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FLOW is Good Business - A Short Overview


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FLOW is Good Business - The Official Leadership Development Program of Professor Csikszentmihalyi
Golden Prize winner of the "International Serious Play Awards" (2012, Seattle)

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FLOW is Good Business - A Short Overview

  1. 1. Csikszentmihalyi’s FLOW is Good Business™ the ultimate leadership simulation game and blended learning solution Version: v4.0 Date: 20 January 2016 © ALEAS Simulations, Inc., Los Angeles
  2. 2. FLOW is Good Business Leadership Csíkszentmihályi Online simulation Skill development Blended Learning Serious gaming Innovation California Creativity Interactive learning Sonoma Valley Personalfeedback Multimedia Being in the zone Balance between challenges and skills Increasedperformance Positive psychology Making of meaning Strategic thinking Motivatingothers Clear goals Leading change Leading teams Entrepreneurship Enhancingselfesteem Competences ©2012 ALEAS Simulations, Inc., California
  3. 3. Why FLIGBY®? Learning by Doing – For anyone who understands that “being fully engaged” is a key ingredient of the future of business, games are the definitive model. People learn better when they don't know they are learning. “Flow” Makes Your Business Stronger – Flow is one of the most crucial conditions for good leadership and sustainable business today. When Flow is achieved by its stakeholders, company will generate more profit. FLIGBY Saves You Money – 180-days complex leadership development experience with great blended learning possibilities. ©2013 ALEAS Simulations, Inc., California
  4. 4. What? Definitions 1.1.1. “FLOW is Good Business™” (FLIGBY®) 1.2. FLIGBY Blended Program 1.3. FLIGBY Reporting Module What exactly is “FLIGBY®”?
  5. 5. • „Csikszentmihalyi’s FLOW is Good Business™” (FLIGBY®) – FLIGBY is an online game-based Leadership Development Simulation. This is the official Flow program for decision makers, developed by Professor Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and ALEAS Sims. The simulation helps to discover Flow in simple steps: first by understanding the role of Flow, the joy and positive business outcomes it provides; then by learning ways to facilitate it. 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. FLIGBY is software which delivery method is SaaS (“Software as a Service”) that provides access to the software and its functions remotely as a Web-based service. FLIGBY is accessed by End-Users using a thin client via a web browser with Flash Player. • FLIGBY® Blended Program – The Blended Program is the Solution Provider’s methodology closely connected to the Simulation, which includes special trainings and workshops. Its role is to underline the message of the Simulation in a personal way, to put it into a classical Organization/Leadership Development context and to integrate it into other types of learning processes (such as coaching). • FLIGBY® Reporting Module - Web-based solution connected to the Simulation with the function of storing and analyzing End-user data (their performance during the learning process). Definitions -
  6. 6. Why? Trends of Professional Leadership Development 2.1. Developing the 21st-Century Leader 2.2. Business Drivers That Affect Training 2.3. Using Games to Change 2.4. Less Tell: More Games and Gamification 2.5. FLIGBY’s Formula for Growth Factors justifying the renewal of leadership development programs and the application of game-based and blended approach 2.
  7. 7. Developing the 21st-Century Leader - 7 Major business challenges driving the need for effective 21st-century leadership Attracting talent Changing buying patterns Changing methods of distribution Controlling healthcare costs Corporate social responsibility Cost pressures Current competitors Diversity in the workforce Driving sales growth Employee productivity Enabling business growth Environmental responsibility Ethical leadership Expanding into new markets Gaining access to capital Insufficient number of leaders Improving customer satisfaction Insufficient talent overall Integrating new technologiesLack of trust among leaders and employees New competitors Operational excellence Regulatory environment Retaining talent Succeeding with mergers and acquisitions Technology challenges Virtual workplace structures Source: Achieveglobal A multi-level analysis of global trends in leadership challenges and practices 2010
  8. 8. Business Drivers That Affect Training - 8 Growth Revenue and market growth are essential for competitiveness and long- term shareholder value. For Leadership Development the key is to develop new capabilities that can enable the business to expand. Globalization As business becomes increasingly global, companies should improve their ability to build and manage a global leadership force. Management should consider creating learning environment in which global and virtual teams can thrive. Cost pressure Companies are under constant pressure to reduce costs. Talent Having the required talent is critical to business performance and growth. The changing workforce requires new talent management capabilities in leadership development. Innovation The days of relying on a small, elite group of innovators are over. Leading companies are developing new ways to help their employees collaborate and share information and create a more innovative culture.Emerging technologies New technologies such as social media and mobile devices affect training/development in two ways. First they enable to deliver learning content more efficiently. Second they enable to access learning services 24/7 from anywhere. Source: Global Business Driven HR Transition, Deloitte Consulting
  9. 9. Using Games to Change - 9 Socializing Game interfaces facilitate social interaction and involve conversations. Gamers expect and are comfortable with discussion, group action and group conflict. Competition The most obvious social motivation is competition. It’s friendly and meant as an opportunity to optimize individual contribution by pitting one’s talent against others. Experimentation The speed of games encourages “Trial and Error” as a reasonable and the best way to learn. It redefines risk, an important ingredient for innovation in business. Achievement Gamers like to see themselves at the top of leader boards, and generally prefer games that have lots of opportunities to advance. Immersion Players motivated by immersion like trying out new characters with different personalities. They like good metaphors in the game and emotionally appealing stories. How games support complex Leadership Development programs Results Any player who performs well has a chance to advance. Leadership is bestowed on those who are doing well now, and it’s not predetermined by a résumé of past accomplishments. Games enable to use the Power of Entertainment in the development process.
