“How do you win almost every battle, decimate your enemy, and still lose the war?” Simon Sinek
“The Infinite Game” speaks to a growth mindset and the concept that business is more than just making money in the short term.
There are two types of games: finite and infinite. Most people recognize finite games; the players and rules are known, and the game is over once an objective is achieved. Someone wins, and someone loses.
Infinite games are vastly different. They contain known and unknown players, no agreed-upon rules, and an infinite time horizon.
The secret to sustained success in business is an infinite mindset. A company’s value and sustainability can be measured by the desire others have to contribute to its long-term success, even after they have left the building.
There are five essential practices of an infinite mindset:
- Advance a Just Cause
A just cause is a vision of a future state that has yet to be created. A just cause must be so appealing that people would be willing to make sacrifices to bring that vision to life. A just cause is not a fleeting or temporary boost to our confidence; it drives us and provides purpose.
A just cause has the following principles:
- For something – that is positive, hopeful, confident, and deeply personal (something we can believe in)
- Inclusive – open and available to everyone
- Service-oriented – for the benefit of others and not for the benefit of those contributing to the cause
- Resilient – to endure political, cultural, and technological change. It must be greater than the products or services that are offered.
- Idealistic – bold and ultimately unachievable (hence infinite!)
What just causes are not:
- Being the best
- Corporate responsibility
- Build Trusting Teams
When part of a high-trust team, we feel safe in raising concerns, admitting mistakes, and openly address performance concerns. We can be vulnerable because psychological safety is in place.
Why does this matter? Because companies that have high trust enjoy performance that exceeds expectations.
- Study Your Worthy Rivals
A worthy rival has something about them that reveals a weakness about your company that makes you want to push harder to strive for even greater aspirations. They may have a superior product, a more substantial market share, command a following, or some other enviable attribute or position. The intention is to strategically pick a worthy rival that will push you out of your comfort zone, challenging you to constantly improve.
- Prepare For Existential Flexibility
Existential flexibility is the willingness to initiate an extreme disruption to a strategic plan or business model intended to further the ‘just cause’. This disruption could be chaotic as it happens when the company is established and fully functioning. However, the risk lies not in the change in direction but staying the same and not adapting to an ever-changing environment.
- Demonstrate The Courage to Lead
Adopting an infinite mindset in a world enamoured with the finite takes courage. It can be risky for leaders to challenge the status quo, especially if it is reaping short-term rewards. It is easy to criticize and question hard decisions required to forward the ‘just cause’, and being the infinite-minded leader in the hot seat will take courage.
“Our lives are finite, but life is infinite. We are the finite players in the infinite game of life.” Simon Sinek
Infinite-minded companies will always stand the test of time.
Lead Vantage guides leaders in their quest for an infinite and growth mindset through our leadership training and coaching. Contact us at email@example.com to learn how we can support you and your team in the quest for bigger and better! Explore our programs at www.leadvantage.ca.