Fresh Thinking Labs Events programme 2018 from Eduard Iacob's blog

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Fresh Thinking Labs Events programme 2018

Fresh Thinking Labs brings together companies and other organisations from across Europe to learn from each other about creating high performing, innovative and healthy workplaces.

Our 2018 Lab programme offers opportunities to share practical experiences with people leading change in a diverse, international range of organisations, and to learn from leading European experts about what really works.

The focus is on releasing the creativity and talent of people throughout the organisation, enabling employees to contribute actively  and systematically  to innovation and improvement in products, services and processes. Employee-Driven Innovation is a bottom-up approach which empowers people, to reflect on past experiences and future challenges, to ask difficult questions, to learn from diverse places and to take part in creative dialogue with a wide range of other stakeholders.

Being part of the programme gives you automatic membership of Fresh Thinking Labs, providing you with access to a growing international community of enterprises Fresh Thinking Labs members benefit from:

  • Personal introductions to other members by experienced international facilitators.
  • Online search and matching based on your interests and expertise.
  • Live knowledge-sharing forums and Sofinars on member-identified themes.
  • In Person Labs: small, closed groups exploring a specific issue together.
  • Sharing and developing good practice through facilitated workplace visits.
  • Unique resources including research evidence, case studies and practical tools.
  • Workshops and company-hosted events for all Fresh Thinking Labs members.

Book now events 1, 5, 6, 8 & 10 for €2500 / £2250 (includes two delegates per company and 12 months membership of Fresh Thinking Labs)
OR Pay-Per-Event (includes 1 month membership) below
OR contact us for bespoke packages including The Essential Fifth Element
Diagnostic & Programme.

The Programme


Engaging Everyone in Innovation

Linköping, Sweden (accessible by train from Stockholm Arlanda Airport)

22nd-23rd March 2018

Cost per company
First delegate:
€500 / £450
Second delegate
€300 / £270

Join us for our highly interactive Employee-Driven Innovation Lab hosted jointly by the HELIX Institute at the University of Linköping and the nearby SAAB Aerospace plant. This two-day event will bring together innovative companies and leading Scandinavian researchers to explore theory and practice relating to employee-driven innovation.

Speakers include Peter Totterdill (Workplace Innovation Europe ), Mattias Elg, Henrik Kock, Per-Erik Ellström and Martina Berglund (HELIX ), Ulrika Harlin (Swerea ), Signe Skov-Hansen (Danish Technological Institute ), Steen Høyrup, (Aarhus University ), John Zibert (Leo Pharma ), Pia Mulvad Reksten (LO Denmark ), Bengt Savén (SAAB ).

Read reflections from this event here


Good Work & Mental Well-Being Lab


27th (evening) – 28th March 2018

Next meeting on 11th June. Please see event no 7.

This event is hosted by Macmillan is one of the largest British charities and provides specialist health care, information and financial support to people affected by cancer. Macmillan’s wellbeing programme looks to inspire and support health and wellbeing amongst its workforce to help ensure that Macmillan’s employees are provided with an environment and opportunities that encourage and enable them to lead healthy lives and make choices that support their wellbeing.

The event is part of the Good Work and Mental Well-Being Lab, a small, closed network of companies, public sector and not-for-profit employers committed to exploring and developing future-focused workplaces that generate positive mental health and well-being for all through productive and engaging work.

New members are welcome.


Leading Workplace Innovation in the Public Sector

Birmingham, UK

1st May 2018

Learn more here

Leading Workplace Innovation is a tried and tested programme, accredited by the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM), and grounded in evidence and experience.

It is focused on practical approaches to change and improvement, providing public sector organisations with the knowledge, skills and practical support needed to enhance performance, innovation and engagement. From June 2018 to March 2019, up to 12 public organisations will benefit from use of a unique Diagnostic survey, seven interactive workshop sessions (including action learning sets), and 10 hours of on-site coaching and facilitation.

The survey, based on 62 evidence-based workplace practices associated with high performance and engagement, supports participants in designing and delivering tangible change initiatives specific to each organisation’s needs.


Public Sector Workplace Innovation events organised by the European Institute of Public Administration


28th May 2018
Details here.

Conference and Workshop
28th - 31st May 2018
Details here.

29th - 31st May 2018
Details here.

Conference: People and Workplace Innovation in the EU Public Sector
One-day conference with various keynote speakers in the morning and case studies, panel discussion and/or workshops on Human Resources and PS Innovation in the afternoon.

