Whether you know it or not, you’re playing the Innovation Game. You and your organization will either win or lose in this high-stakes competition for the future, so you’d better learn how the game is played. You’re about to have one advantage over most players in the game: most leaders and most workers just don’t understand how to play the game.

So what exactly is it about the innovation game that even the best leaders get wrong? Find out in this infographic:


Innovation is never fully realized; it’s a perpetual work in progress: What if there is no there? That is, what if the real goal is to keep playing the game? In James P. Carse’s classic Finite and Infinite Games, he posits that finite games have a definite beginning and ending, clear boundaries and rules, and winners and losers of the contest. In essence, these games are engaging because all the elements of competition are known and nothing new needed to be discovered.

Conversely, infinite games do not have a knowable beginning or ending; they are played with the intent to keep playing, discovering and learning new things, and including more players in the game. The game is an ends in itself. While innovations have many finite game moments fixed in time, someone always plays on. Maybe that someone is you. The game’s afoot.

Jeff DeGraff is the Dean of Innovation: professor, author, speaker and advisor to hundreds of the top organizations in the world. You can learn more about his groundbreaking University of Michigan Certified Professional Innovator Certificate Program and Innovatrium Institute for Innovation at www.jeffdegraff.com/cpi and keynote speeches through BigSpeak Speakers Bureau.