  10. 10. 1. Less desktop and more mobile...but not that fast. 2. Fewer full-sized courses that require large chunks of time to complete in a single sitting. More learning snacks. 3. Less focus on the LMS. More focus on Tin Can API. 4. Less Click NEXT or Tell. More games and gamification of learning. 5. Fewer PPT-focused lectures. More use of interactive tools within lectures. 6. Less focus on training employees. More focus on encouraging employees to develop informal learning strategies and personal knowledge networks. 7. Less trainers and more community managers and content curators. “Less Tell: More Games and Gamification” - 10 Source: Sharon Boller – Bottom-Line Performance,: Learning Trends, Technologies, Opportunities, 2012 EMERGING TRENDS AND TECHNOLOGIES Play is not the opposite of work. Play is an extremely serious concept that is critical for learning.
  11. 11. FLIGBY® – Meeting the Challenges - 11
  12. 12. Based on what? FLIGBY®’s Theoretical Background 3.1. “Good Business”: Researches behind FLIGBY 3.2. The “Happy Professor” 3.3. Flow and Business Researches related to FLIGBY’s Development 3.
  13. 13. “Good Business” – Researches behind FLIGBY® - 13 The FLIGBY concept was developed in close cooperation with Professor Csikszentmihalyi who is one of the greatest psychologists of our age. He earned his fame by defining and providing a detailed description of the Flow state and is known as the father of Positive Psychology. Main messages and key learning points of FLIGBY are based on the Professor’s book titled “Good Business” and related researches. These offer predictable but sound guidance to business leaders: know oneself, set clear goals for employees and consider the consequences of business decisions. By conducting extensive interviews during the researches, the Professor collected the secrets of successful business leaders, including the Body Shop CEO Anita Roddick; McDonald's chairman and CEO Jack Greenberg; and AOL Time Warner's Ted Turner. Under personal supervision of the Professor, the FLIGBY developer team systematized practical methods and solutions to achieve vital managerial/leadership skills (“FLIGBY Leadership Skillset”), which secure the creation and conservation of Flow and the sustainable growth of a company. It is an efficient set of tools which prepares its users for taking new directions in an era of modern organizations.
  14. 14. The „Happy Professor” Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, born in 1934, is one of the greatest living psychologists of our age. He earned his fame by defining and providing a detailed description of the Flow state. He has been seeking an answer for the great question of our everyday life: finding happiness. In the recent years, various management development schools have been discovering and rediscovering the theses of Csikszentmihalyi, Professor of Claremont Graduate University, California. The reason for this is the fact that organizations capable of fostering and sustaining long-term Flow for their employees can count on increased performance standards in the long run. - 14
  15. 15. - 15 Flow and Business (1.) ✗Flow is the mental state of operation in which a person in an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and success in the process of the activity. Flow is characterized by intense concentration, loss of self-awareness, a feeling of being perfectly challenged and a sense that "time is flying”. Flow is an intrinsically rewarding experience and it can also help one achieve a goal or improve skills. Anyone can experience Flow in many different regards, such as play, creativity and work. To experience Flow, one needs to have the relevant level of challenges for their particular skillset.
  16. 16. Flow and Business (2.) Flow is one of the most crucial conditions of good leadership and sustainable business. The „Flow is Good Business™” simulation teaches managers how to become leaders who effectively create an environment in which Flow can flourish. Flow-based organization promotes employee engagement and positive attitudes in the workplace. Done well, it helps to reduce costs, employee complaints and makes the company a place that people enjoy being a part of. Good Business Good Leadership Flow state of the company’s stakeholders (employees, managers, costumers…) generates more profit. -
  17. 17. What’s for? FLIGBY®’s Learning Objectives 4.1. Learning Objectives of FLIGBY 4.2. Mapping FLIGBY to Real Work 4.3. Leadership Skills Tested by FLIGBY Objectives and results of the FLIGBY program 4.
