Competition can be a catalyst for development for innovation and improvement. So, don"t squelch it at her company.

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At a company event us hosted, a teamwork consultant to be making a presentation about his firm and the work-related that that did. To illustrate his concept on collaboration and teamwork, the asked the audience to participate in an practice involving, of all things, thumb war.


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Related: 6 means to build Healthy Competition at the Office

Thumb war requires two world linking to every other, thumb in thumb, and also then making use of those digits to simulate fighting.

During the exercise, we paired up into two-person teams and followed instructions to play for 30 seconds. In ~ the end of the session, we revealed how countless rounds the thumb battle each team had actually played.


Most teams had actually completed in between two and also four rounds. The consultant noted that we might have played more games had actually we made decision to cooperate -- that team members could have taken turns "pinning" each other, come complete much more rounds front of the 30-second deadline.

 While he to be correct, we participants couldn"t assist thinking, "Where"s the fun that?" By removed the vain factor, he had actually traded in one enjoyable activity for one that would certainly be mechanical, repetitive and boring.


That thought subsequently made united state ask, “Are today’s organizations concentrated on collaboration at the price of competition?” Don’t gain us wrong, we are for collaboration and also teamwork, yet not if that method banning healthy competition. Compete motivates human being to achieve more, come push past their limits. Competition additionally inspires innovation and improves quality.

Related: 10 ways Competition can Improve your Business


We think that sometimes competition gets a negative reputation. But, compete is absolutely crucial in surfacetoairnewyork.comial organizations. To promote healthy and balanced competition in your organization, exercise these strategies.


1. Teach and also promote healthy conflict. 

Competition can create conflict between and among employees. Jockeying for minimal resources may reason tension. However, when a team"s members understand how to have actually healthy debate and share their opinions openly, competition i do not care a catalyst because that innovation and improvement. To teach healthy dispute is the an initial step.

The leadership team the a mechanical firm we worked with met weekly but didn’t accomplish much. Team members no voice your true opinions or hold one other accountable for accomplishing tasks. Members withstood making any an adverse comments that might cause conflict through their teammates.


To rotate this around, we used the lessons from The 5 Dysfunctions the a Team through Patrick Lencioni to teach the team how to have actually healthy conflict. The didn’t happen overnight, but the team has because broken the end of its artificial harmony and also is much an ext productive.

2. Reward your best performers. 

Nothing will certainly demotivate your best employees more than feeling that you don’t evaluate excellence. If friend reward all your employees in the same manner, why should human being work hard to differentiate themselves? financially rewarding people equally, nevertheless of performance, will eventually produce an setting of mediocracy.

We worked with a huge government institution. The compensation mechanism was designed come reward “exceptional” performers at a higher-than-average rate and one greater than that given below-average performers. However, once we looked at the power ratings, we discovered that an ext than 95 percent the the employees were rated “exceptional.”

Obviously, the mechanism did nothing to motivate top performance. Instead, management rated almost all of the more than 500 employee exceptional, so the the employee would obtain the top boost each year. We operated with management to learn just how they might give more accurate ratings. In addition, we met with all employee to talk about the brand-new expectations and also changes come the system.

3. Collection stretch goals.

Your employee should compete not just with rather in your company or your organization’s competitors, they must compete versus their ahead efforts. Continuously increasing the bar and setting loftier goals will aid your employee be your best.


We work-related with a small service firm. The employees have actually grown steadily end the past five years. When we became involved with them, we tested them to press themselves come achieve greater revenue levels. Lock came ago with true stretch goals. Us then helped them placed together a setup to make the goals a reality.

By the finish of the year, they had missed your stretch objectives by only about 5 percent. However, they still reached the greatest revenue level in their firm’s background and have continued to press for higher levels every year since then.

4. Give moral performance feedback. 

The greatest gift girlfriend can give to her employees is your honest opinion of your work. Informing an employee once he or she does fine or rather misses the note will increase performance. We have actually written about this previously. 


Employees need both rewards and consequences to perform well. An setting that is skewed heavily as overly positive or an unfavorable will result in dysfunction. Us have uncovered that many employees want to it is in recognized, contributing members the a win team. Come understand exactly how they add and achieve such recognition, they need feedback.

We functioned with a director of a non-profit who had tendency to practice conflict-avoidance. She could not give negative feedback to employees. Instead, she would complain to senior volunteers about the points her employee would execute that she no like. Periodically she would gain those volunteers connected in passing along her performance proposal to the employees.

However, most employees had actually no idea the they were not performing come the director’s expectations. By the time we acquired involved, the case with among the employees was as well damaged to save. In spite of our initiatives to repair the relationship, in the end we assisted the manager to end this person. Due to the fact that then, us have worked with the manager to improve her conflict-resolution skills. She is making progress.

5. Find methods to play.

 Most the us have actually participated in some type of sports activity. Whether it is tiny League or a pick-up basketball game, games teach us exactly how to have fun competing, just how to win gracefully and also how to lose with honor.

We have a client who produced a series of gamings to boost healthy competition amongst his employees. The games take place each year over a two-month period. The activities range from darts, ping-pong and also air hockey come golf and basketball. Employees sign up for the tasks of their choice. They store score and also post the results for every to see.

At the close of the game series competition, the owner awards the winner a trophy at a companywide meeting. The games are an occasion that the employee look forward to each year.


Related: What technology surfacetoairnewyork.coms can Learn native the Startup that Beat Google

Competition, then, is likely vital to the success of her organization. To promote healthy competition at her company, follow the five strategies above. You deserve to reap the services of compete without damaging teamwork and also collaboration.

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Written By

Doug and Polly White


Doug and also Polly White are small business experts, speakers and also consultants who work with surfacetoairnewyork.coms v Whitestone Partners. Lock are additionally co-authors that the bookLet go to GROW, which concentrates on farming your business.