Coopetition or Co-opetition (sometimes spelled "coopertition" or "co-opertition") is the collaboration between business competitors, a neologism coined to describe cooperative competition. Coopetition is a portmanteau of cooperation and competition.
This word came up several times last week when catching up with old school friends, most of whom work for themselves or, coincidentally, in various NGOs. Was it something we ate at school? NOPE, we’ve all EXPLORED which leads to the steepest learnings.
Co-operative competition...doesn't it sound alluring, futuristic, expansive and downright interesting?
After a few seconds of rolling it around like a new toy, I realised it is simply (obviously) a newly coined word having evolved from an already existing state or action. I LOVE THAT! It's a word WE, our era, created. So many of us have unconsciously (or consciously) adopted coopetition as a successful business and life tool. Many have grown into collaboration and this is a straightforward extension of that profound way of operating.
The more I freely soak up and discover on this 2013 of transition and expansion, the more I credit to forefront free-thinking. Follow the movement I say!
Relevance? Something so simple and again, obvious...except for those of us touched by the previous era of control = safety.
Who “owns” the World Wide Web? Is it even up for “ownership”? And what would be the point of that?
Google, the conductor of a vast global orchestra of information, is the maestro of the paradigm shift towards coopetition upon which the internet has thrived. If that little box could talk it would say "Let me help you find exactly what it is you're looking for." There is no claim to ownership, just direction onwards, towards your specific destination.
Movement is taking a similar path. Traditionally, specific disciplines have claimed superiority and fought for the hearts and minds of their followers. “STOP HERE! This is what you're looking for." they said. Many still do. Formats, professional points and processes can be handcuffs to exploration, growth and understanding. But the era of information and empowerment is upon us.
WHO “owns” movement?
Everyone owns it in their own bodies and minds. Who are we to judge each other? Movement should and must be about coopetition to produce excellence and progression. Each person is different, each movement method has something unique to offer. There are no blanket recipes to suit all….only the mindset of OPENNESS to guide us.
Very early in my Pilates career, I spent a few hours with a second generation Pilates Master in New York City - this is someone who was taught by a direct student of Joseph Pilates (this mover would be first generation). I just called her up and asked if I could meet her and observe her teaching. Her friendliness, hospitality and pure openness to green, little ol’ moi left a lasting impression on me and I still enjoy her work immensely.
Much later in my Pilates journey, I stepped into another studio in New York City and even though we spoke different Pilates languages at the time, I was welcomed with open arms and given the opportunity to learn their nuances. We still share class participation, business ideas and referrals.
Throughout my career in Southern Africa and the United Kingdom I have been surrounded with what could be seen as "competition". Instinctively I steered clear of anything that felt inauthentic and unconsciously collected peers and colleagues who speak the language of collaboration and within ourselves fostered healthy coopetition.
An old-shoe, true friend is choosing what is right for her Self right now - her FOURTH Comprehensive Pilates Education Provider...now that's a Passionista because she certainly doesn't "lack" any training! She's opening her mind, body and world.
A fellow (amazeballs) collaborator introduced me to a thinking business consultant in the United Kingdom who, when overloaded with clients and projects, refers new enquiries/clients to her main 'competitor'. Her broadmindedness declared things simply and absolutely about the work, which directly impacts on her integrity and therefore, reputation.
I collaborate with wellness & movement studios and every day we bring each other more exposure, traffic and FUN! Keeping our work alive and thriving, rather than merely surviving on what can be a very lonely path.
With open senses, I can see and feel this movement gaining more and more momentum every day. I awesomely applaud those already aboard (there are loads ahead) and encourage others to LOOK, FEEL and jump in…for your own benefit.
The world has already changed and is ever-changing...information is free and so very available. Facebook NEVER advertised. It was free and open from the get go and actively improves its offerings - again, for free! That would go against ALL business models of the past. The open source models now lead us forward and I’m making sure I learn from them and take it all on board.
We can find and feel the GOOGLE in Movement. It’s joyful, liberating and stimulating to be this way…on the edge of progress.
Short start…how to open oneself to collaboration and coopetition?
- Blow the roof off FEAR!
- Trust your gut, not your head. The body knows.
- Never stop questioning WHY? HOW? WHY?
- If it resonates with you, jump in and share, share, share. It will come back.
It is a revolution!