When competitors become partners for growth

In the world af athletics it is common to see some of the biggest rivals training together as they seek to learn from each other and reach for higher levels of performance.

Colin Jackson and Mark McCoy were the world’s two best sprint hurdlers in the early 1990’s and they worked together under Malcolm Arnold. Mo Farah and Galen Rupp trained together before taking Gold and Silver in London and when I trained in Kenya two of the best Tanzanian’s were welcomed into the world class group in Nyahururu.

Its starting to happen in business too. Groups of professionals from different organisations getting togeter to share their challenges and learn together. I’m involved with the new ‘Think Tank Thursday’ in Zürich – a group of Talent and Learning professionals coming together to get better at what we do.

Yet in team sports its still a rarity. Real Madrid and Manchester United doing a joint pre-seaon training camp? No chance. 49ers and the Packers swopping play books, ha ha. So it was refreshing to see the Wales and England rugby teams announcing a get together for a few days of intensive training designed to learn from each other’s strengths in the scrum and lineout. I’m sure they will both get a huge amount from it.

Where are the hidden learning opportunities in your business?