Playing by (and losing by) the rules

Market leaders make up the rules. They establish the systems and the covenants and the benchmarks that a market plays by.

(and yes, a market leader can be a church, a political party or a non-profit)

If you play by those rules, you will almost certainly lose.

After all, that’s why market leaders make rules. They establish a game that they can win, over and over again, against smaller or newer competitors.

The alternative is both obvious and scary: Change the rules.

Newcomers and underdogs can only benefit when the rules change. The safe thing to do feels risky, because it involves playing by a fundamentally different set of assumptions. But in fact, dramatically changing the game is the safest thing you can do (if you want to grow).