Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi- Quality of Life Research Center, Claremont Graduate University

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"It's the Play that Makes Serious Play Serious"

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Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi- Quality of Life Research Center, Claremont Graduate University

  1. 1. FLOW: Play and Creativity It‟s the Play that Makes Serious Play Serious Serious Play Conference August 21, 2013 Seattle, WA Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, PhD Quality of Life Research Center Claremont Graduate University Claremont, CA COPYRIGHT © 2013 BY MIHALY CSIKSZENTMIHALYI. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
  2. 2. Outline • Why is Play Serious? • Flow: The Experience of Play • The Elements of Flow • What Makes Flow Happen • Flow at Work • Flow is Good Business • The Making of an Interactive Simulation Game for Teaching Flow to Managers.
  3. 3. What Is Serious About Play? • Playfulness is necessary for personal development, from infancy to old age • Playfulness is a necessary component of creativity • Playfulness is an important component of cultural evolution © 2013 BY MIHALY CSIKSZENTMIHALYI
  4. 4. What is Playfulness? • Playfulness is a quality of experience people feel when they do something they enjoy doing for its own sake, usually in games, sports, artistic activities, but also in work and other “serious” activities. • In what follows, I shall describe playfulness as the Flow Experience. © 2013 BY MIHALY CSIKSZENTMIHALYI
  5. 5. DESCRIPTION OF THE FLOW EXPERIENCE WHEN WRITING POETRY “You„re right in the work, you lose your sense of time, you‟re completely enraptured, you„re completely caught up in what you‟re doing…. there„s no future or past, it‟s just an extended present in which you„re making meaning…” Poet Mark Strand, 1991 © 2013 BY MIHALY CSIKSZENTMIHALYI
  6. 6. “To go into a dark room and look through the microscope and see these glowing objects which may be moving around or may be stationary, and in different colors – it's a video game, if you will. It's just beautiful…I can sit in front of a microscope for three or four hours at a time, just looking at the material and analyzing it….I can be very disconcerting to other people in the degree to which I can concentrate on something and not pay too much attention to what's going on around me.” DESCRIPTION OF THE FLOW EXPERIENCE WHEN DOING RESEARCH Cell biologist Joseph G. Gall, 1991 © 2013 BY MIHALY CSIKSZENTMIHALYI
  7. 7. You Must Have Flow to Do Something Creative. But You Can Have Flow Even if You Work on An Assembly Line. So . . . What is Flow? © 2013 BY MIHALY CSIKSZENTMIHALYI
  8. 8. DIMENSIONS OF THE FLOW EXPERIENCE (1.) – Attention is focused on a limited stimulus field. There is full concentration, complete involvement. © 2013 BY MIHALY CSIKSZENTMIHALYI
  9. 9. “Concentration is like breathing: you never think of it. The roof could fall in and, if it missed you, you would be unaware of it.” Chess player (Csikszentmihalyi, 1975) DIMENSIONS OF THE FLOW EXPERIENCE (2.) © 2013 BY MIHALY CSIKSZENTMIHALYI
  10. 10. – Attention is focused on a limited stimulus field. There is full concentration, complete involvement. – Action and awareness merge DIMENSIONS OF THE FLOW EXPERIENCE (3.) © 2013 BY MIHALY CSIKSZENTMIHALYI
  11. 11. “You‟re so involved in what you‟re doing, you aren‟t thinking about yourself as separate from the immediate activity. You‟re no longer a participant observer, only a participant. You‟re moving in harmony with something else you‟re part of.” Rock climber (Csikszentmihalyi, 1975) DIMENSIONS OF THE FLOW EXPERIENCE (4.) © 2013 BY MIHALY CSIKSZENTMIHALYI
  12. 12. – Attention is focused on a limited stimulus field. There is full concentration, complete involvement. – Action and awareness merge. – There is freedom from worry about failure. DIMENSIONS OF THE FLOW EXPERIENCE (5.) © 2013 BY MIHALY CSIKSZENTMIHALYI
