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Patti Digh

Jeff -

Loved the Einstein quote - here's one you might like:

"Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep." -from Scott Adams, creator of "Dilbert"

Might also have implications for the association community?


Patti Digh

Hi Jeff -

I'm curious about your thoughts on whether associations are playing "finite" or "infinite" games...that is, are they "playing to win" or "playing to learn"?

A colleague of mine, Charles Hampden-Turner, wrote a book a few years ago called "Mastering the Infinite Game: How East Asian Values are Transforming Business Practices." The main thesis (adapted from the theory of James P. Carse), is that Western corporations play to win (a finite game), while the Tiger economies play to learn (an infinite game). After reading it, I was intrigued to find out more about Carse's work.

Carse writes in the first chapter of his "Finite and Infinite Games: A Vision of Life as Play and Possibility": "There are at least two kinds of games. One could be called finite, the other infinite. A finite game is played for the purpose of winning, an infinite game for the purpose of continuing the play."

For example, storytelling is ultimately an infinite game: "Storytellers do not convert their listeners; they do not move them into the territory of a superior truth. Ignoring the issue of truth and falsehood altogether, they offer only vision. Storytelling is therefore not combative; it does not succeed or fail. A story cannot be obeyed. Instead of placing one body of knowledge against another, storytellers invite us to return from knowledge to thinking, from a bounding way of looking to an horizonal way of seeing."

In addition to two types of games, there are two types of players. Finite players play -within- rules, infinite players play -with- rules. Finite players play to end the game (with their victory), infinite players play to continue the game (by whatever means they see fit). Finite players play to win, infinite players play to play.

Which do you think describes associations and association execs?




Now that we are a little more 6 months into it, I'd like to hear your thoughts -- and those of other readers -- on the ASAE-Center merger.

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