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Creating a Vortex of Flow

Roger HamiltonWhat is the paradigm shift that 21st Century companies have taken, that enables them to outperform their rivals? Talent Dynamics generates power in team through trust and flow, and the creator of Talent Dynamics, Roger Hamilton uses the metaphor of the river which comes up often. Here are three different levels at which power can literally be drawn from a river, and what we can learn from them:

The Water Mill: The water mill has a water wheel that turns with the flow of the river. They date back to the Greeks and lasted through to the Middle Ages. You don’t see many of them anymore, as there is very little leverage in this system. If the river is slow, the wheel moves slowly. Many companies operate in the same way. They only flow at the pace of the market. When the market slows, so does business. Today, few companies can survive by simply opening their doors and waiting for customers, and most have lost out over the last 30 years to businesses in the second power paradigm:

The Dam: Why be limited by the flow of the river, if you can artificially hold up water flow, and then drop the water from a great height? It was with the advent of reinforced concrete in the 1800’s that dams could be built to leverage several 100 times more power than the traditional water mill. In a dam, falling water is forced through turbines with constant force, regardless of changes in the flow of the river. The industrial age corporation with its marketing and delivery channels, barriers to entry and sales funnels operated like dams, controlling and channelling flow. They were able to spin out more power and profit by keeping to a rigid structure. This paradigm is now failing, as rivers and market flow have fragmented and are far harder to capture. This is where the third power paradigm is taking over:

The Vortex: Roger Hamilton relates his experience at the Green School in Bali: “We are taking the Green School off the grid. We’re installing solar panels to power the school, and the latest technology in hydro-power, a river vortex. While dams cause major environmental damage, a vortex only needs a small height drop to work. Water is channelled into a circular structure which makes it spin as it drops, and this water vortex drives a turbine with 8 to 12 times the power of water that falls from the same height.” The most successful companies today work more like a vortex than a dam. Customers step in, and experience multiple touch points that continually heighten their trust in the company. Connection points are more frequent and faster paced. While a dam controls a customer until they escape, a vortex delights a customer and keeps them engaged for far longer. This is the future of hydro-power, and this is the future of business. This value vortex is a natural outcome of Talent Dynamics.

“In a value vortex, there is spiral of service and leadership that reinforces the promise and culture of the enterprise with every spin. All information and experience loops back and builds on itself. This system is far more powerful than the traditional ‘production line’ paradigm and, like a spinning top, it is far more sustainable and balanced.” – Roger James Hamilton


The Power of Environment

Roger James HamiltonAs Roger Hamilton explained at a recent entrepreneur event in Bali, the roots of Talent Dynamics and the five frequencies are the same roots found in Chinese Feng Shui and used to define the layout of great cities from Paris and London to Washington. According to Roger, we are not products of habit as much of products of our environment, and all the best intentions to change a team won’t work if the environment itself isn’t at the right frequency.

“When we walk in a library, we go quiet. When we go to a club, we dance. Dancing in a library or reading a book in a disco simply doesn’t feel right, so we don’t do it. Many of us are trying to be creative in a cubicle of reviewing finances in a board room over lunch, and we wonder why we keep getting distracted or doing a poor job.” – Roger James Hamilton

Within Talent Dynamics, Roger Hamilton goes into detail as to how environments can be transformed into the five energies that contribute to flow, and that all great companies use all five when designing their different functions: Water (Leadership & Purpose), Wood (Innovation & Planning), Fire (Sales & Marketing), Earth (Service & HR), Metal (Finance & Systems). Furthermore, an enormous amount of energy is spent when we switch energies. As Roger says “Switching from studying a spreadsheet to taking a call to going back to the spreadsheet takes as much energy has going from ice to fire and back to ice again. If you haven’t synchronized your calendar to your environments – your time to your space – you will be constantly wasting energy on interruptions.”

Part of the more advanced steps within Talent Dynamics is when a company redesigns their office and their schedule to optimize their performance. Roger compares the experience when you get this right like the experience of a child planning a day at Disneyland with the Disney map in front of them, or a family planning a holiday to a new place.

“Flow isn’t just about what you do. It’s about where and when you do it.” – Roger James Hamilton

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Momentum: The power of group flow

Roger James HamiltonRoger Hamilton makes a key distinction between flow and group flow. While the first gives us a sense of fulfillment, the second gives us a sense of achievement. Group flow is not just about harmony, but momentum. As Roger says:

“A team with momentum won’t even try and solve the problems that other teams are tackling, as they will be operating at a different level. Momentum has the power to lift metal, and a plane in flight doesn’t worry about sitting in traffic jams or missing their turn-off.”Roger James Hamilton

When a team is in momentum, small obstacles disappear. Decisions are made with certainty. No one wants to miss the boat, and attraction appears all around us. In his book “The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership”, John Maxwell wrote “Momentum is really a leader’s best friend. Sometimes it’s the only difference between winning and losing.” When Roger Hamilton asked Maxwell what distinguishes a manager from a leader, he replied: “A manager solves problems. A leader creates momentum. When you have momentum, the problems soon solve themselves.”

