A good couple of articles in Fast Company this month about encouraging flow states in your team.
A flow state is what you’re in when you are totally focused on what you are doing – a state which is highly productive and possibly exhilirating as well. You might know it as being "in the zone".
The first article gives a quick overview of what flow is, with an account of the work of Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi and (at last) a guide to how to pronounce his name (Mee-high CHICK-sent-me-high-ee).
A sidebar gives some useful pointers on how to encourage flow, as practised by various organisations. The headings include:
Track Happiness Obsessively
Focus on the Personal
Set Clear Expectations
Don’t Interrupt (especially with creative types)
Csikszentmihalyi on Flow:
"It is what the sailor holding a tight course feels when the
wind whips through her hair….It is what a painter feels when the
colors on the canvas begin to set up a magnetic tension with each
other, and a new thing, a living form, takes shape…."