Gentle Bamboo Solutions

Helping your “competitors”

Hi,

I received an email yesterday from one of the readers. It was a very nicely written email with a rather bizarre end. I won’t go into details, but the gist of it was, "Why are you writing these daily emails to help me? I am your competitor in the training industry. I appreciate it, but I don’t understand it."

"Great question!"

Today, I want to address this myth of competition. I am not saying we aren’t competitors. We are competitors since we are sometimes trying to get business from the same clients. Sometimes, it is a zero-sum game. Sometimes, when you win a client I lose business. But that is a rare occurrence. It doesn’t happen enough that you and I need to worry about it.

Let me present to you another perspective. This is an India-specific example, but it applies to most other countries.

Look at any other kind of business. All the shops are huddled together. There are "markets" which have an entire row dedicated to one kind of shop. Jewellers, Shoes, Clothes, Bags, Electrical equipment, Vegetable wholesale, you name it. They compete with each other superficially, but deep down they are partners. They collaborate and succeed together. They help each other out. They have associations, they meet once a month, they celebrate each others’ success.

Only in the so-called knowledge industry does this sense of competition manifest into hiding things. A feeling that if I hide my knowledge from others, I will have a competitive advantage. A feeling that if everyone else knows what I know, my value will somehow be diminished. A feeling that I have to guard my know-how, lest someone steal it from me.

You may not think like this. But, I’m sure you know others who do. We’re all trying to make a living in this industry, and we live in a huge world. That world is changing rapidly. No one person can keep up. In all this, the predictions and forecasts for the training industry are extremely positive. We all need to help each other to benefit from it. At least I want to.

I write these emails because I think they are helpful and I help my "competitors" because I don’t think of them as competitors. I think of them as comrades and collaborators.

Growing with you,

Abhilash