In a world full of talk about collaboration, why would we consider rivalry? Interesting thought. McKinsey have just released a document around innovation and rivalry that is worth reading.
The notion is that we can learn from the past – in this instance, the use of rivalry. Indeed, McKinsey argues that rivalry does not preclude collaboration, but we should try and integrate rivalry and collaboration. Three principles are discussed:
- Forming Teams: competing teams are set up from different divisions, including a diverse array of experts, taking different approaches ot the same problem.
- Appreciating differences: The various solutions should be held up next to one another, with the opportunity for ideas from one to be integrated into the other.
- Conducting “market tests”: this involves bringing the solutions to an internal jury or group of customers to let them weigh and contrast the different solutions.
The article continues with a case study on GE, and how competition and collaboration has been used successfully to stimulate innovation in GE without disrupting a culture of collaboration.
In an era where collaboration is the catch cry, it is interesting to read and contemplate a hybrid model, especially one that has been pout in practice successfully.