Curious Cat Management Improvement Dictionary: Flow

Flow: when the activity and person join together and other concerns fade away. The idea is creating a state where the distractions that often overwhelm attempts to make progress are removed and the focus and clarity allow for huge increases in capability.

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi brought this concept into the public consciousness with his book: Flow"The Psychology of Optimal Experience.

Managing with flow in mind forces a focus on the fact that human beings are part of the system. When focusing on flow the system is not optimized by forces people to conform to the system but to design a system with there needs in mind.

Multi-taking would normally be the opposite of flow. In general to reach flow distractions need to be eliminated.

Online Resources: Books by Csikszentmihalyi
  • Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, 1991. People enter a flow state when they are fully absorbed in activity during which they lose their sense of time and have feelings of great satisfaction.
  • Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, 1997. Drawing on hundreds of interviews with exceptional people, from biologists and physicists to politicians and business leaders to poets and artists, the author uses his famous "flow" theory to explain the creative process.
  • Good Business Leadership, Flow, and the Making of Meaning by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, 2004. "The book reveals how business leaders, managers, and even employees can find their "flow" and contribute not only to their own happiness, but also to a just and evolving society."