What’s your Passion #46 – F.L.O.W.

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What we now call “Flow” (which is shorthand for the Flow Leadership Framework & Mindset) originally started out back in 2013/14 as an acronym: F.L.O.W. (Focus Led Organizations Win).

It is always stunning (and amazing to watch) how quickly organizations lose focus.

My observation is that this is partly due to what I call dilution. Even if your organization’s communication channels are incredibly good, you will experience dilution. Many organizations have recognized this and try to flatten the pyramid to mitigate this effect.

Even if you only have a 10% dilution of the message between each level (that is, 90% of the original message is retained), the dilution will look something like this:

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Over one-fourth of the message is lost by the time it reaches your Program Managers. Over half is lost by the time it reached the individual team member. Your organization would need to be phenomenally great to be at this level.

At a 20% loss per level (80% retained), it looks like this:

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At this performance level, almost half the message is lost by the time it reaches the Program Managers and almost three-fourths by the time it reaches the team member.

If you lose 50% per level, the picture is almost hopeless:

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Unfortunately, it’s been my experience that more organizations look like this third picture (near total gridlock) rather than the first. This is also a partial explanation of why organizations lose their focus and why it happens so quickly.

The other phenomena that seems to go hand-in-hand with this is Groupthink:

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When over-compensating to prevent dilution, it is easy to drive into the other ditch of groupthink.

There are a couple of ways of working and mindsets that we use in Flow to prevent both of these from happening: the 4D Model and the Power of the One Thing. Click the link for a more in-depth look at the concept of the “One Thing” to help prevent dilution and the 4D Model (and its predecessor the 4R Model) is core to how we prevent groupthink:

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It is only through the pressure-cooker of Distillation (where all ideas have been put on the table, tested and either accepted or rejected) that groupthink can be avoided.

One last tool that we use to mitigate dilution is Cascading Vision:

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It doesn’t matter how flat your organization is, you need to master the Power of the One Thing, Cascading Vision & VS/PT and then, most importantly, having the feed back (link-back) loops in place from each level to the next. If there is a ton of noise and static on the line, the message will get lost. The results will be sub-optimal, at best and achieving your BHAGs (Big Hairy Audacious Goals) will be nothing but a pipe dream.

Not using Flow to mitigate/eliminate dilution and groupthink?  Let’s chat!


For those that are not familiar with the Flow Leadership Framework, it is what’s next for businesses and organizations that are ready to succeed regardless of the methods, frameworks or management tools that they use throughout their enterprise.

Are you ‘in the zone’ of optimal performance right now as a person, team or enterprise? Did you get there by accident or by focused intentional acts?

“Flow” gives you the tools and practices needed to create and maintain an optimal state of high performance as an individual, team or organization.

The Flow Leadership Framework turbocharges “business agile” leadership.


PS Here are the associated links to this blog post for:

#culture #scrum #agile #pmi #pmp #kanban #lean #flow #scaledagile #transformation #change #transform