Once upon a time, in the kingdom of Biznotica, the King and Queen were worried the kingdom would no longer be the most beautiful, richest and most successful in the land.
Since the coronation, the King and Queen loved the prestige of being looked upon as the greatest kingdom of them all. Now they did not have to work hard to have this recognition. The King’s father worked with everyone to get the kingdom to where it is today. He listened to the people within and worked with neighbouring kingdoms so that everyone was successful and flourished. They were seen as leaders of the people and loved for it.
After the King’s father passed away, things started to change. The King and Queen became focused on themselves and how they were perceived. They wanted to continue to be the best kingdom around at any cost. Soon relationships with other domains started to sour. The people they ruled were getting exhausted at the new demands to keep the castle in tip-top condition while beginning to neglect the surrounding living and marketplaces.
As time went on, the King and Queen heard of new advancements the other kingdoms were experiencing. Soon a lot of the trade that was happening started to shift. They were not getting as much gold as they had before. Soon the castle began to show neglect because the workers couldn’t keep up with their demands to add more statues of them while keeping the court looking beautiful.
Word started to spread that the other kingdoms were using this magic tool to get things done faster, and everyone was happy that it came into their lives. They were experiencing growth that was not thought of before without pushing the subjects to exhaustion. It did not take long for the King and Queen to find this tool and have one for themselves. They knew this would bring them back to prominence and show the other kingdoms they were the best.
What happened next shook the King and Queen to the core. When the tool arrived, they pushed their subjects to use it. Soon more statues were up, and the castle was more beautiful than ever. Yet, things looked off.
As time went on, they had a Prince, and he started to notice that while everything looked good on the outside, everyone was miserable, and they were spending a lot of gold on stuff that only benefitted the King and Queen. Soon the population dwindled, and there were whispers of revolution.
Not long after, the King and Queen passed away from old age, and the Prince was crowned. Unfortunately, the kingdom was not like it was. The new King had a huge mess on his hands. The other kingdoms and his subjects hated him. The other realms saw them as stealing ideas and claiming them for themselves.
He took it upon himself to look into the history books to see the story of the rise of his kingdom, and he saw what his grandfather did. The praise the kingdom got for all the work they did with everyone, and the kindness of that flowed throughout. Then, he understood that the magical tool brought in had so many benefits. It was just that his parents had everyone use it wrong and only for things they cared about. They didn’t use it like the other kingdoms that benefitted everyone so they could prosper.
Soon the King and his new Queen spoke to everyone and understood what was needed for the kingdom to rise again. They did not focus on stuff to boost their egos; they wanted to bring back the old way of how everyone felt but use the tool to make the advancements needed to benefit future generations.
After much hard work and trial and error, everyone in the kingdom was proud again of where they lived and worked. They appreciated the new King and Queen listening to them and helping them get things done. They also can see that going forward; there is no stopping them from what can be accomplished.
In Simon Sinek’s book The Infinite Game, he details two types of games: Finite and Infinite.
The story above shows the first King and Queen playing a Finite game. The moral of the story is that the first King and Queen were playing the wrong game and using Magic Tool as something to make them win. They weren’t even using the tool properly to get the full benefit. They only cared about themselves, how they looked and being the best at everything. While doing that, the other kingdoms’ success and advancements surpassed theirs, and they did everything they could to catch up or try to get ahead for their vanity. Ultimately, they did not set things up for the Prince to succeed them.
Does this sound familiar? Does it sound like an agile transformation for the sake of getting things done faster? Switch the first King and Queen to organization leadership and the Magic Tool to Agile. An agile environment is meant to be used in the Infinite game. If it is used in a finite one, everyone loses.