Business Flow: Flow as a useful word to think about in business.
There are 2 categories to consider. Using the analogy of a rowing crew going down the river.
Firstly the flow of the medium – ie: How fast is the river moving?
Secondly the flow of the activity in the medium – ie: How well is the crew rowing?
Simply put, if you are going with the current flow and there are no constrictions in the river causing eddies and impediments, the boat goes fast. If you are rowing well as a team with the rhythm right and energy flowing freely it feels fantastic and the boat goes fast.
In business it is important to deconstruct the medium – if we look at cashflow for example, it is important to make it easy for customers to buy from us, simple for the money to flow into our system and straightforward for all suppliers to be paid and some left over to be saved.
The system and processes must be setup to facilitate cashflow, then it’s up to the crew to optimise their cash generation efforts. Attracting the right customers, helping them find the perfect products from your range, making sure they get everything they need then ensuring that they will return again and again.
If we examine production, it makes a difference if raw materials or components arrive on time and in good order, if our machinery and systems to process those materials work smoothly and our finished items are delivered to the customer as expected and in perfect condition.
Now it’s up to the crew to keep the system working at its best, maximising throughput with teamwork and timing.
Where a team is achieving excellent production results, they usually know it, they feel “in flow”. It’s important to recognise and celebrate that because the more everyone enjoys the moment, the more they want to be back there.
If we look at how our time is spent, we can optimise the structure of our days so that we can flow nicely through them without getting snagged on random issues that crop up. We do this by creating a default diary which allocates our time to the desire activities.
We then need to apply ourselves diligently to the tasks required and we do this by making plans and lists so that we can work hard in effective bursts without getting bored or bogged.
By focusing on flow we can be more productive and consequently enjoy more free time, we can improve our customers’ experiences, enhance our teams’ work life and increase our cashflow.
Good flow brings good fortune