In Chapter 16 of 20, entrepreneur Dan Street shares the pros and cons of competitive and collaborative work cultures.
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How Competitive and Collaborative Work Cultures Differ - Dan Street Erik Michielsen: What are the tradeoffs working in a hypercompetitive organization versus a collaborative one? Dan Street: Let me start by saying, I think you can have both. I think you can have a hypercompetitive environment where you also have collaboration, but your point is well taken, most companies aired towards one side of the other. And I worked in environments that are really competitive. And the great things about that are it brings out the best in you, you're forced everyday to come work and care. You can't just check out and at the end of the day, you'll feel proud. I mean that gives you a sense of pride and accomplishment, really against other people. And there's other good benefits, like you're around the best of the best, because competitive people tend to be attracted to competitive environments. Competitive people tend to do very well and so you're surrounded by people who are successful and energetic and entrepreneurial, and that’s really cool. The downside to it is a feeling of it's never good enough, there's always someone better, there's always out there that’s better. You're always competing and to a certain extent you maybe winning, but you're always sort of losing too, and it never ends. So, I think that’s pro-con, on the collaborative side, the pro is you get a real emotional feeling of camaraderie, with people around you, you just feel like you're doing something good and that feeling is nice. And the other good thing is you attract light-minded people, so whereas in a competitive environment, you may find two people who disagree and that’s sort of part of the culture and what you foster. In a collaborative culture, you're getting people who tend to agree, and that’s a god feeling a lot of times, you don’t have to argue. On the bad side of a collaborative culture, you don’t get that creative attention. So because everyone tends to agree, consensus is the norm, you don’t get that and create a tension, where a guy walks into a room and says, “You're full of it, I'm calling it out, you're not doing at the right way, I can do it better. So your point is great, but I do think there's a way to integrate both of those and have a collaborative environment that has structured competition within it. People don’t lose sight of the fact we’re all on this together. But at the same time, there's an environment where people can be very clear and open about giving the best ideas.
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