Coalition: effective use of resources or overwhelming the competition?

I have read a lot about “coalition” recently. The UK formed a coalition government in May this year. All the press noted that it was the first since WWII, invoking sentiments of a united front against the enemy, putting differences aside to achieve a common goal, strength in numbers etc.

This time around it was as if the global recession of 2008 was the great threat against which the Conservatives and Liberals would join hands and minds to share the task of coming up with an innovative and BIG solution.

All about the Idea are in favour of coalition in the most fundamental sense of the word; “an alliance among individuals or groups, during which they cooperate in joint action, each in their own self-interest, joining forces together for a common cause”. Working closely with our specialist contractors is how we best achieve the targets set for us and by us. Coalition, cooperation and collaboration ensure the sharing of ideas, fruitful debate and the principle that many hands make light work.

In the world of marketing, it would seem that the overall perspective has changed from one of threat to opportunity for mutual benefit.

In other aspects of business too, it is much more common nowadays to see specialists in different areas joining forces to provide a more comprehensive service. The Alternative Business Structures allowed by the Legal Services Act 2007 are an example of this. However, this idea has been subject to intense criticism and comparison to world-domineering, soul-less supermarkets that provide the customer with an all-encompassing encyclopaedia of services and products, which ultimately makes people lazy and ignorant and forces smaller competitors out of the market all together.

This is certainly a concern. But, recently I was reminded of the value of coalition when I visited the website of a new business local to my home county of Herefordshire. www.thesketchcollective.co.uk is the collaboration of 4 individuals, each specialising in their own field of creative design. With design & illustration, photography, web design and audio section, this group of friends have really come together to present a comprehensive and professional catalogue of creative skills to offer clients.

The Sketch Collective got together in 2009, working from a studio based near the historic town of Ledbury. The founders of the company pulled their technical knowledge together with the aim of reigniting the local businesses in the area.

I take my hat off to the Herefordian entrepreneurs and conclude that “coalition” can be no bad thing.

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