Cooperation: Why It’s Better For Business Than Competition

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When you were in graduate school, what messages did your professors give you about going into private practice? We’ve heard from some of our colleagues that certain faculty members do their best to dissuade future practitioners from going out on their own. Why is this?

From what we can gather, it’s mostly based on fear.

Perhaps these professors tried the world of private practice and found it to be too cut-throat? Or, maybe they have seen their colleagues go down that road only to fail? Considering the fact that almost 75% of new businesses fail within the first three years, these possibilities aren’t out of reach.

However, we are not here to discourage private practice ownership. Au contraire mon frère! We want to see your practice succeed, which is why we want to talk about a cooperative vs. competitive model of doing business.

While many business platforms suggest that outdoing your competition is the only way to succeed, we believe that cooperation is the better path to success. In his book, “Swim or Drown: Life Lessons I’ve Learned From The Ocean,” author Warren Cassel, Jr. uses his observations of nature to illustrate many intriguing principles. One such principle is the idea that we all serve a unique purpose, and that when we work together we garner better outcomes than when we work alone. Cassel asserts that there is no such thing as a “top player,” and he brings this paradigm into the realm of business when he describes the clothing industry:

“If we define this area as general clothing (not narrowing it down into different niches) and use profits as the measuring stick, it’s probably chain stores that are at the top. However, if we use brand recognition or prestige as the scale for the best, high-end fashion companies will come out on top. And if we measure by quality, much smaller companies might rise to the top.”

In other words, there is room for everyone at the top!

Cassel, Jr., goes on to say that “being a survivor in the business world means having the ability to cooperate directly or indirectly with other business models, sift and run your business based on available economic resources, and think of effective communication strategies to make your consumers notice you. In short, the innate ability to see the business landscape with a fresh perspective – not with the ferocious vision of crushing anyone who crosses your path.”

We love this idea! And, as it turns out, it is backed by science. Studies going back as far as the late 1800s have proved that cooperation elicits better results than competition. In fact, according to Perry W. Buffington, Ph.D.:

  • Scientists who work cooperatively publish more
  • Cooperative business people make more money
  • Students of all grade levels do better when they work cooperatively
  • And perhaps, most importantly, cooperation fuels creativity and self-esteem

Therapy Hive is a community of cooperative practitioners that is growing every day. If you would like to learn more about us and how we can help your business grow, contact us!

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