A finite game is played for the purpose of winning, an infinite game for the purpose of continuing the play. The winners and losers are easily identified. He has presented his research into the intersection of strategy and play at international conferences and applied it as a design coach. The rules of an infinite game are changeable while infinite games … Chapters seven and eight address the next essential practice, “trusting teams.”[7] Sinek uses examples from Shell Oil and the U.S. Marine Corps Officer Candidate School to highlight the importance of courageous vulnerability, psychological safety, and emotional intelligence. … There are two types of games: finite and infinite games. In finite games, like football or chess, the players are known, the rules are fixed, and the endpoint is clear. Keep reading! Here is the basic concept: There are two types of games, the finite game and the infinite game. [1] Perhaps the most profound resource applicable to both is philosopher James Carse’s 1986 Finite and Infinite Games: A Vision of Life as Play and Possibility. [5] For instance, Sinek’s first practice—described in chapters two through six—is simply about having a noble principle to guide your organizations. Finite games are played by known players. Practice existential flexibility. Surprisingly, in the one section where The Infinite Game aligns most closely with Finite and Infinite Games, Sinek does little to connect with the original framework despite the earlier claim he would look “at the world through Carse’s lens.”[8] Even if he had, one can presume he would continue distorting the philosopher’s ideas on the enduring nature of reality to fit recent stories of organizational success. [1] Jason Trew, “Can Strategy be Playful?,” PAX Sims, 11 December 2016, https://paxsims.wordpress.com/2016/11/12/trew-can-strategy-be-playful/. Infinite games are less obvious and more complex, they have ever changing sets of rules and different players. He did, however, affirm the social nature of play while expressing similar notions regarding trust as an ever-evolving element of the infinite game. They have fixed rules. [10] The contrast with the original work could not be more vivid. They have the resilience to thrive in an ever-changing world, while their … To finite players, the past is concrete. For example, what does it mean for national security when he writes that “infinite players do not rise to meet arms with arms; instead, they make use of laughter, vision, and surprise to engage the state and put its boundaries back into play?”[17] Is it possible, in our present strategic culture, to gain public support for any approach that privileges continuation over victorious closure? Instead, Sinek uses Carse’s powerful words to veil a collection of bland leadership lessons communicated in pithy phrases. Again, the logic is flawed and the case studies are oversimplified. [16] Better scholarship on these issues has been produced by Henry Mintzberg in The Rise and Fall of Strategic Planning, Robert Kegan and Lisa Lahey in An Everyone Culture, Brene Brown’s Daring Greatly, and Nassim Taleb’s Antifragile. Read now. [12], The final chapter in The Infinite Game covers the “courage to lead.” This principle highlights a valuable point for leaders and strategists: trading known benefits in the present for a longer-term, hypothetical advantage can be a difficult proposition. You are either ahead or behind. A few years ago, two of my research interests—strategy and play—collided. This work comes from another author who came up with the idea, but his book was hard for me to follow. The shortcomings of The Infinite Game notwithstanding, the concept of play, along with its subcategory of games, is still a topic worth mining for strategists. 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