Updated: Oct 10, 2021
Think about the word flow and what it means. We "get into the flow". We ask others to judge our work: does this "flow?" Does one concept connect to another logically (or maybe another way) like in a business presentation? We ask not to be interrupted because we are "in the flow". The dictionary definition describes flow as "a smooth, uninterrupted movement or progress"
In the psychological sense, to me it means that we get into a state where things are working seamlessly and just "flowing" with out a ton of thinking involved. The "Flow State" many people call it. A common example is when driving you suddenly "end up" at your destination and realize that you were on auto pilot. People like CW Meloncelli, a former MMA champion, have created courses around how to tap into or "hack" into the state of flow. So, tapping the flow in business is obvisously something that is extremely beneficial. Creating the environment where flow flourishes is a good starting goal. Take a look at Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi: the "legendary pioneer of Positive Psychology, whose brainchild is the world-famous Flow theory. He talks about leadership and how "good business" is so important. Leading with cause, morality, and seeing the creative process as part of building a company, is just some of what he touches on. Seth Godin, business coach and writer, in his blog talks about business people that should ask the hard but simple questions, before they start a business. Create a great environment with great leaders. Check. Now who to hire? This is where my curiosity was piqued when I was researching some ideas about incentives and motivation, I came across the word autoletic. What does AUTOLETIC even mean? It means, "having an end or purpose in and of itself" per the dictionary. Those who play a sport simply for the sake of doing it might be in that category. Baseball is a good example. Why do people play it? Because they like to. There is a continuum of autoletic personalities too. Some are more autoletic than others. Many who get immersed in something and get into the "flow" show autoletic tendencies. In that moment, they are actually doing it for that sake of doing it. So, my take away is let's all try to create a great business environment that fosters your team to get into the flow. Then let's make sure we lead with "good business". Then let's go out and hire folks that have some bit of autoletic in them so that they can actually enjoy the "doing" of something in our work environment. Hey sounds easy right? Insert smiley face emoji to show the sarcasm. Nope not so easy.