  18. 18. Role-play simulation games are one of the most powerful experiential learning strategies. The simulation will help you discover Flow in simple steps: first by understanding the role of Flow, the joy and positive business outcomes it provides; then by learning ways to facilitate it. The framework simulation story takes place in a winery in California. The user is to bring careful and mature decisions of operation as the manager of a winery. - Learning Objectives of FLIGBY (1.)
  19. 19. • To become a more effective leader – FLIGBY helps to learn how to build, participate in and lead teams more effectively. • To create motivating working environment – FLIGBY helps managers create a workplace environment in which Flow can flourish – a workplace that promotes employee engagement and positive attitudes. • To use the Power of Flow – FLIGBY helps to discover Flow in simple steps: first by understanding the role of Flow, the joy and positive business outcomes it provides, then by showing you ways to facilitate it. • To meet a powerful catalyst to your personal change – FLIGBY provides a precise measure and displays the resources used, solving time and the reactions of superiors or employees. - Learning Objectives of FLIGBY (2.) 1. You will be a more pro-active and at the same time, thoughtful leader; 2. You will gain practical experience of planning and execution of change management processes; 3. You will take part in business decision making more consciously; 4. You will learn how to handle situations less structured and more unclear; 5. Your motivation techniques will improve and you will recognize the drives influencing the behavior/attitude of your colleagues; 6. You will handle the workplace conflicts more effectively; 7. You will be a more successful leader and participant of team work; 8. You will learn to use and apply the power of Flow for the benefit of the organization. From Learning Objectives to Personal Results
  20. 20. Mapping FLIGBY® to Real Work (1.) - 20 O*NET is a large-scale collaborative project sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor ( It publishes and maintain a list of over eight hundred different occupations to help prospective workers match their skills to defined jobs. Even the most complex senior management jobs can be encompassed by choosing an ensemble of activities from this list. List of O*NET work categories that can be directly linked to challenges integrated in FLIGBY gameplay: 1. Getting information: observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources; 2. Processing information: compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data; 3. Evaluating information to determine compliance with standards: using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether event or process comply with laws, regulations, or standards; 4. Monitoring processes or surroundings; 5. Estimating the quantifiable characteristics of products, events, or information; 6. Judging the qualities of things, services, or people: assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people; 7. Making decisions and solving problems: analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems; 8. Updating and using relevant knowledge: keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job; 1. Based in the Idea: Byron Reeves, J. Leighton Read: Total Engagement, 2009
  21. 21. Mapping FLIGBY® to Real Work (2.) - 21 List of O*NET work categories that can be directly linked to challenges integrated in FLIGBY gameplay: 9. Developing objectives and strategies: establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them; 10.Scheduling work and activities: scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others; 11.Organizing, planning, and prioritizing work: developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work; 12.Interpreting the meaning of information for others: translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used; 13.Communicating with supervisors, peers, or subordinates: providing information to supervisors, coworkers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person; 14.Communicating with persons outside the organization: representing the organization to costumers, the public, government, and other external sources; 15.Establishing and maintaining interpersonal relationships: developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time; 2. FLIGBY tasks based on O*NET’s list of occupations.
  22. 22. Mapping FLIGBY® to Real Work (3.) - 22 List of O*NET work categories that can be directly linked to challenges integrated in FLIGBY gameplay: 16.Assisting and caring for others: providing personal assistance, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers or customers; 17.Selling or influencing others: convincing others to buy merchandise/goods or to otherwise change their minds or actions; 18.Resolving conflicts and negotiating with others: handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts or otherwise negotiating with others; 19.Coordinating the work and activities of others: getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks; 20.Developing and building teams: encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members; 21.Training and teaching others: identifying the educational needs of others; 22.Guiding, directing, and motivating subordinates: providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance; 3. FLIGBY tasks based on O*NET’s list of occupations.
  23. 23. Mapping FLIGBY® to Real Work (4.) - 23 List of O*NET work categories that can be directly linked to challenges integrated in FLIGBY gameplay: 23.Coaching and developing others: identifying the development needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills; 24.Providing consultation and advice to others: providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, system- related, or process-related topics; 25.Performing administrative activities: performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork; 26.Staffing organizational units: recruiting, interviewing, selecting, hiring, and promoting employees in an organization; 27.Monitoring and controlling resources and overseeing the spending of money. 4. FLIGBY tasks based on O*NET’s list of occupations.
