Team Productivity = Flow
What’s the biggest room in the world?
The Room for improvement! (Cheesy I know)
One thing that ALL teams can constantly improve on is productivity. Because when it comes down to it, the main purpose of a team is to, you know, get sh*t done!
The good news is that in order to amp up your teams productivity, there is some low hanging fruit (and it tastes damn delicious).
What you want to do is focus on increasing your team’s FLOW (or your own for starters). What is FLOW you ask? Oh so glad you asked 🙂
At the bare basics FLOW are those things we love to do, that we get SO into that we lose ourselves in it. It’s usually things that we are both GOOD at and ENJOY doing.
Specifically, FLOW activities will have the following criteria:
- Requires a balance of challenge/skill
- Instant Feedback
- High Concentration
- In Control (no anxiety/fear)
- Lose track of time/Loss of ego
But not all FLOW activities are necessarily productive. Playing video games at work won’t necessarily boost productivity (unless you’re a software developer or game tester!). So the key is to figure out what productive activities/tasks produce FLOW for each individual on the team. Then let them do more of it.
Yes, it’s literally that simple!
- Figure out what productive things gives team members FLOW
- Find ways to let them do more of it!
Let’s quickly break those down:
1. Figuring Out What Gives Them Productive FLOW
It goes with out saying that each unique individual will have different things that give them FLOW. For some it may be working with numbers or spreadsheets (for others this . Or maybe it’s planning events. Or creative brainstorming. Or maybe it’s being out in the field, (e.g performing surgery!).
Whatever it is, figure out what they are. Maybe there’s one main one. Maybe there’s multiple.
How do you figure out what they are? Discuss! Ask them questions. Observe results. Behaviors. Emotions. You’ll figure it out 🙂
2. Enable them to do more of it!
This one is easy if you allow it do. Don’t get bogged down if it doesn’t fit perfectly in the job description. If it’s productive and it helps the team achieve their goals, find ways to enable them to do more of it!
Connect it directly to their job. Have an accountant that LOVES brainstorming? Ask them if they would lead weekly brainstorms to improve the teams accounting processes! A computer programmer that loves organizing events at home? Let them
Key here isn’t to add more to their plate but to replace. Remove unnecessary or unproductive tasks and replace with the FLOW ones. You’ll be amazed at the magic that will ensue!
Lastly: Don’t forget that you can also uncover other fun and unique FLOW activities that aren’t directly productive. However, they can be indirectly productive because they refresh and energize the team members when they have down time. So yes, get that arcade game in the office and figure out who the team PacMan champ is!