Don’t underestimate your ‘state’. Take these five steps to bring flow into your organisation
Published on Wednesday, June 16th 2021
Keeping our system in an optimum state of balance is no easy job. That holds for human beings as well as for enterprises. And we all know: the state in which we perform our task significantly contributes to the outcome of the assignment. Governing our ‘flow’ therefore is not an extravagance. It is a necessity.
The world is complex and continually changing and an optimum is never perfect, nor stable for very long, especially for enterprises that have to deal with IT. The best we can hope for is a relatively stable approximation. A compromise that doesn't swing back and forth at the merest provocation.
Flow helps us to find purpose
Some states feel better than others. Some states energise us and help us achieve great things. Other states drag us down and stop us from doing anything much. Some states feel stressful and uncomfortable; other states are pleasant and relaxed.
Sometimes we feel focused while at other times we can barely articulate coherent thoughts or keep our attention on a single thing for more than a few seconds.
There is one state, in particular, that is important for us finding our purpose and fulfilment in life. That is what is often called the state of ‘flow’ or ‘being in the zone’. We tend to underestimate the contribution of this state in governing our work.
What is flow?
Flow is the experience of an individual, group or organisation of people when they contribute to movement by utilising their capability to the fullest extent, while being in a state of relaxation, fully aware of the now while conducting complicated tasks almost without thinking.
In this state, we often achieve our best performance and produce our best work. And yet it almost feels as if it gets done through us, rather than by us. There’s a lot that we could say about this state of flow and, indeed, whole books have been written about the phenomenon of flow.
Our emotional system gets us into the state of flow when we are closest to our optimal state of being. This is when our situation, actions, mindset and intentions are aligned and work harmoniously together. We are no longer struggling with ourselves or with the world. We are 'in the moment' and run with it rather than against it.
What can you do to help your organisation achieve this state of flow?
- Identify yourself: Who are we? Why do we exist? What matters to us?
- Define impact: What impact do we have on society, the economy, and the environment? What value do we create?
- Define vision: What would a more positive impact look like? How strong is our desire to get there?
- Define strategic intention: What real circumstances do we see on the horizon and how do we get there? This intention is a clearly formulated direction without trying to fix the future.
- Discover your substance: Identify your values stream (opinions, rules, ethics, cultural assumptions) and value streams (money, information, services), products, and capabilities, and create substantive governance based on a predefined structure.
Governance should start here but is more complex than this. If you’re interested in our approach to governance and flow, please download our free whitepaper on governance to get more tips and tricks on how to get your organisation in a state of flow and ultimate performance.