Friday 11 September 2020

When we’re all playing an infinite game

The content for this post and podcast is drawn from my Heart-Leadership book.

Listen to the podcast version of this post

I'm long done with winning and competition. Instead I'm focused on continuity and collaboration. 

I still compete with myself. 

I'm long past trying to compete with other people. Friendly games of golf or chess etc etc the exception! 

Life is much more joyful and enjoyable when my focus is on being the best version of me. 

There's no need for comparison or competition anyway of course because each of us is a one-of-a-kind human being. 

A finite game has the purpose of winning, meaning the game ends once there’s a winner or winners. 

An infinite game is played with the purpose of continuing the game. 

An infinite game is a much more curious and interesting game. 

Consider the damage that the finite game of economic growth has done to our world particularly post GFC (Global Financial Crisis) and DC (during corona) and no doubt AC (after corona). 

Remember the one rule previously explored. More about this here.

In many Western governments the one rule is economic growth and therefore decisions made in GFC times and DC and AC were fundamentally flawed because we were looking at everything through an economic lens rather than equally through social, environmental, spiritual and universal lenses. 

I recommended Simon Sinek’s book on the subject published in 2019 and the book by the originator of the idea James P. Carse, published in 1986. More about these books here.

As an action I recommend writing down all the areas of your life that are winners and losers games and consider and take action that would turn them into games that you can keep on playing.

The big infinite game we can all play is about value exchange and delivery 

What is your value promise to each of your various stakeholder relationships and how well are you currently fulfilling these promises? 

Many organisational structures are too complicated to be able to effectively answer this question. Usually the problems are an outcome of command and control management where one or more individuals want to be involved in everything and can’t or won’t let go of decision-making. 

I love the work of German author and advisor Niels Pflaeging. Niels believes that every organisation has three structures, formal, informal and what he calls value creation structure. It’s this one that I’m particularly interested in. 

The keys to value creation for me are roles, relationships and what value is demanded, desired and felt deserved, and what is actually being delivered to and exchange with people. 

Value like beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. 

What are the key relationships in your workplace? Most likely there are 7 to carefully consider: 

1)  Employees with customers/clients. 

2)  Employees with other employees. 

3)  Employees with employers. 

4)  Employees with external suppliers. 

5)  Employees with other stakeholders. 

6)  Employees within communities where your workplace 

7)  Employers within such communities. 

Over time consider each of these relationships and how you can be better and wiser in exchanging and delivering value.

Do Your Work.

Be remarkable.


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