- sustainable business
Sustainability and infinite mindset
Aug 09, 2021 | written by: Adriano Ercolani
We can do a good deed, but we won't have changed much. But we can also make a consistent personal effort to change the very way we think about ourselves in relation to the world. And start to really change.
A few weeks ago, I came across a video by Simon Sinek, which I found very interesting.
No...I'm not talking about the now very famous TED talk in which the good Simon talks about the "Golden Circle" . That concept can be defined now absorbed by many realities and people.
The video in question talks about mindset. He talks about how, in business and in personal life, it is necessary to have an infinite mindset if you want to hope to survive.
Not satisfied with the video, I decided to purchase his latest book "The Infinite Game"  to explore this further.
Before talking about the infinite mindset, we need to take a step back and start from the definition of mindset.
The mindset, in cognitive psychology, represents the cognitive processes activated in response to a given task.
In decision theory and general systems theory, the mindset  is a set of assumptions, methods, or notions held by an individual or group of individuals. A mindset can also be seen as arising from the worldview or philosophy of life of one or multiple people.
The infinite mindset
To make a long story short, the infinite mindset is that drive that pushes people, managers, entrepreneurs to think and operate beyond themselves, beyond a certain date and a certain goal, simply because what they are dealing with is far more important than they are.
In the video, Sinek clearly explains that yes, it is important to have a short-term goal as equally important to have deadlines. As long as those goals and deadlines fit into something that transcends them.
We get so obsessed with short-term goals that we lose sight of what's really important - the values that unite us and the businesses we work in or with. And every day we sacrifice the long term in favor of the short term, overestimating the impact of the short term.
“Players with the infinite mindset, play to beat themselves, not the competition.”
Every day, dozens of companies change business models, values, communication (and consequently results) in a way that is totally reactive to the competition. This way of doing things not only creates confusion outside the company (customers, community, suppliers), but also inside the company (employees, managers and stakeholders), destabilizing the environment.
The bottom line is that studying competition should only be a tactical matter, not a strategic one.
Sun Tzu , regarding strategy and tactics wrote:
“... strategy without tactics is the slowest path to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise that precedes defeat.".
When developing your business strategy, you must also take into account the company's core values. And within these values, sustainability can no longer be missing.
"Sustainability" is an infinite concept, encompassing so many other finite concepts within it. Not only the noble activity of planting trees, but also that of changing one's lifestyle.
We could, in the same way, make a comparison with the infinite concept of "health" that includes physical activity, eating well, having good relationships, reading, traveling.
The infinite concepts have two things in common that are inextricably linked: constancy and the relationship between their components.
What would happen if we exercised for 15 hours just once a year?
What if we devoted only 10 days a year to our relationships?
And finally, what if we planted trees once and that's it, or avoided polluting the streets once a year?
It's not hard to imagine the answer. In order for this to work, it is necessary for these activities to be repeated over time, over and over again.
Constancy, that's the key word in everything. Constancy creates habits and we have the ability to create positive habits if we want to.
Let's return to the concept of "health" for a moment.
Assuming that health includes exercising, eating well, resting, and cultivating personal and family relationships, it goes without saying that all of these components should be given attention, without excessive imbalance. Balance, indeed.
Doing only physical activity, forgetting about relationships, good food and personal enrichment (in all its forms), would certainly benefit the body, but not the mind.
Similarly, in order for our business to grow, we need to pay attention to all the things that make it up.
Communicate your values, vision, without distorting yourself. Care for customers and employees alike. Focus on the growth of each employee, while making sure that customers enjoy our product or service in the best way possible. Hard to do, right? Like all things that matter.
So let's come to the concept of sustainability:
Planting trees without a lifestyle consistent with this action (small but great), starting from what we consume up to our office, the materials we use, the initiatives we launch, would hardly bring concrete results in the long run. Even worse would be to plant trees only once and then forget about it.
What do we do now?
The collective of all actions, strengthens the individual. And that's how being sustainable becomes a way of life, an infinite concept.
Like trees that need water, sun, maintenance, fertile soil, in the same way we must pay attention to every action we do every day.
Whether we're in marketing, business or any field, it's important to keep in mind that one action repeated over time, can have a huge impact on the world.
The good news is that we can start. Now.