The point of the infinite game is to look beyond the immediate finite game that can be won (who has the better product or higher sales this quarter) and instead focus on a long-term cause that can make the world a better place.
How do we win a game that has no end?
“Finite games, like football or chess, have known players, fixed rules, and a clear endpoint. The winners and losers are easily identified. Infinite games, games with no finish line, like business or politics, or life itself, have players who come and go. The rules of an infinite game are changeable, while infinite games have no defined endpoint. There are no winners or losers – only ahead and behind.”
This 25-minute video provides a summary in his trademark style. Starting at 7:44 Simon outlines the five attributes of a company playing the infinite game – a company competing more against itself (seeking to get better) than others.
The Five Attributes
Just Cause – why do you exist – people are willing to sacrifice to see a cause through, fighting FOR something instead of AGAINST something.
Courageous leadership – willing to sacrifice the short term for the long term, especially if it meanings caring for people.
Trusting team – environment in which people feel safe to say they made a mistake, need help, I’m scared – no fear of retribution – otherwise everyone’s lying, hiding, faking.
Worthy rival – helps reveal to you your weaknesses – not to beat them, but learn from them (my words) – and build a strong foundation that outlasts.
Flexible playbook, or existential flexibility – the capacity to initiate an extreme disruption to a business model or strategic course to more effectively advance you Just Cause.Simon Sinek
I believe The Infinite Game is timely and fits our COVID-19 environment as we focus on reopening our economy. “In the end, the goal is to simply stay in the game. And rather than talk about winning or losing, you’re either ahead or behind.” Leaders who embrace an infinite mindset build stronger, more innovative, more inspiring organizations.
Let me know your thoughts as we all move ahead. Contact me here.
All the best
© 2020 David Paul Carter. All rights reserved.