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Jan 25, 2012

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Consider Your Alternatives before Fighting For a Niche

 While business can sometimes seem like a battlefield, and everyone seeks to overcome the other, fighting is not always the best strategy. Often cooperation allows everyone to obtain the desired value, if both parties understand what is their goal and how both are winning.
business sword fight
  When we seek to solve a problem or set a strategy to meet our objectives, often the most logical solution not even passes through our heads. We do not take the time to understand our goal and to establish the best strategy. On the contrary, we set out to achieve our goal by using the same methods others will normally use and expecting different results, is it logic?

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robbie williams arm wrestle competition  I recently read about a professor's experiment in class. He asked his students to pair up and to arm wrestle. The winner would be the one able to bend his opponent's arm on the table the highest number of times during 30 seconds. After the fierce competition and depletion of their students, the teacher asks his students how many times they won. The average results ranged from 2 to 3 times, although a couple stood out for their reply, 100! Clearly, if they did what the others have done that would not be possible. However, they explained how they did it and the result is logical. These students decided that they should cooperate rather than compete, no resistance to the efforts of another. Now, if this winning strategy is logical and obvious why no one else apply it? Although the rules do not prohibit the collaboration, many do not even think of it as an option.

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  Companies tend to act just like the students did during the exercise. They compete in a market without clearly knowing the most effective way to achieve their goals, Even worse, without thinking about establishing a strategy. While collaboration is not always the best strategy, it is always an option. Keep in mind that businesses are not always a battlefield and that the best way to create value in our company can be found in our relationship with suppliers, investors, employees and even competitors. If necessary to compete, keep in mind that many wars have been won without a fight.