Jones: It's Bigger Than Winning and Losing

March 8, 2024
Understanding how the game of business is played can change how you see yourself in the market.

Do you know the difference between a finite game and an infinite game? Of course, context clues lead us to the conclusion that a finite game has an end while an infinite game does not. Captain Obvious, right?

I watched Simon Sinek explain this concept recently on a YouTube video. It was about what winning companies understand that their competitors do not. He said when games are governed by finite rules, like football, both teams know there is a beginning and an end and to win you must have more points than your opponent when the clock rests on all zeroes.

In infinite games, like the board game Risk, the game has an undefined end and players play until one’s resources are exhausted leaving one player remaining. Sinek added that for those who prefer finite games, infinite games create frustration due to their lack of goalposts.

Business is an infinite game. As Sinek pointed out, sometimes you’re ahead of your competitor, and sometimes you’re behind. Sometimes you’re the innovator, sometimes you’re the laggard. But in every situation, if done right, your top competitor becomes your biggest source of motivation—your worthy rival. But you have to make sure you’re in the game, first.
For auto repair shop owners, the electric future game is happening right now. The point of watching and waiting has passed and it's now about preparing and training. You’ll either get the necessary tools, equipment and education to compete, or you’ll drop out of the game at some point. It may not be this year or next, but like Blockbuster, you will meet your Netflix—that shop that's on the cutting edge taking your market share. 

In this month’s feature, “The Automotive Future is Here. Are You Ready?”, auto repair shop coaches Vic Terasik, Bill Haas, and Rick White want to avoid obscurity. They talk about the importance of shop owners moving deliberately and urgently in these rapidly changing times in the automotive aftermarket.

I challenge you to think about your business as an infinite entity. Find a worthy rival that keeps you innovating on a service and performance level. And remember, the future isn't coming—it’s here. 

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