Ross Dawson – Collaboration and Competition

I don’t think it’s new to recognize that we are — there are always spaces that we collaborate, there are always spaces that we compete. And so the distinction between the two is always evolving particularly as I mentioned, if we move into business ecosystems then there are some quite different dynamics around the, where those spaces of collaboration lie and where does spaces of competition lie.

So this, I think there are some actually some quite simple strategic questions that need to be asked. And one of those is where do we collaborate and where do we compete? And I think that’s, there are actually relatively few organizations that have thought it through in such simple terms. But in fact the terms actually are that simple. I mean, then you need to think through the implications of it.

But that there’s a change in boundary between where you collaborate and where you compete. But organizations first need to recognize where are we collaborating, who are we collaborating with, and where are the areas where we’re competing. And these, your collaboration of the competition can absolutely be with the same organizations.

Just to take for example in the finance sector. Banks are clearly competing for customers, competing to a certain extent for capital. Yet, at the same time they are collaborating to be able to for example create more efficient back office processing systems or to be able to work with government to create better mechanisms for financial support.

So once you understand that there is these separate spaces of competition and collaboration, then you can say, well how do we best compete or how do we best collaborate? It’s that simple. And a question I think can lead to some reasonably simple answers, though they change overtime. Space is to collaboration as space is to competition.

Interview conducted by Frédéric Gilbert.

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