User blogs

Join us for 24 hours of knowledge sharing and out-of-the-box thinking on: “How do you create workplace cultures that help attract and retain the best talent?”

When: Tuesday 9th May (12.00-18.00) & Wednesday 10th May (8.30 - 14.00), 2017

Where: GE UK HQ, The Ark , London, UK

Registration: here.

Join Fresh Thinking Labs in London for an afternoon and morning of learning and knowledge-sharing about changing culture at GE Mining.

GE Mining is on a journey to build purposeful, high performing teams dedicated to winning together. That involves trust, moving away from performance rankings towards mutual accountability and a commitment to delivering for each other. For example, GE’s Performance Development tool leverages horizontal feedback, helping people to understand their impact on others.

GE Mining’s aspiration is for a culture that will help its adaptation to a changing workforce while accelerating processes of change and technology adoption throughout the company. ‘Delivering for each other’ also involves shared intelligence, developing a ‘living knowledge base’ that survives employee turnover.

Yet what does this mean in practice? And how far has GE come on its journey?

This event will provide participants with the unique opportunity to

  • learn about GE's leading-edge thinking and innovative practices;
  • build cumulative insights, by discussing the issues with a cross-section of staff at GE's London HQ and, via video link, with GE mining teams across the world;
  • be a 'critical friend' to GE Mining's senior team during constructive feedback sessions;
  • share knowledge and experience with a diverse group of Fresh Thinking Labs members from other companies - including over a vibrant networking dinner!

Who can participate?

This event is open to companies and organisations of all sizes and sectors. We invite you to get in touch if you are interested in workplace innovation and in sharing your experiences and insights with GE, and other external participants, as 'critical friends'. Please note that we are unable to offer places to consultants.

    How can I register?

    Participation in this event is available on a one-off cost basis, or as part of Fresh Thinking Labs annual membership, which offers access to a further programme of Open Events of this kind across Europe.

    Please book your place here or contact Naomi Imms, Fresh Thinking Labs Coordinator by email at info@freshthinkinglabs.com or by telephone on 0115 933 832 to discuss flexible rates for your organisation and to reserve your place.

    Proekspert’s Journey to Success: winners of the European Excellence Awards HR 2017 in the category Work 4.0 - work of the future!

    Time and Date: 11.00-17.30 on Tuesday 19th, and 9.00 – 15.00 on Wednesday 20th September 2017
    Place: Proekspert, Sõpruse puiestee 157, 13417 Tallinn, Estonia
    Booking info: here.


    Join Fresh Thinking Labs in Tallinn for an afternoon and morning of learning and knowledge-sharing about organisational design at Proekspert.

    Proekspert is a unique organisation, which has made the transformation from being a ‘typical software company’ to a service, design and product development company, at the same time as becoming ‘bossless’ – in other words, manager-free!

    Over Tuesday 19th and Wednesday 20th September 2017, the team at Proekspert will share the story of their organisational transformation during interactive learning and facilitated reflective sessions. As a participant, you will have the opportunity to:

    • learn about Proekspert’s uniquely employee-centric organisation and culture, and how it was shaped;
    • help staff at Proekspert to identify and reflect on the opportunities and challenges that their organisational transformation has presented;
    • share your own organisation’s experiences, achievements and challenges in this area with other participants;
    • identify new techniques to encourage employee-driven innovation back in your own organisation.

    The Host Company

    Proekspert, in its own words, ‘creates software for companies that shape the modern world’. The company prides itself on mixing insight-led technology with cutting-edge design and usability to deliver solutions across industries. Their apps are used for a diverse range of functions and clients – ranging from mobile-controlled adjustable luxury beds to real-time stock market interactions, remote payment for parking spaces to banking updates and air conditioning controls.

    The company’s innovative approach to delivering client-centred technological solutions is mirrored in its approach to organisational design and employee experience. At the end of 2013 Proekspert decided to ‘go flat’ by returning managerial power to the grass-roots level; with communication and team effort taking over from middle management. It has also cultivated a unique, holistic HR philsophy, which you can find out more about in this article, written by Tiina Saar-Velmaa, Workplace Happiness Advocate at Proekspert.

    Proekspert’s success in pioneering a relatively radical ‘bossless’, employee-centric organisational model has attracted a string of awards over the past three years including Excellent Employer award, the Best Design Implementer, plus Estonia’s Dream Employer of the Year award. The company has also just been shortlisted for "National Public Champion for Estonia" in European Business Awards in the 'The Award for Innovation' category.

    Find out more about what makes Proekspert special in the video below.