  13. 13. “You feel like…there‟s nothing that will be able to stop you or get in your way. And you‟re ready to tackle anything, and you don‟t fear any possibility happening, and it‟s just exhilarating.” Cyclist (Jackson & Csikszentmihalyi, 1999) DIMENSIONS OF THE FLOW EXPERIENCE (6.) © 2013 BY MIHALY CSIKSZENTMIHALYI
  14. 14. – Attention is focused on a limited stimulus field. There is full concentration, complete involvement. – Action and awareness merge. – There is freedom from worry about failure. – Self-consciousness disappears. DIMENSIONS OF THE FLOW EXPERIENCE (7.) © 2013 BY MIHALY CSIKSZENTMIHALYI
  15. 15. “You are not aware of the body except your hands….not aware of self or personal problems….If involved, you are not aware of aching feet, not aware of self.” Surgeon (Csikszentmihalyi, 1975) DIMENSIONS OF THE FLOW EXPERIENCE (8.) © 2013 BY MIHALY CSIKSZENTMIHALYI
  16. 16. – Attention is focused on a limited stimulus field. There is full concentration, complete involvement. – Action and awareness merge. – There is freedom from worry about failure. – Self-consciousness disappears. – The sense of time becomes distorted. DIMENSIONS OF THE FLOW EXPERIENCE (9.) © 2013 BY MIHALY CSIKSZENTMIHALYI
  17. 17. “Two things happen…. After it‟s passed, [time] seems to have passed really fast. I see that it‟s one o‟clock in the morning and I say, „Ah-ha, just a few minutes ago it was eight o‟clock.‟ But then while I‟m dancing…it seems like it‟s been much longer than it really was.” Social dancer (Csikszentmihalyi, 1975) DIMENSIONS OF THE FLOW EXPERIENCE (10.) © 2013 BY MIHALY CSIKSZENTMIHALYI
  18. 18. – Attention is focused on a limited stimulus field. There is full concentration, complete involvement. – Action and awareness merge. – There is freedom from worry about failure. – Self-consciousness disappears. – The sense of time becomes distorted. – The experience become its own reward - auto-telic. DIMENSIONS OF THE FLOW EXPERIENCE (11.) © 2013 BY MIHALY CSIKSZENTMIHALYI
  19. 19. “Do it for the satisfaction it gives….This is what I tell my students. Don‟t expect to make money, don‟t expect fame or a pat on the back, don‟t expect a damn thing. Do it because you love it.” Composer (Csikszentmihalyi, 1975) DIMENSIONS OF THE FLOW EXPERIENCE (12.) © 2013 BY MIHALY CSIKSZENTMIHALYI
  20. 20. TO SUMMARIZE: DIMENSIONS OF THE FLOW EXPERIENCE – Attention is focused on a limited stimulus field. There is full concentration, complete involvement. – Action and awareness merge. – There is freedom from worry about failure. – Self-consciousness disappears. – The sense of time becomes distorted. – The experience become its own reward - auto-telic. …WHAT CONDITIONS FOSTER FLOW? © 2013 BY MIHALY CSIKSZENTMIHALYI
  21. 21. CONDITIONS OF THE FLOW EXPERIENCE 1. There are clear goals every step of the way. 2. There is immediate feedback to one's action. 3. There is a balance between challenges and skills. © 2013 BY MIHALY CSIKSZENTMIHALYI
  22. 22. HIGH FLOW BOREDOM ANXIETY HIGH © 2013 BY MIHALY CSIKSZENTMIHALYI
  23. 23. A B C D E Flow BOREDOM ANXIETY High HighLow © 2013 BY MIHALY CSIKSZENTMIHALYI
  24. 24. Arousal Flow Control Relaxation Boredom Apathy Worry Anxiety SKILLS highlow high Favorite activity, Hobby, Work, Love Life Driving, Work Eating, Reading, Conversation Work, Household Chores Loneliness, TV Viewing Family Problems, Work Hassles Work Stress, Sudden Threats New Tasks, Learning © 2013 BY MIHALY CSIKSZENTMIHALYI
  25. 25. • 4 YEARS IN THE MAKING • A MULTI-NATIONAL TEAM • LONG EXPERIENCE IN DEVELOPING SIMULATION LEARNING TOOLS • CONCEPTUAL BASE: FLOW AND GOOD BUSINESS Creating an interactive Flow tool for managers © 2013 BY MIHALY CSIKSZENTMIHALYI
  26. 26. Csikszentmihalyi’s FLOW for Business™ the ultimate leadership simulation game and blended learning solution
