No. 528, September 12, 2005
read by Jonas Himmelstrand
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi is the world’s foremost authority on the concept of flow the experience where we are fully immersed in the present moment and forget about time and space. In flow we give our best. Flow is the ultimate psychological experience.
Csikszentmihalyi’s latest book Good Business is about how leadership can create more flow in the work place and the benefits that follow.
Above a certain minimum, money does not make us happy, according to the research the author refers to. However, there is a big potential for happiness in flow. In Europe and the US only 1520% experience flow daily. 6070% experience flow once a week to once every three months. 1520% never experience flow.
The level of flow at a work place is easy to detect, according to Csikszentmihalyi. Where it is difficult to experience flow people are tired, sullen and low in spirits. But where flow comes easy people are happy, smiling and high in spirits.
Good Business clearly shows that in society today there is an overemphasis on safety, outer rewards and lots of money as a means to a happy and fulfilling life. To find meaning and being able to grow as a person in life is more important than we may think.
If Strategies was a course at a university then Good Business would be one of 23 of the main books used. It makes an excellent summary of international research on flow and job satisfaction. If organisations throughout the world implement the ideas in Good Business, then we would have both a happier and more effective world. This is truly a great book.
Good Business, by Mihály Csikszentmihályi.
Hodder & Stoughton Ltd 2003. ISBN 0-34073972X. 320 pages.
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