As preached all throughout the book “The Infinite Game“, having a stated cause for your company is essential. However, if you become too confident in your own cause, you can see your competitors as being inferior and you might miss ways that you could improve. From the book:
Cause Blindness is when we become so wrapped up in our Cause or so wrapped up in the “wrongness” of the other player’s Cause, that we fail to recognize their strengths or our weaknesses. We falsely believe that they are unworthy of comparison simply because we disagree with them, don’t like them or find them morally repugnant. We are unable to see where they are in fact effective or better than we are at what we do and that we can actually learn from them.
We pay close attention to our competitors, and we’re quite friendly with most of them. We have things we can learn from them, and they have things they can learn from us. It’s a wonderful cycle.
On the flip side, though, just because a competitor measures up to you in the market doesn’t necessarily mean they deserve it.
Having a rival worthy of comparison does not mean that their cause is moral, ethical or serves the greater good. It just means they excel at certain things and reveal to us where we can make improvements.
It can be tempting to see a competitor doing something successfully, but it doesn’t mean that you should follow suit. Keeping an eye on things with a proper focus on your own cause is a great way to measure and make the adjustments that matter to you.