It´s time to reconsider our relationships – Competitors and Employees or Partners?

In current times in which changes in the surroundings happen at a fast pace, organizations should have a close look at the relationships between them and collaborators or employees on different perspectives. The key factors to face are not only changes but current uncertainties, as well as enough flexibility to create the maximum value possible.


As response to this tumultuous environment we’ve seen some companies focusing on their traditional activities as they have always done them in the past. That strategy isn’t right to find refuge but it is a sure path to the abyss. The famous sentence by Jack Welch “If the rate of change on the outside exceeds the rate of change on the inside, the end is near” is even more actual today. But with an implication; the flexibility, development and value creation are efficiently obtained with a collaborative vision.

arm wrestlingYour long-term competitor might turn into being a collaborator today. Or else, he might be your competitor in one market and your collaborator in another. For accessing a new country market, it is occasionally more interesting to collaborate with two usual competitors against other companies and keeping that market out of  the competition field.

A strategy with high chances of success for a new country entrance is the supplier development with that collaborative vision. Relations focus on long-term, trust-based and mutual benefit. [A case I like especially is Honda and Toyota in the USA. I highly recommend this article: ]

arm wrestling 2

In the same way, the situation could occur that some of your employees will be working for a competitor tomorrow. Don’t hate them for it. It’s possible you need them again later on and they should still be interested in coming back to your team, which would be a good option for both sides. Some key execution companies have periods with very different workload and therefore have difficulties in maintaining their project staff.

Finally, a high capacity way to obtain that flexibility and specialization according to the collaborative vision are the external collaborators and interim managers. For several reasons; they complement your know-how, provide you with additional capabilities and therefore add value creation. The use of external collaborators or interim managers is a very good way to face situations of organizational changes, strategy design, the entrance in a new market, encounter technological changes, work according to new and increasing social sensibilities, undertake specific projects, commercial conflicts and other much more.

Team Unity Friends Meeting Partnership Concept

At P&L Global work with a variety of external collaborators. These complement us for specific subjects or country know-how and together we increase our capacity and create value. On the other hand, we also work for companies as collaborators and as interim managers.

In any case, to make it possible to get good results, it is necessary to progress towards a collaborative culture in the company. This will be a big chapter for our next blogpost.

Macro shot of jigsaw puzzles teamwork concept

As a good friend shared recently: “Culture eats strategy for breakfast, operational excellence for lunch and everything else for dinner.”

by Mario Cabeza – Managing Partner, Strategy and Business Development, Crisis Management and Interim manager at P&L Global


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