Competition LO18094

Scott Simmerman (
Wed, 13 May 1998 19:23:51 -0400

Replying to LO18068 --

Ed Brenegar wrote in Competition LO18068 in replying to Leslie about
passivity and co-operation and made the point that:

>Often the person who is a "go along to get
>along" is viewed as cooperative, rather than competitive.
>That is passivity and, not really the type of cooperation which
>you describe further on in your posting.

...and went on to talk about being engaged and participative.


I'll liken it to "lurkers" in a list who passively read items and do not
get engaged in the conversation. Are they "co-operating?" THey certainly
aren't active competing.

But then the list loses a bit because we don't benefit from the thinking
and the dialog that makes the whole thing interesting and of impact.

I delivered a workshop for a senior group of managers for one of the big
telephone companies yesterday and in the debriefing, one of the managers
really said some things about trust and competition - how the history she
felt was negative and somewhat cutthroat and that information couldn't
always be believed. The point was the wasted resources.

My comment was to reframe from the history to the current situation - the
beginning of a 3-day management retreat to set new strategic initiatives
and to build a level of trust and cooperation. The conversation of the
group then turned to ways to potentially correct this perceived (and real)
history and ways to move this issue of trust and communications forward.

Maybe 20 of the 50 were actively engaged in the dialog. The good news is
that it did involve the most senior manager and the other top execs. The
bad news is that more than half may be only "co-operating."

At the end, the top manager set the stage for active personal commitment
for each of the participants. It is an issue of Choice. We can choose to
compete and suboptimize, or we can choose to collaborate or we can choose
to maintain invisibility.

Leaders need to get people to actively commit to goals and visions and to
implement improvements, not merely read the information and the memos,

For the FUN of It!

Scott Simmerman


Scott Simmerman <>

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