition.
Someone could tell “That is not true, the lion competes with the gazelle to eat it and the big fish eats the little fish.”. But I want to give you a new perspective that could change your vision of your competition and life in general. The lion does not compete with the gazelle, it cooperates. The gazelle cooperates with the lion in a mechanism that is perfectly in tune with a perfect balance in which the herbivore helps the predator feed it, even if it is a chase. When the lion dies, it cooperates with the microorganisms that dissolve (eat) it and reintegrate it into the earth, into the ecosystem. The earth cooperates with the plants so that they can grow, and the plants in turn cooperate with the animals that feed on them, such as B. Gazelles.
The small fish cooperates with the large fish so that it can feed and not all large fish eat the small fish. Have you heard of the whale shark that only eats plankton and does not eat fish?
Cooperation, cooperation, cooperation on all sides. I strongly recommend that you watch the documentary. “Yo soy”From director Tom Shadyac, renowned director of famous comedies such as Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. After Shadyac suffered a bicycle accident in 2007 that could have seriously disabled him, he found it necessary to reassess his lifestyle and ask himself important questions that required big answers.
In addition, I would like to propose another concept of competition: competition is YOUR BEST TEACHER;; the one that constantly drives you to improve your products and services. In sport, for example, there are many stories about the healthy competitive relationship that exists between athletes at the highest level who develop a deep respect for their bitterest opponents because they understand that they are making them grow. To name just a few examples: Leonel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo in football, Mika Hakkinen and Michael Schumacher in Formula 1 and Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in tennis.
Cristiano Ronaldo and Leonel Messi / Picture: Depositphotos.com
And when we talk about business, we can rename the famous love-hate relationship that ended in a bond of great respect and admiration between Apple’s Steve Jobs and Microsoft’s Bill Gates, making it the main financial savior of Apple in its troubled years. Additionally, in his final days as Steve Jobs, before he died, Bill Gates was one of the people who visited him at the hospital multiple times.
Two little stories
I want to tell you two little stories about this new way of understanding competition.
The first is a story about a farmer in America. This farmer had received a regional award for the best harvest for several years in a row.
When asked what his secret was, he replied:
“Very easy. I take my best seeds and give them to my neighbors, my competitors.”
The person who interviewed him asked in surprise, “But if they are your competitors, why are you giving them your best seeds?”
The man from the field replied: “There is cross-pollination in agriculture. In other words, with the wind and the insects, the seeds of my crops pollinate the crops of my neighbors, and vice versa. So if I give them my best seeds and they improve their crops, I will inevitably get cross-pollination of their crops in my crops and what’s better than the best seeds. We all win when we all do well. ”
The second is the story of a Chilean chicken production company.
I don’t remember the specifics of the names of the companies involved in this story as I studied this case many years ago in a degree in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). In Chile there were two leading chicken production companies that competed fiercely for the market. Once, one of them caught fire in its main production facility. The other competing company, instead of taking advantage of this tragedy and trying to give it one final “boost” to oust its “rival” from the market, turned to the company to offer its own facilities to continue producing chickens, while they recovered and rebuilt the plant that caught fire.
And how do I apply that in my company now?
I will tell you about my own experience. A few months ago when COVID-19 hit the market, at my company we sent an email to all of our entrepreneurial contacts that SMBs have to offer them a range of free tools to help them. And at the bottom of the email we left a comment where we mentioned that if none of the options we offered to help them worked for them, they should seek help elsewhere, but don’t stop, to do that. We have listed five of our direct competitors for you. We did it from the bottom of our hearts, with no hidden agenda, to understand this new concept of competition: collaboration.
To my surprise, a few weeks after sending the email, I received a response from the director of one of the competitor companies we mentioned, which was registered in our database without our knowledge. His email was a pleasant surprise, he thanked me for the gesture of this email and invited me to speak one day. We planned a call and it turned out that I met one of my “new best friends”. With this vision, we got along with cooperation instead of competition. We understood that there is enough market for everyone and that we would never have enough to serve it alone.
After another week, I received another email from another competitor who was also on the list and we were planning another call as well. To cut a long story short, today we hold Master Mind sessions every 15 days to help us by openly and without reservation sharing our best practices, frustrations and challenges in order to get better and thereby better serve our clients.
Who better to understand what I live in my business than someone who has a business very similar to mine? And I can tell you that I have a real interest in helping them in any way I can so that they do very well and I know the feeling is mutual.
I am convinced that only good things will come of this if I give my competitors “my best seeds” so that we can all get better with “cross-pollination”. By sharing all of my best practices with them, I am also fulfilling my mission of helping all entrepreneurial owners of SMEs who can achieve success “indirectly” through them.
I hope this, which I just shared with you, will help you change the way you view your competition. In the new post-COVID-19 era, if we don’t raise awareness and do business in other ways – more ethical, more comprehensive, more holistic – we will end up destroying our planet.
Recent human history has been marked by the unethical and often immoral acts that companies commit against their own customers, the environment, their employees and others in order to “win the game” and “eliminate the rival” ”.