    Interested in booking? Please let us know: info@freshthinkinglabs.com



    Fresh Thinking Labs and Mindful Employer are delighted to launch the Good Work and Mental Well-Being Lab in association with E.ON, Macmillan Cancer Support and Emma Bridgewater.

    Good work supports mental well-being for everyone. Employers increasingly recognise the need to identify and support people with mental health problems but the wider task is to identify and address those workplace practices which build or undermine mental well-being. Excellent support for individual employees on its own doesn’t address the underlying factors in the workplace that either promote or undermine mental well-being. Employers need to do more to fulfil their duty of care.

    Experience and research evidence accumulated over several decades shows that jobs which enable employees to exercise discretion, to work in self-organised teams, to have opportunities for learning and development, to contribute their ideas for improvement and innovation, and to have their voices heard in decisions that affect their work make organisations more productive and their workforce healthier. People are more likely to go home satisfied, feeling that they have done a good job, and this can have a significant impact on mental well-being. These practices have come to be known as ‘workplace innovation’.

    The Lab is based on a small, closed network of companies and public sector employers committed to exploring and developing future-focused workplaces that generate positive mental health and well-being for all through healthy and engaging work.

    The Lab
    • Enables the sharing of good practice and ideas between workplaces.
    • Creates a forum for collaborative innovation and problem solving.
    • Bridges the gap between research and practice.
    • Draws on experience from our network of leading companies from across Europe.
    • Develops practical tools and resources for workplace change.

    FOUR GREAT REASONS TO JOIN
    • Quarterly meetings mainly hosted by member companies, each providing an opportunity to share achievements and current challenges.
    • Build active relationships with your peers in other member organisations.
    • Be part of an online community with access to a wider international network.
    • Expert guidance relating to evidence-based practice.

    Premium Members can join at no extra cost!

    Get in touch for more information or


    The Labs will be facilitated by:

    Professor Peter Totterdill, Director of Workplace Innovation Europe, an international organisation committed to sharing and developing good practice in the workplace. He has more than 25 years’ experience of helping create high performing workplaces with a high quality of working life through research and practical support for organisations. Peter is an expert advisor to the European Commission and to national and regional governments internationally.

    Richard Frost, Lead at Mindful Employer, an NHS initiative providing businesses and organisations across the UK with easier access to information and support for staff who experience stress, anxiety, depression or other mental health conditions.


    Joining the Good Work and Mental Well-Being Lab gives you automatic membership of Fresh Thinking Labs, the International Open Source Movement for Workplace Innovation. Membership provides you with access to a growing international community of enterprises including an online forum and personalised introductions to other members based on shared interests and experience:  www.freshthinkinglabs.com.

    or get in touch to discuss membership options.


    The Programme

    Opening Workshop Weds 21st - Thurs 22nd June Nottingham

    A highly interactive event combining insights and knowledge from leading experts with opportunities for participants to learn about each other and to share practical experience. Expert contributors include:

    Stavroula Leka, Professor of Work, Health & Policy and Director of the Centre for Organizational Health & Development at the University of Nottingham. She is a Chartered Psychologist and her main interests include the translation of occupational health and safety policy and knowledge into practice, psychosocial risk management and the promotion of mental health in the workplace. Stavroula is an expert advisor to the European Commission, the WHO, the ILO, the European Agency for Safety & Health at Work and the European Parliament.

    Steven Dhondt (Prof., PhD), has a doctoral degree in social sciences and is currently senior researcher at TNO and visiting professor at the University of Leuven (Belgium). He mainly does research in the field of work, technology and health, covering various topics such as quality of work, working conditions, technology and work, social innovation, health and well-being. One of his instruments is the WEBA assessment: this tool helps to evaluate the quality of jobs and gives practical directions to improve them. Together with Peter Totterdill, he created the Guide for Workplace Innovation: a practical guide to help build workplace innovation in your organisation. His ability to marry theory and practice is visible in his leadership of the European learning network on Workplace Innovation for the European Commission.

    Macmillan Cancer Support Tuesday October 10th London

    Macmillan Cancer Support 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 it achieves its goals: “We need to 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. Macmillan has developed a range of approaches to address wellbeing in the workplace, drawing on research into wellbeing and based on feedback obtained from the Wellbeing Audit. This has led to the development of a range of initiatives aimed at helping staff improve their wellbeing.”

