t was a beautiful, sunny day in New York City as I rode my bike into Central Park. I took a deep breath and let it out slowly, pumping my legs hard to work up speed, excited to join the flow of other cyclists I expected to see on the six-mile loop road.But when I arrived, my mood plummeted. The road was filled with runners in a race while the cyclists were relegated to a single lane. I slowed down, annoyed, as I made my way onto the bike lane. Soon, though, my mood lifted: the cycling wasn't as slow as I had feared. I picked up my pace and got back into a rhythm, feeling my pedal strokes and paying attention to my breath.
Making Innovation Happen
A Global Aggregation of Leading Edge Articles on Management Innovation, Creative Leadership, Creativity and Innovation.
This is the official blog of Ralph Kerle, Chairman, the Creative Leadership Forum. The views expressed are his own and do not represent the views of the International or National Advisory Board members. Tweet ______________________________________________________________________________________
Entries in Flow (5)
I'm in Word. I write a sentence. I revise the second half. I delete it all. I try to recall the original. I think I've got it. I stare at the phrase "brought home to me." It starts to look funny. I google it. Minutes, sometimes hours, pass in this state of indecision. It's not how I'd like to work, but too often it is how I work. My only saving grace is that eventually my train of thought does find its focus, usually with nary a moment to spare. If I must make a 5:00 pm deadline, clarity shows up promptly at 4:47. It seems that as much as deadlines push me to action, the mounting pressure to make them sparks creativity. In a talk given for TEDIndia
There is a scene in the movie “The Hustler” where Fast Eddie, played by Paul Newman, says: “It’s a great feeling, boy, it’s a real great feeling when you’re right and you KNOW you’re right. It’s like all of a sudden I got oil in my arm. The pool cue is a part of me… you don’t have to look, you just KNOW. You make shots that nobody’s ever made before.” What the character is describing is being in a state of flow—that enthralled state, when your level of skill matches the level of the challenge. You become so engrossed in what you do that you forget to eat. You escape time. We’ve all been there. It’s what athletes call “being in the zone” and what musicians refer to as “being in the groove.” The concept of flow is the brainchild of psychologist Mihali Csikszentmihalyi. In an interesting talk a few years ago, Csikszentmihalyi talks about the concept of flow and about his more recent book, Good Business: Flow and the Making of Meaning. In it he writes that success is being involved in an endeavor that helps others and, at the same time, makes you feel happy.
In a recent Silicon Valley Watcher post, Founder/Publisher Tom Foremski blogged about “10 Reasons Why This is a Great Time to Invest in Innovation.” At the end of his post, which listed many excellent reasons why now, in an economic downturn, it is an excellent time to innovate, Tom concluded with: “The next upturn will be led by what I call New Rules Enterprises, these are organizations that are highly efficient and have made the most of the economies of Internet 2.0.” I agree with the ideas in Tom’s post, but I feel the need to add a few important thoughts to his last statement. Being highly efficient is often desirable, but only when accompanied by an allowance for creativity and free thinking that cannot always be timed precisely to the minute and packed neatly into a box.
Recently the Creative Skills Training Council conducted a program in Melbourne on Creating Peak Performance - Flow in Music and Sport. Georges McKail provided an excellent graphical report of the event - as shown in the pdf at this link: Graphical Report by Georges McKail on CSTC Melbourne Meeting