Conference and Workshop: Increase Employee Performance in the EU with Workplace Innovation
This conference and workshop, held by experts from across the EU, will help you get a complete perspective of workplace innovation. You will know about how the process works, what are the benefits, how other organisations have seen results with it. You will also see first hand how you can implement it in your own organisation, to drive employee performance and team engagement.

Workshop: Increase Performance in the EU Public Sector with Workplace Innovation
Workplace Innovation (WI) helps organisations and their employees to improve their performance and working lives by engaging the knowledge, skills and creativity of people at every level. This is an important principle in any size or type of organisation whether large or small, or in manufacturing, services or public administrations. This interactive workshop introduces Workplace Innovation and is intended for participants of all levels who would like to learn how to improve performance and working lives by releasing the full knowledge, skill and creativity of people at every level.


Creating Creative Workplaces

Stevenage UK (close to London, and to Luton and Stansted Airports)

16th-17th May 2018

Cost per company
First delegate:
€300 / £270
Second delegate
€200 / £180

Book here

In this practically-focused two-day Lab we will explore how building a culture of innovation means looking at the organisation as a whole, empowering workers at every level to use and develop their full range of knowledge, skills, experience and creativity in their day-to-day work. The Lab is hosted by MBDA, an advanced manufacturing company which has made long-term investments in developing innovation competencies and behaviours across its workforce.

Day 1 is an interactive workshop led by Chris Warhurst (University of Warwick), Peter Totterdill (Workplace Innovation Europe) and a panel of highly innovative companies;

Day 2 explores the journey towards a creative workplace in practice at MBDA, inviting participants to act as ‘critical friends’ in analysing the company’s progress to date.


Cornerstone company visit

Glasgow, Scotland

23rd May 2018

Cost per company delegate
€140 / £125

Book here

Cornerstone, a leading care provider in Scotland, has introduced an ambitious and highly innovative approach to self-managed teamworking, challenging traditional practices and creating a new, less hierarchical structure. Learn more about its remarkable journey.

The event:
Enables the sharing of good practice and ideas through facilitated workplace visits.
Builds active relationships with your peers in other organisations.
Creates a forum for collaborative innovation and problem solving.
Suggests practical tools and resources for workplace change.
Provides access to expert guidance.


Good Work & Mental Well-Being Lab

London or Leeds (TBC)

11th (evening) – 12th June 2018

Contact us for membership details or visit our website.

Inspired by its BeyondZero® principles Jacobs, one of the world’s largest and most diverse providers of technical, professional and construction services, worked with MIND to develop its Mental Health Matters programme focused on promoting positive mental health and wellbeing. Initially launched in the UK and Ireland, and now being rolled out across Jacobs globally, the programme delivers focused training, tools and techniques to enable a support network of employee champions to offer early intervention and interim support for staff while directing employees to the appropriate professional options. In the UK and Ireland Jacobs has created and trained a network of 150+ positive mental health champions and trained a further 50 staff from client organisations.

The event is part of the Good Work and Mental Well-Being Lab, a small, closed network of companies, public sector and not-for-profit employers committed to exploring and developing future-focused workplaces that generate positive mental health and well-being for all through productive and engaging work.

New members are welcome.


Industry 4.0, digitalisation and the people-centred workplace

Irvine, Scotland

4th-5th June 2018

Cost per company
Per delegate:
€250 / £225

Book here

How can we make sense of Industry 4.0 and its practical implications for manufacturing and service companies alike? Can we blend the power of digital technologies to automate repetitive and low-skilled tasks with an upskilled workforce highly engaged in innovation and improvement?

Hosted by Booth Welsh, a leading provider of integrated engineering services, the Lab brings experts in technology and workplace innovation together with practitioners from diverse companies to share experience in several European countries and to identify win-win pathways to Industry 4.0.

Invited experts include Steven Dhondt (TNO, The Netherlands); Signe Skov-Hansen, (Danish Technological Institute); Tuomo Alasoini (Tekes, Finland); Mattias Elg and Henrik Kock (HELIX, Sweden), and representatives from Germany.


Fresh Thinking in Workplace Mental Health

Institute for Employment Studies, Brighton UK

19th September 2018

Contact us for membership details or visit our website.

Hosted by the Institute for Employment Studies and bringing together experts and experiences from several employers across the UK and other European countries.

What are the lessons and how can we translate them into positive mental health in our workplaces?

The event is part of the Good Work and Mental Well-Being Lab, a small, closed network of companies, public sector and not-for-profit employers committed to exploring and developing future-focused workplaces that generate positive mental health and well-being for all through productive and engaging work.

New members are welcome.


