One of the more difficult Connection Economy concepts for people to get their heads around is the concept that Edward de Bono dubbed, “co-opetition”. This is defined as the ability of competitors to co-operate.
Watching the longest Tour de France stage yesterday (230 km’s!!), with an early breakaway of 5 riders, that eventually put more than half an hour between themselves and the peleton, it struck me that professional cycling provides a great example of co-opetation. Those five riders had to work together and co-oridinate their efforts in order to get ahead of the pack. But they all knew that about 5km from the end, one of them would break ranks and force the competition to re-emerge and dominate for the last sprint to the line. As soon as the first person broke ranks, the co-operation would be over. But until that point, they’d work well together and get an advantage.
Simple picture, but it works for me.