Transforming your staff's potential

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Designing for Flow

It also has me reflecting on the concept of "flow," both in how I practice my craft and in my life.  The core theme of the book is introducing the concept of  the constructal law: “For a finite-size flow system to persist in time (to live), its configuration must evolve in such a way that provides easier access to the currents that flow through it.”  The author goes on to say:  “The constructal law is a shout from the rooftops: Everything that flows and moves generates designs that evolve to survive (to live)."

Things that live / move persist and become sustaining by constructing and evolving themselves for the most efficient flow.  Think rivers, lightening strikes, animals staking out prime grazing or hunting grounds. 

Diverse, easily-accessible sources of input, minimizing/removing barriers and inefficiencies to the "flow" process, and opportunity for expression/practice/application/output to "feed forward":  These are the prime, universal elements of the law that I can identify. It all speaks to sustainability... the persistence of the "life" of something, be it a river, a person, an idea.  This concept has implications for and application to all aspects of life, including support networks of family, friends and professional colleagues, the rise of social media for communication and learning, democracy, the politics of energy and conservation, etc.

It makes me think about how I:
  • Structure a lesson plan
  • Architect a performance management program
  • Manage my own professional development
  • Prioritize my time and nurture my relationships / communities - personal and professional
  • Take care of myself and the ones I love
It creates a new paradigm for approaching it all.  Wow... and I haven't even read the book yet!


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