Workplace Innovation Intensive

Institute for Employments Studies, Brighton UK

18th - 20th September 2018

Cost per company
First delegate:
€500 / £450
Second delegate
€300 / £270

Book here

Three days of workshops designed to provide you with practical tools and methods to stimulate and guide change in your organisation, including one-to-one and group mentoring. This à la carte programme combines expert-led masterclasses, forums and workplace visits.

Key themes include:

  • people-centred change;
  • employee-driven innovation and improvement;
  • employee voice;
  • flattening organisations;
  • how to stimulate innovation behaviours;
  • Industry 4.0;
  • corporate social responsibility;
  • mental health at work.

Any questions?

Contact us at

What they say about us

What we’ve seen today is that the Fresh Thinking Labs concept has helped us get a pretty good picture of what we’re actually trying to do. Sometimes we try to tackle stuff without knowing exactly what the problem is. So what I’ve found today is that the questioning from all the different organisations has given some clarity to our thinking. They ask ‘what exactly is your problem? We don’t understand it so what makes you think you understand it.’

This makes us really think about what we are doing, what we are trying to achieve and what our problem is.

Tom Francis, Saint Gobain

Today has been absolutely brilliant. Fresh Thinking Labs is about interaction and the whole concept of bringing businesses together to share their experiences in this way is ground-breaking and invaluable.

Herman Kok, Lindum Group

I think the Fresh Thinking Labs concept is incredibly important because if you only rely on your own company and the people in your own organisation, then you’re very limited as to how you are going to develop innovation and engagement.

Coming together with other companies helps you recognise that we have similar problems and challenges. In some case other companies have actually tackled a problem you’ve got, and come up with a solution that may have taken you months or even years to resolve. Getting together and sharing ideas has real value, real benefits.

Malcolm Bond, Rittal CSM

The power of events of this nature is that you are exposed to things you wouldn’t normally be exposed to. It reminds you that if you only act on what you already know, you’ll never change. The concept of Fresh Thinking Labs exposes you to new ways of applying different thinking to the organisation and that’s the real power of it. I have learned a lot today – much more than I anticipated when I first arrived.

Jeremy Ling, Bristan Group

Fresh Thinking Labs provides an amazing opportunity for individuals to get together, share what they’re doing and have the chance to think outside of work. Taking that step back, reflecting and being able to bounce ideas off others is invaluable. There’s lots of things I’ve already taken away after just one session.

It’s easy to think that you’re the only one going through these challenges when actually a lot of us have similar things going on, similar ideas and we all want to progress. The opportunity to compare different perspectives and bounce ideas around is invaluable.

Mary Lester, Nottingham City Council

It’s good to see that other businesses have exactly the same challenges and to be able to collectively solve the problems that we’re facing. There’s a wealth of knowledge around that we can access and help each other out.

Tom Francis, Business Manager, Saint-Gobain

It’s really nice to have a group of organisations coming together to share things that have happened in our workplaces. Even if they’re different, there are commonalities that we can learn from.

Natalie Wilkie, Innovation Team, The Met Office

We’ve built a good community of people who share what they’ve got and know that they’re not alone in facing the challenges they have in their own companies.

Mark Wightman, Head of Development, Red Gate Software

While taking part in the lastest and most challenging Fresh Thinking Lab with GE Mining, I was asked what I got out of participating in the event, which was a great question and one that caused me to reflect on the whole event. For me it is all about Personal Development. By applying my Experience, Knowledge and Beliefs to a different organisation I must analyse and examine the issues from the point of first principle. In doing so we inevitably reflect on the application and effectiveness of those aspects within our own organisation. Testing what we believe we know to be true refines our understanding leading to continual improvement; every day is a learning day.

Warren Glover Head of Employee Wellbeing and Development, Lindum Group Ltd

We wanted a WOW factor and you’ve certainly delivered that!

Tony Williams, Executive Director of People, Orbit Group

From a personal point of view I found Peter and Rosemary very easy to work with and their knowledge of the workplace is exceptional. They were always there to help, guide and point us in the right direction.

Irene Emery, Customer Services Director, Pendragon Contracts

Our collaboration with Professor Totterdill and his colleagues proved to be inspired. Professor Totterdill filled the role of Masterclass facilitator with what seemed like effortless ease, thanks to a thorough grasp of the subject matter, a warm and engaging style of interacting with the audience, and a thoroughly professional approach to planning and preparation.

Lucy Fallon-Byrne, Director, National Centre for Partnership and Performance, Ireland

I highly recommend Peter and his team to anyone wanting to inspire and educate people about how to manage change well in organisations.

Sharon Darwent, Head of Employee Engagement, BT