After a recent trip to the Tate Modern on the Southbank on a company afternoon out, I stood in the awe inspiring former turbine hall listening intently to the account of how this magnificent space was reborn and how it was so beautifully and sensitively converted to its present use in a time of uncertainty…designed by the relatively unknown (at the time!) Swiss architects Hertzog de Meuron… I was reminded that in a world where we are told it’s not what you know it’s who you know… ultimately such unique talent, passion and vision truly does trump!
Drawing inspiration from this triumph of space and light, I thought how cleverly the architects worked with our senses, drawing us in and allowing us to go with the flow, enjoying guiding gentle slopes in place of stairs and always encouraging us to look up, to enjoy and to be inspired by this beautiful space, rather than looking down at our feet and be ever mindful of our steps.
Being thrust back into the madding crowds and the bustle of London I wondered could I somehow take and translate this uplifting experience to enrich other areas of my life- could this experience lead to a greater effect on the way I work perhaps?
How can we create a state of being in flow in the way we work… working with the constructs of what we have, using a different architecture, that of our strategic business environment to enhance output, enjoyment and fulfilment?
So what is flow and how do we get there?
‘Flow, also known as the zone, is the mental state of operation in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity. In essence, flow is characterized by complete absorption in what one does
So how do we get there?
Steven Kotler, author of The Rise of Superman: Decoding the Science of Ultimate Human Performance believes the following;
Take More Social Risks.
Taking social risks is the same as physical risks.” Speak up at meetings, share creative ideas, approach a stranger or tell the truth when it feels awkward.
Up the amount of novelty and complexity in your work environment
In business, the idea is to get out of habits and routines. “Automatic pilot is efficient and routines save the brain energy, but it doesn’t put you into flow.
Use all of your senses.
The final external flow trigger happens when you pay attention with all sensory streams, listening, looking, smelling, tasting, and touching. Action and adventure sports demand deep embodiment..
“When a person is in a state of flow, all five potent neurochemicals massively amplify the immune system,” says Kotler.
“Stress-causing hormones are flushed out of body in flow, and the autoimmune and nervous systems go haywire.”
‘Flow is the most desirable state on earth, but it’s also the most elusive.’