Teamflow and Buurtzorg with Dr. Jef van der Hout

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In this podcast I talk with Ph.D. Jef van der Hout from the Netherlands. Jef has studied flow in teams and has written his phd in this topic and published articles on the matter.

We all know flow – that feeling when you during work loose a sense of yourself. When you get so absorbed with what you are doing that time and space seems to disappear.

You might also know that feeling when you really click with the people on your team. Those moments where the collective comes together in a way where the sum is much greater that the individual parts. Well that’s team flow.

Where individual flow experiences in teams has been studied for many years Jefs work is really pioneering because it explores flow as a collective phenomenon. Researches have studied flow in bands and sports teams, but Jefs work breaks new ground in its emphasis on working teams.

Contrary to other ideas of organizational well-being teamflow is not a goal in It self. It is a way to approach work that allows us to perform well as a group and feel well as an individual at the same time.

Not always teamflow

Teamflow is not something we experience all the time. And that is perfectly fine. It is more about learning how we as a team perform as a coherent unit and how we collectively can ensure the right conditions when teamflow is needed.

In my talk with Jef we touch upon a range of topics like this but dive deeper into especially two things.

  1. What is teamflow – what creates it and what are the most important ways to ensure it in a team?
  2. We also talk about Buurtzorg, the dutch pioneering healthcare organisation established 12 years ago with an employee led model of holistic care that has revolutionised community care in the Netherlands. Jef works with Buurtzorg as a researcher and advisor and shares some insights about Buurtzorg and how teamflow plays an crucial role in a self-empowered organisation with no leaders but lots of leadership.

In the podcast Jef talks about a collective ambition as a starting point and something central to teams in Buurtzorg. This really got me thinking – where most organisations have a mission statement or similar – what do teams have to bring them together as a group?

Maybe we need more conversations and focus on what brings us together in our closer working groups?

Jefs strong emphasis on the collective ambition raises a need for a safe environment. Because with ambition comes risk and risk without safety is the direct route to stress and burnout.

You could say that the level of psychological safety in a team needs to be equal or larger than the ambition and pressure on that team.

Abonner på Gnist podcast

Region Hovedstadens Center for Sundhed (CSU) har sat kursen mod mere ledelse og mindre styring. Afsættet er bl.a. Fredric Lalouxs tanker om TEAL, selvorganisering og helhedstænkning.

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Vores rådgivning går langt videre end blot at håndtere forandring, men tilbyder ved hjælp af ny viden, empirisk forskning, skarpe indsigter og konkrete værktøjer et mere holistisk alternativ til at sikre performance og trivsel.

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6 episoder