The Action Plan

January 4, 2023

As the team lead, it’s my job to ensure that we stay creatively fed and have proper headspace to ideate. It’s the most abstract and constant challenge for working creatives. The expectation is that we don’t stop flowing with ideas and fresh thinking. That it just pours out of us at all hours.

For the most part, I do feel that for some creatives this is true. I, for one, have a difficult time shutting off my mind. I hear someone talking and I naturally begin seeing a potential solution or things to try. I can’t seem to turn it off. Yet even in that constant state of creating, our minds need rest. We need space. And I do too.

For me, I find that when I’m cooking supper for the family. The music on, the skillet sizzling, a little dance across the kitchen. I find this when I play piano (even if clunky and sour) or on my short commute home with the tunes flowing or if in complete silence. I find mindful rest when I’m focused on my kids. Whether we’re in conversation or an activity, I’m cheering them on or just chatting bedside before they go to sleep. I don’t always get it right, but I trust in allowing the creative mind to rest. As a team, taking time off for the holidays allows solid time to rest and recover, recharge and reconnect in whatever way we need.

Now, how to sustain that rest and provide that space throughout the new year in order to both make bold moves forward for each individual and for our clients? That’s the challenge. And I’m here for it.

In December each team member jotted down some of their client, team and personal goals for the new year. From there, I worked through them to create action items. What training could we add for someone to reach that goal? What resources do we need? When or how can we make this happen?

The desire to grow and be challenged personally and the passion for growing and impacting our client work were evident. Here are a few examples of the action plans we’ll implement in the new year to accomplish these goals.

  • Our Taco Tuesdays Include Tutorials. To the public eye, we’ve touted our love of Taco Tuesday and I’m not going to lie, we start craving the fresh salsa and guacamole around 9:30 on Tuesday mornings. What we don’t share out is that this is also our scheduled learning time. We watch tutorials, read articles, take notes and share with the team what we’ve discovered during that time. Our action item for 2023? Alignment of the materials with our goals. For a set of weeks or months based on their personal or client goals, we’ve identified what types of research and learning needs to happen.
  • Our 1:1 Meetings. I picked this up from AMI several years ago. Each team member has a monthly time scheduled with me to share what’s going well and not so well, how they’re feeling about their workflow, what would help them do their jobs better, etc. They are mini-goal and accountability sessions, if you will. The meeting is led by the team member. I focus on listening. These monthly 15-20 minute touch points have saved employee burnout, diverted unnecessary stress, and kept me more in tune with their worries, their excitement, and where new opportunities lie. We can build upon new ideas and momentum as they’re happening rather than only doing that a few times a year. We will hold steady to these and even in the “too-busy” weeks, make time and space for these conversations. This is how we hold ourselves accountable to our goals for the year and make necessary adjustments as we grow. Cheers to the one-on-ones!
  • The Fierce E-zine. (This is the new one and what I’m most excited about.) We will produce a digital magazine to bring all of the creative energy of our team into one space. There’s no marketing theme or how-tos, just us. The team can share poems, short stories, photo essays or video stories, digital or physical art, something grown in their garden, created in the kitchen or a home remodeling project to showcase. Whatever art or creative outlet they have, we’ll capture, share and celebrate that. No client attachment. Just a way to feed the personal desire to create for the sake of creating. We’ll assign time on the schedule for this project with a production date. Our own Fierce literary magazine with the freedom to scale up, down or sideways as we need. Now that sounds like a dream opportunity. I can’t wait to see what we come up with.

No matter how you rest or how you set your goals, consider working on them as a team, supporting and holding each other accountable. My goal starts with feeding my team creatively and helping them find space to go after and reach their fullest potential. Our team and our clients will benefit from a common rise together.

Bring on 2023! We’re ready for you.