Infinite Games: Lessons in Business Learned From Simon Sinek

At Rogue we have a vision.

Our vision is for: businesses to value strategy, AND have the patience to see those strategies play out to an achievable outcome.

It’s actually pretty simple to say and communicate, but as many businesses discover, it’s really hard to do.

“Our vision is for: businesses to value strategy, AND have the patience to see those strategies play out to an achievable outcome.”

In fact, even for a bunch of rogue marketers that take pride in bucking the system and doing things differently, it’s easier than you might think for us to get distracted… and to lose patience.

And that’s with a vision and approach we actually, genuinely believe in!

We see a business choose to do nothing rather than move forward with us…

We see another group put out the same old stuff and keep winning…

We see a safer, more popular named group win out…

And if we’re not careful (and yes, we’ve done this a time or two), we’ll find ourselves questioning our vision and our approach and wondering if the harder path we’ve seemingly chosen is the right way for us after all. From time to time, we have found ourselves putting our eyes on the wrong competitor, and wound up tying ourselves in knots in the process.

But we’re probably the only ones, right?

Know the Game You’re Playing

Because it is so easy to get distracted and to lose patience, we found great value in some new ideas from Simon Sinek. The business leader who challenged us to “Start with Why” and to stop leading with all those great product features is at it again with a new concept (and book out this December) called the Infinite Game.

While the book is yet to make its appearance, you will certainly enjoy and find value in this 60-minute talk where Sinek began to unpack his latest work.

As you might have guessed, business is an infinite game… but most are not playing it that way. We recommend that you watch the full talk (it’s that good), but here are some of the highlights worth calling out:

1.There are two types of games: finite and infinite

2.Finite games are those where we agree on the rules

3.Infinite games are where the rules are changeable, and players are not always known

4.Business is an infinite game – but we act as though it’s a finite one
(the language of business gives this fact away)

5.Companies that don’t last, don’t last because they’re playing the wrong game

6.You’ll have to decide if you want to be obsessed with where you’re going… or with beating the competition (Really good Apple/Microsoft anecdote in this talk)

7.That perspective leads you to make decisions based upon those values… and that’s when things really get interesting

If you want to ultimately outlast and frustrate the competition, the game is really about competing against yourself.

At Rogue we have a saying: You may not be where you want to go right away, but you should feel closer today than yesterday. Are you seeing demonstrable progress? Are you chipping away at metrics that matter (or those that seemingly look good)? Are you avoiding being sidetracked by those immediate interests that don’t align with your ultimate why?

If so, you’re playing an infinite game. And that means you stand a fighting chance of surviving and thriving.

As in so many things, it really is important what you’re comparing yourself to. While we at Rogue might never reach our desired vision… we think it has enough value to go down trying.

What game are you playing?