Flow and Synergetics

How does self-organization work?

Musicians, athletes and managers in flow are complex systems in a state of self-organization:
‘It’ is thinking, playing, running, doing.

Synergetik und Flow - Musiker im Flow:

Musicians in flow: ‘it’ is playing

You don’t have the sense of exerting deliberate control, however, you play with absolute security. This is one of the many seeming paradoxes observed in flow.

In complex systems, the laws according to which self-organization emerges are described by synergetics, the science of synergy.

Synergetik und Flow - Sportler im Flow: Das Spiel gelangt auf eine höhere Ebene

Athletes in flow: the game reaches a higher level

Self-organization emerges when attention is turned to the so-called order-parameters of a system. Order-parameters are aspects of a higher and more subtle level which draw the whole system into a state of more harmonious functioning.

Order-parameters control a system indirectly but thereby highly efficiently; at the same time the complicatedness on the lower levels is drastically reduced. Therefore, if you want to control a complex system as efficiently as possible, you must first identify its order-parameters and cultivate them.

Synergetik und Flow - Mode: Ein Ordner steuert komplexes Verhalten

Fashion: an order-parameter which drives complex behavior

An example of synergetic order-parameters: fashion. Fashion organizes people’s buying behavior very effectively. Although it is about material things, fashion as a phenomenon is a mental construct and thereby an element of a higher and more refined level.

This subtle level organizes highly efficiently what happens at the lower level of observable buying behavior.

Synergetik und Flow - Üben im Flow und Synergetik

practising in flow and synergetics

practising in flow if is a method which deliberately triggers the self-organization of the system ‘practising musician’. The order-parameters of this system lie in the senses crucial for playing the instrument - tactile sense, listening and kinaesthetic body feeling - as well as a playful approach to the material.

The practising process is made up of a constant cultivation of the information flowing through the senses (higher level) and not developed through ‘control’ and mechanization of the motor system like in traditional practising (lower level). The desired end result grows out of an exciting discovery process guided by the senses (emergence).

Synergetik und Flow - Manager im Flow: Herausforderung und Engagement

Managers in flow: challenge and engagement

Engagement in a task which is exciting and challenging, which offers room for individual ideas and which gives the feeling of growing competence does not feel like ‘work’, even though it involves significant effort. Furthermore, the motivation for such a task is not dependent on a subsequent reward.

Order-parameters for efficient, creative and successful performance in the everyday work environment of managers are among others

  • personal interest
  • room for individual initiative
  • the feeling of growing competence
  • the affiliation with a group of people who share a common goal.

These and other parameters lift the performance of executives and employees to a level of higher order. The cultivation of theses parameters leads to authentic engagement, frees creative potential and prepares companies for an increasingly complex future.

All seminars are methodically and conceptually based on the principles of synergetics and directly foster the self-organization in their respective domains.