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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Informative, interesting and thought provoking, 9 April 2014
This review is from: A Bigger Prize: Why Competition isn't Everything and How We Do Better (Paperback)
The thesis of this book is that competition in its most extreme form is destructive and unhelpful. The chapters are wide ranging and cover all types of competition. I felt hugely for the Olympic hopefuls who devote every waking hour of their irreplaceable teenage years to shaving seconds off their speeds in a particular sport, to the detriment of their social life and development, and often putting enormous strains on their bodies, which will give them problems for the rest of their lives. And for what? The tiny chance of a gold, and the even tinier chance that they will become a "name" from which they can subsequently make a living.
Competition is encouraged by the regulatory environment and also between and within Companies. The saddest examples are of companies where no-one will help a colleague, who is actually seen as a competitor. Someone else's success comes at your cost.
Whilst this sounds (and is) very gloomy, the book has lots of examples of better ways of doing things. Collaboration is tough, and does not necessarily get the leader branded a hero, but it works.
I have read a lot of business books recently - this is a business book but a lot more. The style of most business books is dire. Thank goodness this one is well and clearly written but assumes the reader is intelligent. The book's conclusions are thoroughly researched and not handed to the reader on a plate in a few simple short chapters. Life is a bit more complicated than that.
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