  24. 24. - 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. Analytical skills 3. Assertive- ness 4. Balancing skill 5. Engage- ment and trust 6. Business- oriented thinking 7. Commu- nication 8. Conflict- mana- gement 9. Delegating 10. Diplomacy 11. Emotional intelli- gence 12. Empower- ment 13. Enterpre- nuership 14. Execution 15. Feedback 16. Future orientation 17. Information gathering 18. Intuitive thinking 19. Involvement 20. Motivation 21. Organizing 22. Prioritizing 23. Timely decision- making 24. Applying personal strengths 25. Social system thinking 26. Social responsi- bility 27. Strategic thinking 28. Teamwork 29. Time manage- ment
  25. 25. How it works? FLIGBY®’s Game Features 5.1. Basic Components of FLIGBY 5.2. Player’s Feedback System 5.3. Reporting (What the Player Cannot See) 5.4. FLIGBY’s Skills and Company’s Competences 5.5. Narrative Context – The Turul Winery Ingredients of FLIGBY that help to solve business problems and why these features work 5.
  26. 26. - 26 The Basic Components of FLIGBY® FLIGBY Game Engine (Rules and Feedback System) FLIGBY Interactive User Interface (Story Videos, Decision Points, Media Library) FLIGBY Data Base (Storage of End-user’s Data) FLIGBY Leadership Skills Engine (Evaluation System) FLIGBY Reporting Module User Interface (Report Generation) System elements used during the gameplay by the End-user FLIGBY® Online Simulation FLIGBY® Online Reporting Module System elements used during the evaluation by the Solution Provider The FLIGBY online system has been developed to be suitable for the summarization and evaluation of the users’ results on individual and on group level beside the game itself. Directs the story and operates the evaluation according to user’s decisions FLIGBY is hosted through the Amazon Cloud Services The comparison of the decision alternatives chosen by the user and the leadership skill values belonging to them.
  27. 27. - 27 Player’s Feedback System FLIGBY provides a unique Flow-based self-assessment tool on three different levels to the Player: 1.FLOW-Gauge – The performance of the player (the appropriateness of decisions) is measured from several perspectives. The actual Flow-state of the employees as well as the Profitability of the company both serve as continuous feedback. 2.Mr. Fligby – In the event of mistakes in the decision making process, Mr. Fligby, the virtual coach of the simulation gives us advice holding back no punches. As the player’s personal consultant, he helps the interpretation and resolution of complex conflicts. 3.Spirit of the Wine Award – The real aim of the game is the harmonization of goals connected to business and organizational development. The goal to be reached by the end of the game is to win the prestigious international "Spirit of the Wine Award" using Flow-based management practices.
  28. 28. 28 Reporting - What the Player Cannot See 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.
  29. 29. Company’s Leadership Compe- tencies - FLIGBY’s Skills and Company’s Competences 1. Active listening 2. Analytical skills 3. Assertive- ness 4. Balancing skill 5. Engage- ment and trust 6. Business- oriented thinking 7. Commu- nication 8. Conflict- mana- gement 9. Delegating 10. Diplomacy 11. Emotional intelli- gence 12. Empower- ment 13. Enterpre- nuership 14. Execution 15. Feedback 16. Future orientation 17. Information gathering 18. Intuitive thinking 19. Involvement 20. Motivation 21. Organi- zing 22. Prioritizing 23. Timely decision- making 24. Applying personal strengths 25. Social system thinking 26. Social responsi- bility 27. Strategic thinking 28. Teamwork 29. Time Manage- ment Tracking, testing and analyzing relevant skills (No. 2, 6, 16, 25, 27) Example: The company wish to improve its change management capability FLIGBY Leadership Skillset Strategi c thinking skills Analytical ability The ability to make sound decisions Commu- nication skills Influence and persuasion Ability to manage diversity Delegation Ability to develop, talent Personal adaptability 1. 2. FLIGBY Leadership Skills Engine 3.
  30. 30. Narrative Context – The Turul Winery - 30 Good Games have Good Backstories The backstory has several important psychological advantages that help keep people engaged: • Business case studies work best as stories – We love to hear and tell stories. You can’t just give facts. You need to place them in the context of events sequenced with a beginning, middle, and end, some tension about how things will resolve, and detail about the people involved – that will engage audiences in something that becomes real because they can imagine themselves in the same narrative space. • Narratives tell players what to do – Game narratives give players hints about what to do, and that helps with execution and tactics applied to larger goals. Game stories are designed as unfinished frameworks where players complete the narrative by living it. • Narrative increases Excitement and Attention – The uncertainty that all good stories have, creates excitement and tension that sustains player involvement, and it focuses players on resolution and release (players attempt to reduce this excitement, especially if its source is a conflict). • Stories are effective – It’s easier to remember information when it’s presented in a narrative format. 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 (
  31. 31. - Contacts For more information, please contact our FLIGBY® management! Zsadany „ZAD” Vecsey Managing Director Mail: ALEAS Simulations, Inc., California 12121 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025