Transform Organizations by Surfing on a State of Continuous Flow
Reaching State of Flow for a person means to be completely engaged, involved in nurturing each own talents and intrinsic motivations, while being hyper-productive. What if we could reach State of Flow at Scale while facilitating Agile Transformations?
Transform Organizations by Surfing on a State of Continuous Flow
BY SURFING ON A STATE OF CONTINUOUS FLOW
(a Personal Journey)
2018 JUNE 18TH
PIAZZALE TECCHIO – UNIVERSITÀ FEDERICO II
O C U S
E S P E C T
P E N N E S S
O U R A G E
O M M I T M E N T
“A state in which people are so involved
in an activity that nothing else seems to matter;
the experience is so enjoyable that people
will continue to do it even at great cost,
for the sheer sake of doing it.”
STATE OF FLOW
He is born 29 September 1934 and is a Hungarian-American psychologist.
Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Management at Claremont Graduate
Former head of the department of psychology at the University of Chicago and
of the department of sociology and anthropology at Lake Forest College.
Csikszentmihalyi is noted for his work in the study of happiness and creativity.
He is best known as the architect of the notion of flow (a highly focused mental
state) and for his years of research and writing on the topic.
(Me High Chick Sent Me High)
STATE OF FLOW
You feel like it could go on and on.
It’s like you don’t have to think, everything goes
automatic, almost without thinking.
It’s like you are on automatic pilot, no thoughts.
Everything flows, naturally.
Nothing else matters.
No attention for problems or anything else.
Lose yourself, time gets distorted.
BRUCE LEE REACHING STATE OF FLOW WHILE PLAYING PING PONG
People that are in flow are
200 to 250 percent more productive
10,000 hours of "deliberate practice" are needed
to become world-class in any field.
Learning by being in Flow,
helps you Cut in a Half that Time
When what you must do,
exceeds your capabilities,
the result is anxiety.
Well, actually flow happens only
when skills and challenges levels
exceed the average zone
STATE OF FLOW - DYNAMICS
When what you must do, falls
short of your capabilities,
the result is boredom.
But when the match is just right,
you could enter the State of Flow
and the results can be glorious.
1. Knowing where to go (Vision)
PRE-CONDITIONS FOR A PERSON,
TO REACH STATE OF FLOW
2. Knowing what to do (Mission)
3. Knowing how to do it (Skills)
4. Knowing how you are doing (Feedback)
5. High Degree of Focus
6. Challenges vs Skills Balancing
7. Activities are intrinsically rewarding
Can we Reach Flow@Scale?
What systemic and self-sustaining behaviors,
are needed to be put in place
to let our transformation literally “flow”?
AIMING TO REACH A CASCADING EFFECT FOR FLOW AND CHANGE
SO LET’S FLOW!
State of Flow Radar
Frequently assess initiatives and areas of the organization
that are going through the transformation,
by using the State of Flow Radar.
People engagement and enjoyment
are at high levels and performance
Increase Challenge Steadily, Give Autonomy.
Skills are high while challanges are low.
It’s ok to remain here after an intense period,
but for a short time.
Challenges are a bit higher than skills.
People are experiencing too much
excitement, sometimes are in a hurry.
Give Coaching. Reduce Pressure.
Challenges are too high. People is
experiencing high stress and risk burn-out.
Shield Teams. Shrink the Challenges.
Give Coaching. Deliver Training.
People are disengaged and there’s a low
level of challenges.
Increase Challenges Incrementally.
Bring your people here!
Create Urgency. Draft a Vision.
Create Momentum. Deliver Training.
”Only three things happen naturally in organizations:
Friction, Confusion, and Underperformance.
Everything else requires Leadership.”
FIND THE BRIGHT SPOTS
Investigate what’s already
working and in line with the
PICK THE INGREDIENTS!
DECENTRALIZE AND EMPOWER
DECENTRALIZE control and EMPOWER people
to make urgent decisions where firsthand,
local information, is.
