The Virus of Competition —B.J. Dohrmann
B.J. Dohrmann sets the bar for collaboration and cooperation in the world of business. His program has helped entrepreneurs, business owners and corporate executives step into a new economic paradigm based on unifying principles rather than competitive advantage. He is the chairman of CEO Space. He has provided conferences for more than 65,000 business leaders interested in experiencing accelerated business growth and prosperity.
“If we cooperate, we can have the most exciting exploration that’s ever happened in the history of consciousness. And if we don’t cooperate, we’ll use our weapons and the planet will start again.” —B.J. Dohrmann, chairman of CEO Space
Q: Berny, tell us a little bit about your philosophy on collaboration versus competition.
A: The mother of all viruses on the human mind today is the virus of competition and the way we think when we organize ourselves in fear, punishment and exploitation. It has been a wrong model. In the world of government and business, we get so much less out of performance. We see the environmental meltdown. We can do all the things we need to do if we begin to collaborate, cooperate and organize ourselves so that diversity is honored. It doesn’t matter whether we are Hindu or Buddhist, GED or Ph.D., what our skin color and background is, whether we’re Sunni, Wahhabi or Shiite. We celebrate your music, your song, your dress, your dance. We celebrate how interesting it is, and we remove this whole thought of competition. It’s a terrible drain on the future and it leads us to fire our weapons. We are doomed if we continue down that path. Cooperative thinking is the future. We’ve been 20-plus years working in public education and putting out college-level curriculums that build organizational theory on the practice of cooperation versus competition. It is the way to world peace and it is the only way. We have to start there. In other words, there has to be a single source line or code to reprogram what is going on in our brains: the illusion that competition has anything good to offer us.
Q: You talk about our gifts and our passions. Growing up, I remember all the things that I loved to do: speaking, art, dancing, et cetera. In every discipline, there was always a competition or an evaluation. We’re always competing. It’s a mindset. What gave the old mindset so much strength and power to begin with?
A: It’s part of our evolution. We started with a tribal, much more cooperative society. We learned to plant seeds and ended up by rivers. Then we started a feudal kind of society that is very competitive because if you had a bigger garden, we’d try to take it over. This happened for 8,000 years. Then we have the industrial revolution which made a guy on the streets as wealthy as a baron in 24 months, so they needed a new model and we had competitive capitalism emerge from competitive feudalism. Karl Marx tried to fix that with communism, but he created competitive bureaucracy, which was worse than competitive capitalism. The solution is actually just identifying the source problem and organizing ourselves with systems, accountability, full transparency and reportability. All the greed goes away because cooperation doesn’t have any secrets. Competition has secrets. Cooperation does not. Everybody is trying to make a better planet and everybody helps everybody else. There is accountability in the cooperation system. I’m going to be at the United Nations next week with the president of the General Assembly and Ambassador Byron Blake, probably one of the greatest peacemakers in the world. We’re taking the old competitive capitalism, and declaring it is a failed model. Its systems can never be repaired. If we try to repair it, we will just get more meltdowns in the future. Our children will pay the price for generations. We need to get the whole world on a cooperative capitalism model—and it is coming. Governments are looking at real solutions. They can see the drain, they just can’t keep up. They see the source. The source problem is competitive thought, which is a virus infection of the brain. First you must realize that you have a virus, and second you begin to play with the virus removal tool: to speak, act and think more cooperatively, and to celebrate everything about everyone. When people have performance issues, you help them move to the kind of structure that lets them excel. There still has to be accountability. There still has to be individual output. People still have to step up to the bar for excellence. We just need to teach our children. If you teach 3- to 5-year-olds cooperative theory, you get them so they don’t speak, say or do anything that takes magnificence away from another spiritual being. You’re going to have people walk in occasionally and do very bad things like we hear about in the news, but that’s a competitive thinker. That’s a damaged brain. We all can begin to remove the core damages. The violence that we’re seeing today in our news is because so many brains have been infected by the competitive virus, and we are seeing the output of that virus. There’s nothing cooperative about what’s going on. Once you step back into the solution, how to get out of the pain they’re suffering, you get into cooperative dynamics of celebration.
Q: As you’re saying, the shift is happening. It’s happening, it seems, because the collaborative model is the one that works and everything else is crumbling. If you just want bottom-line results, you’ve got to reform your organizational model in the workplace away from competitive systems, communications, recognition and reward systems and get a new model. It’s very easy to put in.
A: It’s fast once you get a cooperative culture change. You tell the employees, “We’re going to move from competition to cooperation.” They get switched on just by that.
Q: Do you still see competitive people who are clinging to the old ways, who still want to be top dog and may be afraid that if they go collaborative, they will lose their positioning?
