Assessment Tool: How to Collaborate with Your Competitor

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Collaborations can be tense and complex. This tool responds to the question: How can managers improve competitor collaboration to advance sustainability.

Collaborations can be tense and complex.

Based on interviews and an extensive review of research, this tool responds to the question: How can managers improve competitor collaboration to advance sustainability?

Preparing for Collaboration


If your company is currently collaborating with competitors to advance sustainability, this tool will help you think about how to take that collaboration to the next level and achieve better results.

If you’re in the planning stages, this tool can help you reflect on where you want to land and how to get there.

Regardless of what stage your collaboration is in, the tool will help you better understand the practices and structure of your collaboration and provide tips and best practices to adapt your collaboration to better
meet your goals.

 
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Dealing with Inevitable Tensions

Tension is inevitable when collaborating with competitors. Firms accustomed to competing are suddenly working together.

Our research has identified two core tensions. These tensions can undermine an initiative’s success or, if managed well, can support the collaboration’s desired outcomes. This tool will help you manage these tensions.

Cooperation-Competition

Cooperation-competition relates to a firm’s decision about issues such as how much knowledge to share, how much ownership to take, and whether to implement decisions made in the collaboration within individual firms.

Informal-Formal

Informal-formal structure relates to whether the collaboration uses informal approaches to establish trust and complete tasks, or has a more formal structure (e.g. written agreements and monitoring).

“We meet face-to-face, but like everybody else, to try to have less travel, we tried to do webinars and three people showed up instead of 15... We get huge value from the face-to-face because we get to interact with our peers.”

– Bob Larocque, Senior Director, Environment and Labour Market Policies, Forest Products Association of Canada (excerpt from assessment tool)


 

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