Remember when the invention of the internet changed the world for ever? Some businesses were quick to respond while others were reluctant to change. Eventually everyone had to concede that digital was the new normal.
We’re now on the verge of another equally massive change as artificial Intelligence increases its reach into every aspect of our lives. We will need jump leads on our consciousness and new navigational skills if we are going to thrive through this paradigm shift.
For the past few decades we have valued individual creativity. As Bill Bernbach said in the 1960s “Creativity may well be the last unfair advantage we’re legally allowed to take over our competitors.”
This had its apex in the rise of the solo creative genius, an angst-ridden archetype made famous by MadMen. However, as the creative capacity of artificial intelligence. develops, our last unfair advantage is likely to be something A.I. can’t deliver… Flow.
Flow happens at the intersection between creativity and humanity. In a Flow state…
- Our senses are heightened. This increases intuition.
- Our hearts expand. This gives us the courage to make wise creative choices.
- Our fear decreases. This fosters collaboration rather than self-serving agendas.
We’ve reached the zenith of our “either/or” way of thinking in which we choose the safety of repetition because original expression is risky; where we strive to win because we fear failure; where our goals become compulsive rather than wise, because they’re fuelled by adrenaline rather than creativity.
Tapping into the dynamic energy of Flow in the centre allows us to evolve into the more mystical philosophy of “both/and” where new possibilities arise, synchronicities abound and the potential for creativity is increased.
What is Flow?
It’s both magic and science.
It’s magical because more can be achieved with less effort… time seems to stretch itself, our psychic abilities increase and synchronicities abound.
It’s scientific because this state can be replicated given certain circumstances… when we focus, overcome our self-consciousness and stretch ourselves just beyond our skill level.
It’s both great for wellbeing and great for work.
It’s great for wellbeing because we’re running on creative energy which is generative rather than adrenaline which leads to stress, anxiety and burn out.
It’s great for work because it allows everyone to experience the joy of true collaboration rather than the short term-gratification of individual “wins”.
We the people
These days “lack of energy” is often cited as the biggest problem facing the workforce. The stress and anxiety of being online 24/7 plus the need to be more productive with less time, less resources and less job security is taking its toll. The pattern interrupt of Covid caused many to question their values and goals. In many cases the talent has left the building. Flow increases physical energy, mental agility and emotional resilience.
Our old ways of working are not sustainable. We are entering a different age, which will require different skills, namely an ability to think on our feet and roll with the punches.
Traditionally, work environments have been places where duality rules. There are winners and losers. The winners bully and the losers manipulate. There is neediness and perfectionism. The needy are a drain on resources, the perfectionists become controlling or get burnout. We see rules and strategy win over creativity; reactivity and procrastination win over collaboration. But somewhere in the centre ground is our portal to Flow.
Businesses that encourage individuals and teams to tap into Flow states will grow the most creative talent and produce authentic, original work because it will be made by authentic, original people.
Eleanor O’Rourke – Flow coach
Eleanor O’Rourke has been a personal and business coach for over 20 years, employing both traditional and non-traditional methods, from NLP and CBT to Jungian psychology and Archetypal pattern analysis. However it was her early career in Rock & Roll that allowed her to observe at close hand the way synchronicity, intuition and collaboration made seemingly impossible things happen every day.
She presumed this was achieved by the magic of Rock and Roll but since studying the characteristics of Flow states, she has realised it is actually the magic of Flow. This means that any business can benefit from this new way of working.
During group teamwork…
- We unravel familiar roles and behaviour patterns.
- We learn to manage the energy that arises when these patterns are triggered.
- We move from the old paradigm “C”s of Criticism, Comparison and Control to the more evolved ones of Creativity, Compassion and Collaboration.