Feed Their Creative Drive

Professionals are driven by opportunities to display their creativity. We must then identify strategies to feed their creative drive by employing the ideas of flow, Deep Work, and managing with the idea that one’s gifts are tov (good), of use, to others.

“Do you see someone skilled in their work? They will serve before kings; they will not serve before officials of low rank.” – Proverbs 22:29.

How We Feed Their Creative Drive

We can engage our professionals in work that:

  1. Encourages flow – where the work is not to easy or difficult and matches is the interests of the employee
  2. Speaks to and engages in the employees strengths
  3. Allows them to work with a mentor that helps them identify and nurture their creative drive
  4. Promoting the value of Deep Work – in which the work is intense, relevant, and rich, and allows the employee to be Tov or feel they are of use to others

Plan of Action

We can nurture our professional’s creative drive by:

  1. Shifting our staff’s focus back to their core mission
  2. Enable staff to feel of use in everything they do
  3. Empowering our staff to say NO (sometimes) in order to be most useful to the organization
  4. Pro-actively prevent our staff from feeling like their work is meaningless
  5. Ensure one’s creative drive connects to the work of others
  6. Ask employees what they need and what drives them
  7. make salary determinations transparent
  8. Give opportunity for employees to block our time for deep thinking, writing, and strategizing, and then sharing with others – fulfilling the creative schematic
  9. Promoting the use of SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Timely)

Our Portrait: Miriam Brosseau

Miriam Brosseau, currently the founder and CEO of Tiny Windows Consulting, grew up in Racine, Wisconsin, a small Jewish community in the shadows of the larger Jewish community of Milwaukee twenty-five miles to the north. She recalls during her childhood being schlepped unwillingly up to Milwaukee by her parents once a week for Sunday school. Her experience, in her words, “was terrible, because Sunday school is often terrible.” Miriam’s journey into Jewish life sadly wasn’t off to a strong or inspiring start.

Luckily, her family switched synagogues to a place closer to their home and with both a Rabbi and Cantor who noticed Miriam’s talents and interest in singing. They took her under their wing.  They taught her to chant, to read haftorah (a section from the Prophets of the Bible that is assigned to accompany the weekly Torah portion) and gave her a youth leadership position. Miriam went from being completely disinterested in Judaism to having a genuine excitement and eagerness to participate.

Miriam’s story begins with the lessons from our previous blessings. Miriam was inspired by the mentoring relationships she fostered with her clergy. Miriam’s experience also notes the importance of pointing out others’ talents. Often individuals do not recognize their own potential until someone else can point it out. Our holiest obligation as managers and leaders is to point out the strengths, talents, and interests in our staff and help amplify them in a work context.

Questions for Reflection:

  1. Discuss in your next board meeting: How do we get the Jewish community professionals in our midst to discover what they are interested in and then pursue it? Share ideas and encourage small group conversations.
  2. Consider doing a department audit, including interviewing each of your staff, to identify what is working and what is not in their team dynamic, and adjust accordingly to strengthen cohesion, production, innovation, and FLOW.
  3. Do we know if the Jewish community professionals who for have strong enough compensation, so they don’t have to worry so much about compensation? Start a process of asking them regularly.
  4. How can we encourage our staff to shut some of their work off from time to time so they can have 100% attention to their own creative process, generating and playing with new ideas? Schedule “creative” or “brainstorm” time each week with your staff inviting them to explore their creative selves and not be distracted by other tasks.