Special Report: CU Reality Check 2013

Future Growth Strategy: Collaborate with Competitors

‘Competitive collaboration’ lets organizations share expertise, cost, and risk.

May 6, 2013


“Leaders from all industries recognize that future growth will come from crossing boundaries to leverage the complementary assets and competencies of their competitors,” says Lisa Renner, co-founder and managing principal of The Renner Group LLC and author of, “1 + 1 = 3: The New Math of Business Strategy.”

Renner addressed Credit Union Reality Check 2013 in Atlantic City.

The first step toward a successful collaboration is to know what problem you’re trying to solve, Renner says. “Find others who share your problems. Collaboration can solve problems related to growth, increased revenue, access to new products or markets, operating expenses, increased efficiencies, economies of scale, social responsibility, or going green.”

As examples of competitors collaborating, Renner referred to Toyota and BMW teaming up on a lithium-ion battery, and Proctor & Gamble and a Japanese firm, Unicharm, teaming up to bring the Swiffer duster to 50 million homes globally.

“Collaboration creates more value that you can create on your own,” Renner says. “Competitive collaboration is faster, cheaper, and easier because you’re sharing expertise, cost, and risk.”

Renner suggested credit unions align themselves with socially responsible organizations. She says there used to be three types of organizations in the U.S.: for-profit, non-profit, and government agencies.

Now there’s a fourth kind of organization: "for-benefit” organizations, which embrace people, planet, and profit.

“An organization called the Global Alliance for Banking on Values is bringing these companies together,” Renner says. “Credit unions should take a look at this organization and its values.”






Steve Rodgers is Credit Union Magazine's editor-in-chief.