Finite vs Infinite Mindset in Business

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The Infinite Games of Business

If there are at least 2 players, a games exists. And there are 2 kinds of games: finite and infinite games.

Finite games are played by known players. They have fixed rules. And there is an agree-upon objective that, when reached, ends the game. There is a set of rules, and referees are there to enforce those rules. Infinite games, in contrast, are played by known and unknown players. There are no exact or agreed upon rules. Although there are still conventions or laws that govern how the players conduct themselves, within these boundaries, the players may operate however they want. They may choose to break with conventions and do the “unexpected”.

Finite games would have a time limit and “expiration” per se. While infinite games have infinite time horizons. And there is no finish line, no practical end to an infinite game. An infinite game can play forever.

Now, the game of business, by its very nature, is an infinite game. But business books and theories in the early 19th century, has perpetuated the idea that business has an end game, that it is a finite game. Hence you have not seen any business that can last for more than a hundred years and still maintain its rank and market share constantly.

Despite the fact that companies are playing an infinite game, too may business leaders keep playing as if they can win the game, or reach a status and thought the rank is theirs, forever.

In a finite game, the game ends when its time is up. But in an infinite game, the game lives on and its the players whose time runs out. Which means to succeed in the infinite game of business, we have to stop thinking about who wins or whose the best and start thinking about how to build an organization that is strong and healthy enough to stay in the game and at the top of the game for many generations to come. The benefits of which, would also strengthen the company and employees in the near term too.

At Hi-Up Train, we have a training program that is specially tailored for infinite thinking in business. Our training program would steer you towards the correct direction for the business and how to build your team for infinite thinking. Do visit us at or contact us at for more information.

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