Finding Flow: via McKinsey Newsletter I like.


On Point | TODAY'S NEWS. TOMORROW'S INSIGHTS
Finding flow
The news
Father of flow. Mihály Csíkszentmihályi, the Hungarian American psychologist known for his research in positive psychology, has died at age 88. In the 1970s, he introduced the theory of flow, a highly concentrated state of mind in which one is completely absorbed in an activity. People are happiest in this state, he observed, because “your whole being is involved, and you’re using your skills to the utmost.” [Hungary Today]
Freedom at work. For today’s workers, flexible hours or the ability to work remotely is a higher priority than work–life balance or pay, according to a 2021 LinkedIn survey of nearly 5,300 US workers. Employees—particularly younger ones—increasingly expect the freedom to choose when and how they work. Companies must grapple with a postpandemic workforce that values net freedom over net worth. [WSJ]
Individuals who frequently experience the state of flow are more productive and derive greater satisfaction from their work than those who don’t.
Our insights
Setting the stage. Although flow may sound like the province of artists or athletes, executives report experiencing it under the right conditions. When we conducted workshops with more than 5,000 executives and asked them to reveal what creates flow in their own work, their answers were remarkably consistent: clarity of role and purpose, trust and respect between teammates, and an exciting challenge with high stakes.
Stimulate flow. Companies cannot manufacture the flow state, but they can create an atmosphere that encourages it. When senior executives were at their peak, they reported being five times more productive than they were on average. To learn what telling five stories at once, writing your own lottery ticket, and motivating with unexpected rewards has to do with a state of flow, read McKinsey’s deep dive into the psychology behind the phenomenon and how it plays out in the corporate world.
— Edited by Katy McLaughlin