At that time I was CEO of Family & Children Services...we discussed the importance supporting social work staff in ‘thinking outside the box’ as a first step to creative program development in their specific area of treatment. Along with my senior Leadership Team and Neil we planned an all staff training to challenge staff develop their own creative spirit and infusion of that into elements of the programming they offer youth and adults.
What would seem simple is made more complex because of the difficulty of clients struggling with mental health issues, high caseloads, rigid program parameters, and complicated and redundant outcomes documentation for state funded programs. These become stressors that can block creative problem solving and increase staff burnout. Staff self-reports noted that creative thinking became stilted over time.
Neil eagerly offered suggestions for an interactive training and acted as consultant along with his colleague and wife, Sandra Bremer in developing a creative thinking training for our clinical and administrative staff of 220 during an annual meeting. Throughout planning and execution, I was impressed with Neil’s ability to carefully listen to the challenge, thoughtfully analyze resources and staging, and develop a project that fit our immediate needs while opening the door to individual program’s initiation of further creativity infused in therapeutic programming for youth and adults. Neil worked collaboratively and efficiently delivering a concrete product.
He and Sandra led the training very successfully as measured by a staff evaluation rating of the training as excellent.