If you press the right mouse button in the game Max Payne, your on-screen persona (the aformentioned Max Payne) experiences what the manual describes as “bullet-time”: Time seems to slow down, allowing you and Max to do the impossible, such as dodge bullets and deal out semi-automatic vengeance at lightning speeds.
Did you ever feel like that while working? The sensation that time stands still, and when it is all over, a feeling of refreshment and accomplishment? Such is the concept behind Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience. Of course, in the book, they call it “flow”.
Curt Rosengren summarizes the book. The concept is pretty similar to the FISH! philosophy. Basically, by giving employees control and feedback, employees will be able to find meaning and value in what they’re doing. And when you understand that, you get flow.
I cannot count the times that I was working on some order that I knew would make the difference of clinching a major deal with a customer, but to the order department, I’m just order #3470931. They need to understand what is going on so that they care.