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12 Steps to Getting in the Flow

· 12 Steps

The ultimate goal of Flow is to make you the ultimately adaptive organisation. People use the word agile a lot but it has a huge amount of baggage at this stage so while we also use it, we generally mean being as adaptive as a startup. Being adaptive is often about a state of mind, and a shared state of mind, at that.

However, one aspect of Flow we became conscious of as we were writing the book is that shifting out of existing forms of Agile into true agility requires new skills.

Companies have to find or develop those skills if they are to prosper, yet few companies will go in search of something ahead of a consensus. Few break new ground. Before you can get in the flow, therefore, chances are you need to talk about it and lay the ground for new ways to work.

One aspect of this new skills base is simply the power of good social interaction. We say in the book good decisions flow from good social interaction at work and we have testimony from plenty of people we have talked to. Nothing is more powerful than good social interaction.

We're suggesting Flow Circles as a way to get a discussion going about those skills and about implementation. For the first dozen or so Flow Circles we're really happy to jump on the phone and be part of the discussion. Just connect with us on LinkedIn and let us know your plans.

Moving out of negative empowerment

Do you feel penned in by negative empowerment? That's when you are told you are empowered or given an adventurous brief but in fact the level of micromanagement or levels of expectation make this empowerment feel like a threat. Do you find that the work of different teams rarely comes together at the right time in the way it was supposed to, and work becomes a bit like cleaning up after a car crash? Do you start new projects happy but end them sad? If you recognise these types of problems then you need change but change management programs won't help. Flow will, if you can get it onto the agenda.

The right shared state of mind for digital work comes about through:

  • Improved social interaction
  • Around highly visible work
  • With radically reduced cycle time
  • Driven by customer value
  • And the capacity to learn day-by-day.

So we decided to put together 12 steps to heaven in our blog that we have not included in the book. For best results read both, then shake and stir a bit.

We’ll have a separate post for each of these 12 steps but below we’ll kick off with some ideas for Flow Circles.

12 Steps to Flow

Everything we’ll say in the 12 steps is the subject for conversation. Remember Flow is all about culture and philosophy. There are some new tools, methods and skills to learn but if you can’t shape good, strong social interaction, then no amount of method will make you adaptive.

  1. Starting the discussion — the Flow circle
  2. Adaptive approaches to customer segmentation and better targeted innovation
  3. Radical cycle-time reduction
  4. Rolling out visible work
  5. Work breakdown basics
  6. Seeking Value
  7. The Executive Portfolio
  8. Quality and value
  9. The product owner and other stories
  10. Incorporating Customer Feedback
  11. The art of continuous learning
  12. Small steps to a big strategy
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