All posts tagged: purpose

Book Review: The Infinite Game by Simon Sinek

The Infinite Game is the last book by Simon Sinek. As usual with his works, the book centre itself around a basic idea, that is then analysed through several cases and anecdotes. The foundation concept derives from the book of James P. Carse Finite and Infinite Games: a Vision of Life as Play and Possibility, published in 1986.  Finite games are played by known players. They have fixed rules. And there is an agreed-upon objective that, when reached, ends the game. In Finite Games, a player plays to win. Infinite games, in contrast, are represented by known and unknown players. There are no exact or agreed-upon rules. In an Infinite Game, players play to keep playing. The objective is to perpetuate the game. The problem is that we mostly see all games as finite, whereas some are purely infinite. And this is the case of organisations: most managers think of them as playing to win, by the rules of a finite game. But markets are much more similar to an infinite game. When we lead with a finite …

What is the Purpose of a Company?

The recent statement issued by the Business Roundtable on corporate purpose, has raised a lot of media attention and buzz on professional networks like LinkedIn. Although the statement itself is not as revolutionary as it seems, (already the 1981 version did also acknowledge the importance of multiple constituencies for companies’ long-term success). Yes, for sure the 1997 version did focus a lot on shareholder’s primacy, and overall its true that aligning 200 CEOs around such a statement must have been a difficult endeavor. As HBR underlines, the question is what are the effects of this statement going to be. Multiple authors and academics have focused on the risks of excessive focus on Shareholder value (Ralph Gomory is just one of the many names, that has been focusing on Corporate Goals). This declaration is not setting out a new world of corporate affairs though. the language of the preamble suggests that it is little more than a new description of what CEOs already do—or believe they do. This is why a lot of the articles and commentary, that …