Playing games - that's when we experience real freedom.
We've known that since we were kids creating games in the backyard. And, it came naturally, had to invent some rules as well. We "knew" that the experience of perfect freedom required some framework; rules, some equipment, a playing field. All good.
Structure enough to let you focus on the game, structure to help the game while not enough to limit your game.
Translating that play mode into business life would be nice, experience real freedom where we spend so much of our life.
Well, perhaps not impossible if one rethinks a few things:
A few weeks ago I was getting my head around a user case (building a pilot) for a project driven service firm, OK, project driven is rather what all service business is about - from health to legal, but back to the situation:
They had project structure, nicely described in a workflow diagram: It all starts off with a meeting between the client and some folks from the firm's side. Then back in the office another meeting where plans and action items are set and distributed and a date for next meeting is set.
Two weeks later another meeting - the people involved presents their work and again they discuss and settle on new action items that are brotherly divided among the participants. Another week, another three weeks, meeting to meeting to allow for the tasks to merge back into the flow.
In other words, meetings are the bookends in the work distribution framework. Anchoring the flows instead of driving the flows.
Would make for a rather boring game of football (soccer) that. Pre-set meeting points to discuss last few moments of dribbling, I would imagine the game could last long into the night while quickly loosing spectators.
So why not do as the footballers do?
I get the ball and that's when I spring in action and do what I'm best at (whatever that is) as fast as I can (however fast or slow that is). The ball is forwarded to another player who then does his bit, back and forth until an opening, fast through and into the net (hopefully) while everybody see everything that happens. If I'm slow my team mates might cheer me on, reach out to help or give me a hard time for not doing my best.
Team members with project.
In other words, let the project (ball) drive the workflow, allow changes to the project path as deemed useful during the flow - the meetings now being moot as they're no more needed, actually they would hamper the game.
(Note: Meetings as in meetings of minds to discuss an issue is different, that would be more akin to a quick discussion on the field as what next move would be good.)
So that's what I'm piloting - the tools, rules and field to play the game - the project being the ball. Sequential, visible and flexible but still with the much needed structure. And by the way using the football metaphor, have the game video taped so no reports have to be written, the ball itself capturing all that happens to it.
More fun. Less time spent. Freedom to do your best.