The Infinite Game: How to lead with an infinite mindset

location_city Toronto schedule Nov 6th 02:30 - 03:30 PM EDT place Lake Superior people 4 Interested

We can't choose the game. We can't choose the rules. We can only choose how we play.

In finite games, like football or chess, the players are known, the rules are fixed, and the endpoint is clear. The winners and losers are easily identified.

In infinite games, like business or politics or life itself, the players come and go, the rules are changeable, and there is no defined endpoint. There are no winners or losers in an infinite game; there is only ahead and behind.

The more we begin to understand the difference between finite and infinite games, the more we can see that infinite games are all around us. We will realize that many of the struggles that organizations face exist simply because their leaders are playing with a finite mindset in an infinite game. These organizations tend to lag behind in innovation, discretionary effort, morale and ultimately performance.

The leaders who embrace an infinite mindset, in stark contrast, build stronger, more innovative, more inspiring organizations. Their people trust each other and their leaders. They have the resilience to thrive in an ever-changing world, while their competitors fall by the wayside. Ultimately, they are the ones who lead the rest of us into the future.

The ability to adopt an infinite mindset is a prerequisite for any leader who aspires to leave their organization in better shape than they found it.


Outline/Structure of the Talk

•Define finite & infinite games

•Explore how to lead with an infinite mindset: five essential practices
•Poll questions and Q&A discussions throughout 

Learning Outcome

  1. See that we are all players in both finite and infinite games, in our work and lives, and be able to distinguish the difference between the two
  2. Learn the five practices that are required to lead in an infinite game: Just Cause, Trusting Teams, Worthy Rival, Existential Flexibility and the Courage to Lead
  3. Explore a new way of looking at your leadership and your organization and the environment in which it operates

Target Audience

Those who intend to put purpose and people first.

schedule Submitted 2 years ago

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    60 Mins

    Learning Organizations is a way to boost business outcomes. People learn new skills and contribute to products that are competitive and attract users.

    To provide continuous learning, organizations try to improve employees' performance and contribute to the upskilling. That's not enough. It's like treating the symptom, not the root cause. 

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  • Savita Pahuja

    Savita Pahuja / Mark Kilby - Scrum Master's Super Power of Observation in Virtual Teams

    40 Mins

    Scrum Masters rely on observational skills, but does that mean we only use vision?  What happens when we are all remote?  Can we leverage other senses to “observe” how teams are surviving (or thriving)?  We may not be able to sit together with our team for a long time and it may never be the same due to the long-term effects of the coronavirus.  What skills might we adapt or create for virtual teams? And, how can we still reflect back on the observations so the team can decide how to improve?

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    • At what point did you notice…..??
    • Describe what happened when….??
    • Tell me more about...

    Second, we may need to make observations about the context surrounding a change to determine how team members are processing the change.  Do they have a good balance when they live at work and work at home?  Are they in a place to accept help when a change has been forced upon them (e.g., coronavirus forced many out of the office with little warning.)  This is where a tool like the Satir Change Model is helpful to explain to the team and then ask each team member to anonymously indicate where they are on the change curve.  Rarely will everyone be at the same point on the curve during the change process? It becomes important for the team to be aware of where individuals are with the last change when proposing other changes.

    Third, when people learn to reflect back, they may use this new tool too often. Scrum Masters should learn when and how they can create the space for self-learning for the team. Sometimes a Scrum Master consciously taking a step back helps the team to take their own actions in the improvement journey. An observation log becomes another tool for the Scrum Master to notice observations about the team and share it with the team at an appropriate time.

    Amplifying our listening, using frameworks like the Satir Change Model, and capturing and sharing observations in a log help remote Scrum Master use the superpower of observation in building high performing team.

  • Mariete Sequera Hernandez

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    60 Mins

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    And talking about engagements... What about situations where you get involved in critical and sometimes awkward conversations? You wondered what you thought or understood was required from an engagement apparently was not the same as people were expecting from you.

    In this session, learn from two experienced coaches how they used the power of Coaching Agreement with their clients, and how this living artifact can help you set the expectations upfront. Furthermore, you will discover that an up to date Coaching Agreement, can become your best friend by helping you to reduce the chance to be exposed to misunderstandings while going through the coaching process.

    This session will not be just theory, you will learn through a live demo and also get a chance to practice! Join us !!


  • Jason Schreuder

    Jason Schreuder - Coaching with “Skin in the Game”: How to be an Effective Embedded Agile Coach

    Jason Schreuder
    Jason Schreuder
    Agile Coach
    Inspired Iterations
    schedule 2 years ago
    Sold Out!
    40 Mins
    Experience Report

    As an external agile coach consultant, for many years I was able to maintain a solid stance of neutrality and objectivity toward client challenges. Now, as an embedded, full-time agile coach, I play by a different set of rules.  I strive to be a catalyst for change and challenge the status quo, but I still need to be mindful of internal politics in the interest of self-preservation. Having experienced agile coaching engagements as both an external consultant and an internal employee, I will share some of my insights. I will also explain how an internal coaching capability is vital to achieving enterprise agility.