How Does a Finite Mindset Impact the Workplace?

Published November 23rd, 2020 - 04:00 GMT
How Does a Finite Mindset Impact the Workplace?
Even though some might not see it, working with a finite mindset can doom an organisation to fail. (Shutterstock)

In a world driven by competition and the need to be in the lead, many businesses unconsciously fall into what we can call a finite mindset. By following a finite mindset, businesses tend to focus on short-term goals and maintaining their first-place position in their field, rather than focusing on their development and growth. And even though some might not see it, working with a finite mindset can doom an organisation to fail. 

In order to better understand how a finite mindset can negatively impact an organisation and ultimately lead to its decline, it is important to mention how finite and infinite mindsets differ. Think of mindsets as games, a finite game includes rules to follow, a unique winner, and an end. While infinite games tend to go on forever.  In his book The Infinite Game, Simon Sinek promotes the idea that in order for a business to succeed, one should focus on building a strong and healthy organisation that will continue to prosper, as opposed to just an organisation that aspires  to beat the competition and gain a temporary win.

The book also gives an example of Steve Jobs who led Apple into becoming one of the most successful companies in the world by following an infinite mindset, which ultimately led the company to continue to thrive until today . As opposed to Microsoft’s former CEO, Steve Ballmer, who led Microsoft with a finite mindset that focused on short-term finances and beating their main competitor Apple.This mindset created a toxic environment and almost led to the company's collapse .

“When you play with a finite mindset in an infinite game, you damage trust, you damage cooperation, and you hurt innovation, and eventually your organization struggles and goes into decline.” - Simon Sinek

When a leader adopts a finite mindset, the employees tend to be driven by  rivaliness and the need to always win. This might cause divides and departments can end up working against one another in the name of wanting to win, which will lead to the organisation’s decline. Some reports even suggest that following a finite mindset might lead to the spread of cheating and deception among employees within a company. In general, companies with a finite mindset tend to see a decline in trust, cooperation and innovation which can cause the business to lose key employees. Working in this constant state of always yearning to win will eventually cause employees to focus on themselves rather than the organisation as a whole. 

Now that we have covered the negative effects of finite mindset on a  workplace, we hope we have highlighted the importance of  adopting an infinite mindset to ensure your business’ growth and sustainability while maintaining a healthy working environment for employees. 

The views/opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Al Bawaba Business or its affiliates.  

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