Maxwell gives the example of a train pushing against a wall. “If it is trying to push the wall from a standing start, it has a challenge on its hands. If it is approaching the wall at 100 mph, the wall really isn’t an issue.”

The benefit of Talent Dynamics is in its ability for everyone to move into their own personal flow, and synchronize with everyone else in the team to pick up team momentum. In the same way that a crew of rowers of an orchestra of musicians work together to create a new paradigm of performance, the purpose is not to solve issues at the current level, but to build momentum until everyone is operating from a higher level.

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Roger Hamilton Blog: Using Talent Dynamics to Increase Sales

Different Talent Dynamics profiles buy in different ways. Being able to assess what profile a client is allows us to tune in to their frequency and connect with them at their level. Roger James Hamilton explains the principle in talent dynamics terms “When the value exceeds the cost (including the cost of money, time and effort), we buy. The four sides of the Talent Dynamics square makes this assessment differently, so knowing which ‘language’ to use when communicating cost and benefit saves an enormous amount of time.”

Traditional sales training focuses at ‘overcoming objections’. In Talent Dynamics, an objection is like a rock in the river. Not something to overcome, but something to flow around – a clue that you are already connecting in the wrong language.

  • Dynamo frequency profiles are more visual, and want the big picture.
  • Blaze frequency profiles are more auditory, and want to hear the stories.
  • Tempo frequency profiles are more kinesthetic, and want to experience the product and see evidence of success.
  • Steel frequency profiles are more analytical and will only be satisfied after looking at the detail.

“Great communication is not about more communication, but meaningful communication. The more you focus on what is meaningful – and delete everything meaningless – the more your client will appreciate you for understanding them and not wasting their time” – Roger James Hamilton

Roger Hamilton believes that with practice, an individuals’ profile can be assessed within minutes. This is through a combination of words, focus, body language and empathy. Understanding the different modalities, how they communicate, assess costs, benefits – and risks – doesn’t just help in building your sales, but in better service, leading teams and recruiting the right team to begin with.

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The three sides to every problem

In this blog, Roger Hamilton will be publishing simple tips for Talent Dynamics performance consultants to use to create flow in their teams. This week, the topic is team problem solving. Last year Roger Hamilton took a group of entrepreneurs toRoger Hamilton Italy and Egypt, and while there he shared the influence that Pythagoras had on problem solving. Roger quoted a Pythagoras dictum “Establish the triangle and the problem is two thirds solved.” When you only have two opposing points of view, little can be seen. Step outside to a third point, and the detachment creates perspective on the entire problem.

Not only was this principle used by scientists to plot stars, create our calendar and maps, determine distances and by societies to set up their legal and monetary systems, it is also used by entrepreneurs to address current challenges and opportunities by focusing the team on a third point in the future – a goal and vision for them all to align to. This concept of triangulation is also the fastest way to set up a team to problem solve or project manage using a simple 1-2-3 process with the Talent Dynamics square:

1. Begin with the leader’s profile (for example, Star Profile)
2. Take two steps to find the best right-hand man (which would be Deal Maker Profile)
3. Take three steps to find the best counter-balance (which would be a Lord Profile)

Many successful teams are made up in this way (and it works whichever profile you begin with). It allows all sides of the square to be covered with primary and secondary profiles with the minimum number of team members. As Roger James Hamilton says “Two legs on a stool isn’t worth anything. It’s the third leg that brings value to all three.”

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How Talent Bubbles up or Settles Down

Recently Roger Hamilton, was asked about the best methods for talent selection. His response was worth repeating. He said that the key to hiring the right talent is to set the selection process to match the frequency you’re looking for. A popularity contest would bring out the Blaze energy, a creative competition would bring out Dynamo, a rigorous online test would bring out Steel and a research submission would bring out Tempo.

Roger James Hamilton is always quick with analogies, and he uses politics to illustrate his point: The US political system is structured as a popularity contest, so every President since Roosevelt has been a Star profile. China is the opposite, where longevity and loyalty are the driving factors, and so all the recent Premiers have been Lord and Mechanic profiles. UK and Australia’s electoral system is based much more on consensus, and so recent Prime Ministers have been Supporter profiles (With the exception of Gordon Brown who, as a Lord profile, was Chancellor of the Exchequer until he took over from Tony Blair without an election. As soon as elections came about, he was voted out, as Lord’s simply don’t have the interpersonal skills the public want to see in their leader, and their weaknesses shine through).

The conversation continued, with Roger Hamilton discussing how these different country systems and the leaders they produce have a direct impact on how well the country can whether economic crises (The US will do what a Star does by trying to spend their way out, while China is doing what a Lord does, which is to increase its control on its purse strings). He also discussed parallels in corporations, and how there are many examples of companies seeking a change in the type of leader they want, but continuing with the same recruitment process and getting the same result. The key message: Don’t focus at the person, focus at the process.

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