Facebook & Yahoo had numerous lawsuits against each other till recently when they realized that working together as competitors would be more rewarding than tearing each other apart. And that’s what I call complementary competiton.
The business world today has a lot of mounting pressure & the last thing you need is to add enemies to your competitive list. In fact, many people would rather have frenemies in business than have outright enemies in cut-throat business competition. So what’s within the complementary competitiveness package?
Frenemies in business communicate to each other once in a while behind the scenes to keep tabs on what’s trending & the evolving do’s & don’ts in a fragile business world. They do know that trying to pull off a superman stunt may be costly in the long run.
Because whereas an outright enemy would propel you with mischievous bitterness to ‘prove yourself’ by making rash uninformed decisions, a frenemy on the other hand warns you knowing fully well that you’re likely to warn ‘him/her’ in future. I call it the ‘tit for tat’ game in business.
2)Business prospers in Peace.
I once saw this movie in which the Germans & Britons were fighting in World War 2, & as they were on cease fire, there was this horse in the battlefield that was trapped at night. And so a german soldier & a british soldier volunteered to go to the horse & free it.
Apparently, the horse was trapped by some barbed wire & badly bruised. And when these two soldiers asked for a pliers to cut the barbed wire, both sides of the warring camps threw in many pliers without a care in the world. To cut the long story short, the horse was freed & the horse was ‘peacefully’ handed over to the British camp. (Unfortunately, the soldiers went back to business the next day.)
Such memories stand out in business. Because it’s a win-win situation for both sides of the conflict to have an agreement without a fight. Harmony in business is like good music. I’m yet to see warring businesses saying;
“Good news guys! Tomorrow we settle a dispute in court!”
I’m sure Facebook & Yahoo were happier & relaxed settling their disputes in a boardroom than in a tense courtroom.
3)It all revolves around your reputation.
The likelihood of a frenemy doing business with you largely depends on how quarrelsome you are; & that doesn’t necessarily mean raising your voice at someone during a confrontation. It’s about the jargon of unnecessary rules & regulations you stipulate in a contract before a consensus is reached.
Such rules & regulations portray your reputation. Behind all the words in black & white are questions such as; are you mean? Are you a miser? Are you domineering? Are you insecure? Are you principled? Are you manipulative & mischievous… & so forth.
In essence, keep it respectful, simple & straight to the point. Put yourself in the shoes of your frenemy before forwarding your terms & conditions of doing business.
Don’t chase them away. Bring them on board through complementary competition. Though strict boundaries ought to be respected, this mode of business is inevitable for those who want to survive in an everchanging world.
Kiruai Dennis is the author of “Man Up Or the Women Will” which is currently available on Amazon. Terms & Conditions Apply…