A: There are those that you cannot train. They have to exit. They have to go back into competitive, toxic soup and stay there because they want to live in that environment. Once you really wake up to cooperative thinking and cooperative friends, family and associations, you just find competitive thinkers and problem-solvers to be boring. They don’t have any power or passion. You think of it as a form of ignorance like any prejudice. You see it as a virus. You feel bad for them because you know they’re infected. They don’t want to remove the virus. And you don’t want to be around the virus anymore. Once you remove your own viruses, it’s like the veil coming off your eyes. If we take it religiously, in all the literature you basically have an Eternal Being, God, making free will. One of the creatures is in competition with God, saying, “I exist on my own life-force separate from Your life-force. I am not dependent on You. I am separate from You and I am as powerful as You.” That thought is insane. It’s the virus that started it all, that kind of divisional virus. We are all united children, babies of a Divine Entity, and the Parent is nuts about us. The Parent loves the children. Yet we constantly run away from the love. It’s time to turn around and just open our arms. It doesn’t take a lot of effort. Just stop running.
Q: The United Nations distinguishes between peacemaking, peacekeeping and peacebuilding. Our focus is primarily on peacebuilders, people who are creating environments and cultures where peace can thrive. A: First, we’ve developed CEO Space Nation (www.ceospacenation.com). The website shows a video about the program we are bringing to governments. Governments are buying an economic recovery program to stimulate permanent growth for their economies in Africa, and in developing countries all over Asia. As they put these programs to work, we organize all of the entrepreneurial activity for the largest companies, the midsize companies and those starting up on cooperative theory thousands at a time. They go out as the virus removal tool into those societies. They become the leaders and the financial empire-builders. They’re all doing it cooperatively, collaboratively, and it doesn’t leave a lot of room for competition. Competition as an idea is a thought-form that is dying. And like all thought forms when they die, they fight for their life. An example is terrorism. Terrorism is the ultimate hatred and competition. There’s no authority for the Taliban. It doesn’t have an authority. It’s not trying to do something religiously. It’s not trying to do something politically. It’s just power. It’s only power, so it has no sense of a balance. It’s the ultimate form of the virus and when you look at it, it becomes very boring. The way to get rid of it, by the way, is actually not to use bullets, but to cooperate with it to get into discussions because then you can change its mind. You have to work with the mind of the infected. You can’t shoot it all. I mean that’s not going to solve the problem. The virus communicates wirelessly and we have to exercise our new ways of dealing with the virus. I think illumination is the first weapon.
Q: What is your vision? Imagine we’re living in a 100 percent collaborative world. What does the world look like?
A: It looks like the rapture. It looks like a fifth dimensionalized planet in which we have moved in a blink of an eye to a higher energy dimension. We don’t have the sense of ownership we used to have for each other. We stay on the planet for thousands of years. We discover the stars. We clean up our Earth in an easy way. We become fascinated with learning and have the kind of discoveries we’ve always been made for. We get closer and closer to the Source as we are given increasing revelations to discover the mind of God. Constant discovery and exploration. It’s the most exciting time of humanity. It’s the last great revolution. If we don’t become cooperative, the planet will shrug us off because the planet is alive and cooperative. It cooperates with itself, and it will shrug us off like fleas and make a new breed. If we cooperate, we can have the most exciting exploration that’s ever happened in the history of consciousness. And if we don’t cooperate, we’ll use our weapons and the planet will start again.
Q: Do you see it happening?
A: I think there is a divine plan. I think it is perfect and it will play out in that divine way. We are all elements of this. The peacemakers are coming onto the planet at this time and you can feel them. You feel them when they walk in a room. You’ll know when Dr. John Demartini walks in the room. You’ll know it when Lisa Nichols walks in the room. They shouldn’t have to say anything. They are the great peacemakers. They are collaborationalists. They’re cooperationalists. They understand. They don’t speak or do anything that takes away magnificence from another being’s journey.
Q: What is your personal practice for staying centered in a state of peace?
A: Five times a year, we come together with thousands of business owners, and talk, act and practice cooperation. It is a set of practices that we think is more important than golf or hang gliding. So we spend five times a year together and we nurture cooperative practices. All the businesses thrive. We win awards in all categories. Everybody has better results, and more and more get attracted in because they see, “My gosh, these guys are hiring during a recession! These guys are doing great. How are they doing that?” You never have more than 60 days in the toxic soup of competition before you go back to the oasis of tens of thousands of people who are now doing their business life in cooperation.
***** B.J. Dohrmann is a world change agent, advising CEOs of the largest industries, as well as heads of state. His Sovereign Nation Program complements the five World Trade Shows Dohrmann produces each year for industrial CEOs and their management (www.ceospace.net), with “in nation” training for economic development of participating host countries (www.ceospacenation.com). Dohrmann’s book The Cooperative Revolution: Redemption defines the death of the first generation of competitive capitalism with all of its abuses and the birth of the future of cooperative, collaborative capitalism, which is the next generation of capitalism.
***** Reflection Points: Reflect on your own work environment. On a scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 being the most competitive), how competitive do you perceive your field to be? In what ways could you conceivably collaborate with your “competition”? How could you bring more collaborative practices into your business life and career?
The Peacebuilder Challenge: Identify a person or team that could be perceived as competition. Invite them to join you to brainstorm ways you can leverage your experiences to help them be more successful. Seek only to give your support and share your resources (set aside any hidden outcomes for personal gain) and notice what happens!