‘Coopetition’ is good business


Strategic cooperation among competitors can result in big gains for each firm and better projects for clients.

FriedrichsI hadn’t heard of “coopetition”  –  a contraction of cooperation and competition  –  for a while, but it has come to mind several times lately, as I have listened to some recent conversations. The obvious ones have had to do with politics, where our nation has become radically polarized. There seems to no longer be a middle ground or any attempt to compromise. The last two people in government I remember embracing the notion of cooperating, even though they held competing views, were Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neill.

Applied to our professions, coopetition refers to cooperating, or collaborating, with a competitor. I’ve suggested to a few clients that, for any number of reasons, it would be a good idea to partner with another firm that, in their mind, might be considered a rival. There are a number of reasons why this could be advantageous: the other firm is geographically