    E.ON January 2018 Coventry or Nottingham
    E.ON is one of the UK's leading power and gas companies - generating electricity, and retailing power and gas. It is part of the E.ON group, one of the world's largest investor-owned power and gas companies employing around 9,000 people in the UK. E.ON split its operations in January 2016, and now focuses on renewables, energy networks and customer solutions.
    Emma Bridgewater April 2018 Stoke-on-Trent
    Emma Bridgewater is a well-known manufacturer of ceramic homeware, all of which is made in its factory in Stoke-on-Trent, the home of British pottery. Most of the production work is still done by hand, and all the pieces are individually hand-decorated. The company is committed to ensuring the health, well-being and engagement of its workforce, and is keen to share its experiences.
    What are the lessons? June 2018 TBD
    What have we learned from the Lab to date, and how can we translate our findings into practical ways of building better jobs and workplaces that activiely contribute to mental well-being?

    Get in touch to discuss membership details.

    With Novozymes, the Danish Technological Institute and Fresh Thinking Labs + special guests including IKEA, Hitachi, Copenhagen Institute for Future Studies, VELUX, ISS and Nosco


    **Book before 31st January to receive a 10% discount on the registration fee**

    Innovative organisations and businesses are increasingly creating value through collaboration; using new methodologies and technologies to draw on the collective intelligence and creativity not only of their employees, but also other organisations, and society more widely. Do you want to learn how to maximise and leverage the potential of collaboration for your own organisation, using the latest thinking and best practices from across Europe? Join us at this two-day event for an immersive, hands-on approach to collaborative workplace innovation, which will provide you with insight-based inspiration to take back to your own organisation.

    What’s on the programme?

    Be inspired by the creative and entrepreneurial atmosphere of Copenhagen as we immerse ourselves into an intensive 2-day program covering:

    •    Ideation Platforms: Online and In Person
    •    Corporate Social Innovation
    •    Design Thinking for workplaces of the future
    •    Incubators: strategic and operational perspectives
    •    Enterprise Social Networks
    •    Service innovation
    . . . and much more!

    This highly interactive and stimulating event will include hands-on learning sessions and workshops, expert perspectives, TED-style talks, panel debates, training in the use of collective innovation tools, and facilitated reflection sessions with peers. We will network, learn and practice how we can make our workplaces more collaborative and engaged to create innovations that excite our clients and customers.


    Who should join?

    This event is open to companies, organisations and practitioners with an interest in building workplaces that are innovative, collaborative and future-focused.

    Already a member of Fresh Thinking Labs? Get in touch with us to register for this event: info@freshthinkinglabs.com

    Why Copenhagen?

    Denmark’s capital, at the heart of the greater Øresund region, is known as an ‘innovation hotspot’, home to some of the world’s most innovative and creative companies with strengths in the biotech, information technology, design, and shipping industries.

    Denmark is also home to The Danish Technological Institute, a national hub for innovation development, entrepreneurship and technological skills, which will be our venue on Day 1. The DTI serves Danish society and customers as well as clients from around the globe.

    The city’s former Meatpacking District, which will be our venue on day 2, is today bustling with start-ups, incubators and innovation labs. Participants will have opportunities to explore this fascinating area of Copenhagen including over dinner and drinks on the evenings before the event, and after the first day.

    Find out more and sign up!

    When: 12.00, Wednesday 22nd February – 14.00 Thursday 23rd February, 2017
    Where: E.ON, Annesley near Nottingham and M1 Junction 27



    We know that diverse and inclusive organisations are not only great places to work, but that they also perform much better as businesses. Extensive research evidence shows that the ‘business benefits’ of diversity and inclusion include:

    •    Better communication with and understanding of customers and clients;
    •    The ability to connect with and reflect society, including the latest consumer and market trends;
    •    Access to a diversity of perspectives, enabling a more responsive, innovative and creative workforce;
    •    Improved organisational legitimacy, image and reputation;
    •    Attraction of a wider talent pool of staff, including improved capacity to fill skills gaps;
    •    Increased employee satisfaction, retention and productivity via a positive company culture.

    While diversity and inclusion clearly create real value for businesses, many organisations have yet to translate this huge potential into reality. How can organisations meaningfully embed diversity and inclusion into their workplace practices and culture, rather than treating it as a ‘tick box exercise’?

    The host

    E.ON is one of the UK's leading power and gas companies - generating electricity, and retailing power and gas. It is part of the E.ON group, one of the world's largest investor-owned power and gas companies employing around 9,000 people in the UK.

    "Our purpose is Improving People’s Lives; our vision is to be our customers' trusted energy partner. And our values include, amongst others, ensuring that we put the customer first and act responsibly with an open mind."

    The Programme

    This Open Event will address the gap between research and practice around Diversity, Inclusion and Culture from an in-company perspective, by allowing participants to:

    •    Explore E.ON’s special take on Diversity and Inclusion including the company’s achievements and current opportunities in this area;
    •    Identify cross-cutting "problem statements" to explore with the collective insight of E.ON’s senior team and participants from other companies and organisations acting as “critical friends”;
    •    Share issues and challenges identified by participants during facilitated interactive sessions;
    •    Arrive at new and innovative ways to promote diversity and inclusion to take back to your own organisation.

