Business Thermodynamics: The Art and Science of Creating Flow in Living Systems

The lean community has come a long way in understanding flow in manufacturing and design. Yet, despite understanding flow and how to address it, we still see organizations that are rife with dysfunction. The reason is that we aren't really looking at all of the things that flow in an organization. Beyond the flow of product there are flows of finance, people, ideas, and most importantly, emotion.

Using the Constructal Law as a starting point we will explore the thermodynamics of emotion within our own organizations. We will examine how People, Work, and perhaps most importantly, emotions ebb and flow. Come see how a deeper, more meaningful understanding of flow can help you achieve high performance within your own organization.

 
 

Outline/Structure of the Talk

OVERVIEW

Right from the beginning we are going to step firmly on the third rail of software development and talk about emotions. Emotions are the foundation upon which all of our work is based. We'll be a little bit sneaky and use physics terms to accomplish this - keeping the audience using a technical language they are comfortable with, but make no mistake, this is about emotions.

There are two premises that provide the foundation for this work. The first is that there is value and utility in being able to see all of the emotional flows within an organization. Second, once we are able to detect emotional flows, we are now able to think about how we might improve flow - and we can use patterns from the natural world to help enable that improved flow.

AGENDA

1. Introduction to the Constructal Law and Immediate Moment Theory

0:00 This section is a high level introduction to the fundamental concepts of constructal law and immediate moment theory. There is a quick quiz at the end done table by table to help reinforce the concepts introduced.

2. Finding flow

0:20 What are the external indicators of healthy and unhealthy flow in an organization? We discuss two different models for assessing flow health.

  • Checking for a pulse
  • What is your BP (your Business Pressure)

3. Types of flow

0:30 Given the four key kinds of flow, what are the characteristics of each? What can we predict given the thermodynamics of each system?

  • Work
  • Financial
  • Emotions
  • People

4. Patterns of Flow (what we've learned from Thermodynamics)

0:50 What are common thermodynamic properties associated with flow and how can we take advantage them within our organization?

  • Fast and slow
  • Emotional Flow

5. How you can use Flow in business transformation

1:00 In this last section we cover how to use flow as a tool to aid business transformation.

  • Assessment and Measurement
  • Improving performance
  • Removing Impediments
  • Influencing change
  • Learn about the dynamics of the following flows: Ideas, Requirements, Culture, Process, Hierarchy, People, Value, Product
  • Understand the fundamentals of flow and how to promote it
  • Examples of flow in large organizations

Learning Outcome

  • Learn about the dynamics of the following flows: Ideas, Requirements, Culture, Process, Hierarchy, People, Value, Product
  • Understand the fundamentals of flow and how to promote it
  • Examples of flow in large organizations

Target Audience

Transformation Consultants, Agile Coaches, and Scrum Masters

Prerequisites for Attendees

Have a basic understanding of agile methods.

schedule Submitted 10 months ago

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