FOSTER UNSCRIPTED COLLABORATION
Create conditions to give your
people the AUTONOMY they need
to face complexity,
while remaining accountable
for their work.
MASTERY is the pursuit
of excellence. We develop
self-esteem through Mastery.
Mastery leads to Flow.
Do not confine mastery in CoEs.
It is natural for humans to seek
The more the people buy into
the larger organization purpose,
the greater the results.
BUILD YOU TRIBE
Look for people in your organizations who
are passionate for the Transformation,
eager to learn and change the Status quo.
Make them your Allies.
VISION FOR CHANGE
.”If you are working on something exciting
that you really care about, you don’t have to be pushed.
The vision pulls you.”
A vision for the Transformation is highly recommended and will serve as the North star.
It gives confidence to the people involved; it helps to know what is good and what is not.
It’s a must have to reach Flow@Scale.
Systematically cascading the vision
from the upper towards the lower
levels, assures alignment.
Leadership of each team is required to
prioritize and hone the Vision down to the -one-
most important thing on which to focus.
“…reducing batch size is the single most cost-effective way
to reduce queues.
Smaller batches do this by reducing unnecessary variability in flow.
… and small batch sizes accelerate feedback.”
Conveying information is a key batch of work (handoff).
Proximity (co-location) enables Flow.
SURFING ON SMALL BATCHES
Large batch sizes increase variability and queues length.
It disrupts Flow.
DRIVE THE FLOW
Bring coaches on-board.
Build your coaches from within.
They have to let the Flow boom.
Run after the emerging positive signals.
Look for their consistency and intentionality.
Identify who did it, or enabled
others to do that.
Make them Champions of other initiatives.
Encourage, when possibile,
overlapping in communities,
sharing knowledge and
LIFT-OFF THE COMMUNITIES OF PRACTICE
Facilitate the emersion of talented and
passionate people, in the hope they could
emerge and facilitate the CoP
A community of practice (CoP) is a group of people who share a craft or an interest.
It is through the process of sharing with the group that members learn from each other,
and have an opportunity to develop personally and professionally.
Support people who
are motivated and engaged
to spread it across CoPs
“Rowers have a word for this frictionless state: Swing.
Trying too hard sabotages boat speed.
Trying becomes striving and striving, undoes itself.
Swing is a state of arrival.“
Agile organizations optimize its employee roles focusing
them on Agile Values, Principles and Business value creation.
Bring them closer to Customer.
Shape their responsibilities more towards
deliverying value through Agile activities.
We are uncovering better ways of developing an engaging workplace culture by doing it
and helping others do it. Through this work we have come to value:
Collaborative networks over hierarchical structures
Transparency over secrecy
Adaptability over prescriptiveness
Inspiration and engagement over management and retention
Intrinsic motivation over extrinsic rewards
Ambition over obligation
That is, while there is value in the items on the right,
we value the items on the left more.
MANIFESTO FOR AGILE HR DEVELOPMENT
A culture of FEAR is an absolute blocker to flow.
If fear is resident in your team, retrospect on how to remove it.
If fear arrives from leadership above you, shield your team, inspect the whys,
engage and try to solve.
If fear lives in the culture (and you have enough influence),
start working now; It’s a long journey, my friend.
FLOW@SCALE NEEDS TRUST@SCALE
Humans primarily understand
gradual or linear trends.
Today’s technological advances, are amplifying
complexity through combinatorial
and recursive effects.
Result is more and more uncertainty and ambiguity.
Keep the flow means to “ride”
the Transformation, dancing with it.
That’s a key competence to be successful.
RIDING THE UNCERTAINTY
Be a visionary (and a bit naïve)
when it’s time to figure out
a new future
Be a bit of an engineer
when it’s time to design
Be a bit of a child
during the journey
to amplify the enjoyment
when it’s time to make it happens