  27. 27. Narrative Context – The Turul Winery www.fligby.com - www.facebook.com/fligby 27 Good Games have Good Backstories The player takes on the role of the General Manager of the well-established and well-known Turul Winery, in California and faces the challenging task of having to achieve a state of harmony and co-operation in a team significantly weakened by internal conflicts. Will it be possible to win the international "Spirit of Wine Award" as a direct result of leadership skills and efforts? Check out Turul’s website (www.turulwinery.com) ©2013ALEAS Simulations, Inc. California
  28. 28. What is FLIGBY®? „FLOW for Business™” (FLIGBY®) is an online game-based Leadership Development Simulation. This is the official Flow program for decision makers. The simulation allows you to test your leadership skills, provides a unique Flow-based self-assessment opportunity and guides you on a path towards optimizing a "Flow-centric" corporate culture. ©2013ALEAS Simulations, Inc. California
  29. 29. FLIGBY’s Screen Structure (Main User Interface) 29www.fligby.com - www.facebook.com/fligby “Magic FLIGBY Button” “Full Screen” Button Control Panel Next Button Flow Gauge Button FLIGBY Media Library Subtitle Field Virtual Time in the Story Link to Turul Winery’s external website Flow Trophies ©2013ALEAS Simulations, Inc. California
  30. 30. FLIGBY’s Screen Structure (Flow Gauge - 1) 30www.fligby.com - www.facebook.com/fligby The PROFITABILITY INDEX shows how a player's decision impacts Turul Winery's revenue gener ating ability. “Flow Status / Personal Profile” Switch FLOW Meter of the Winery Quick Links to Personal Profiles Changes in the Flow State "Flow Meter" is the CORPORATE ATMOSPHERE METER of the Turul Winery which shows the average mood inside the organization. Profitability Index of the Winery ©2013ALEAS Simulations, Inc. California
  31. 31. 31www.fligby.com - www.facebook.com/fligby Leadership Skills Tested by FLIGBY® The extensive research which was part of the development of FLIGBY®, partly on the basis of the Professor Csikszentmihalyi’s book titled “Good Business”, identified the leadership skills contributing to create and maintain the Flow-state. These 29 skills were named “FLIGBY Leadership Skillset”. The course and the decision points of the game were built up to test these leadership skills. 1. Active Listening 2. Analyzing Skill 3. Assertive- ness 4. Balancing Skill 5. Building Engage- ment 6. Business- oriented Thinking 7. Commu- nication Skill 8. Conflict- mana- gement 9. Delegating 10. Diploma- tic Skills 11. Emotional Intelli- gence 12. Empower- ment 13. Enterpre- nuership 14. Execution Skills 15. Feedback Skill 16. Future- focused Thinking 17. Information Gathering 18. Intuitive Thinking 19. Involvement 20. Motivati- onal Skills 21. Organi- zing Skills 22. Prioriza- tion Skill 23. Quick Decision- making 24. Realizing Personal Strenghts 25. Social System Thinking 26. Social Responsi- bility 27. Strategic Thinking 28. Teamwork Mana- gement 29. Time Manage- ment Skills ©2013ALEAS Simulations, Inc. California
  32. 32. 32 Professional Reporting This part of FLIGBY®’s feedback system is for professional use: Several Leadership Skills are tested at the same time at the Strategic Decision Points of the game. If the player makes a right decision the system raises the values of the skills belonging to that certain decision point on the player’s assessment sheet. This means that the „relative strength” of the certain skills in the players’ leadership styles can be concluded from the decisions they make. The strategic decision points test several relevant leadership skills at the same time. The game tests each skill on the basis of several decisions. This multiple testing ensures the reliability of the feedback. ©2013ALEAS Simulations, Inc. California
  33. 33. ”YOU CAN DISCOVER MORE ABOUT A PERSON IN AN HOUR OF PLAY, THAN IN A YEAR OF CONVERSATION” Plato, (c. 429-347 B.C.)

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