    What E.ON says about the event...

    ‘E.ON has been passionate about Diversity and Inclusion for many years and has won several awards for some of our initiatives, particularly around our recruitment practices. As we think about how to progress further, we know that Diversity and Inclusion will be central to the way that our culture develops. The evidence describes the business performance uplift that Diversity and Inclusion can bring, as well as it just being “the right thing to do”.

    Yet how do you embed it into the DNA of the organisation? How do you turn the principles of Diversity and Inclusion into heartfelt action, especially in times of business challenge?
     
    During this interactive event we’ll be looking for your insights and creative thinking around Diversity and Inclusion, and will be posing some specific challenges for consideration and debate.'

    Our facilitators

    Claire Jamieson, Diversity Manager
    and Jo Horton, Corporate Responsibility Manager at E.ON,  are focused on integrating and embedding Diversity and Inclusion and how this integrates with culture across the organisation; seeing this work as a journey which takes patience and determination. Both are particularly focused on communication, education, evaluation and embedding in the organisational context.

    Professor Peter Totterdill is a Founding Director of Workplace Innovation, Visiting Professor at Kingston University London and Mykolas Romeris University Lithuania, and a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Bath. A passionate advocate of organisational practices that combine high performance and high quality of working life, Peter’s career as a researcher, policy advisor and consultant has focused on building bridges between academic knowledge and practice.

    Rosemary Exton,
    is also a Founding Director of Workplace Innovation. She builds on thirty-five years’ experience as a clinician, manager and trade unionist as well as on our international portfolio of projects involving a diverse range of companies. Rosemary has provided programme management, leadership and development training, and expert support to several organisations in the private and public sectors alike.

    How to join

    This event is open to Fresh Thinking Labs Members as part of a 12-month programme of knowledge-sharing and networking Open Events included in Membership. Company Standard Membership is £750 / €900 for 12 months; further flexible pricing options are available to suit your Company’s needs.

    Find out more about Fresh Thinking Labs by watching our short animation and click the 'Sign Up' button below to start the registration process.



    Are you interested in a day rate for this event? Find out more by getting in touch with us at info@freshthinkinglabs.com


    Participants from a diverse group of 12 Basque, Belgian and UK organisations (Bristan, Convestro, CSV Diversiteit, Clarcor, Ederfil Becker, E.ON, GE Mining, Lindum, Nottingham City Council, Trinity Laban, Rittal CSM) were welcomed to Saint-Gobain’s Bristol FabLab over two days in October, 2016 for the launch Fresh Thinking Labs Open Event.

    Saint-Gobain was founded in 1665 and employs 200,000 people worldwide. The Bristol ‘Performance Plastics’ plant, which manufactures bearings for the automotive industry and other sectors, has created a powerful approach to employee-driven innovation and self-managed teams – with many striking achievements and challenges to share.



    The Open Event

     
    After an icebreaker lunch, Saint-Gobain’s Business Manager Tom Francis provided participants with ‘the big picture’ including a whistle-stop tour of the past five years from the management team’s perspective. Much of the journey, including experiments with dedicated teams for innovation, customer journeying, 'value stream mapping', cross-functional working, and agile methodologies, has been about moving from a pyramidal hierarchy to a more circular organisation where decision making power is given to those with the most amount of knowledge in that field.


    Saint-Gobain's global network of FabLabs are dedicated workshop spaces equipped with high-tech machinery including 3d printers, allowing employees from any division to “put their ideas into form”; and for the Bristol plant exemplifies just one way in which employees are being encouraged to move move away from the hierarchical psychology of obeying and seeking permission, to using initiative, creativity and passion, and being empowered to make decisions.

    Setting the wider context, Fresh Thinking Labs’ Peter Totterdill explored working practices that enable employees at every level to use and develop their full range of knowledge, experience and creativity in day-to-day work, while Professor John Bessant (University of Exeter) explained how the ‘flat, networked’ style of 21st century innovation is not only becoming increasingly important but also increasingly possible thanks to the internet and online platforms like Fresh Thinking Labs.

    The visitors joined three internal teams in reflecting on Saint-Gobain's achievements and challenges – or, as Gabriella Eberhardt of GE Mining put it, things to ‘continue or consider’. After exploring challenges from the Saint-Gobain perspective, the three groups pooled their ‘big questions’ for exploration during Open Forums on the following day.

    By lunchtime on Day 2 participants had examined ways of overcoming internal power struggles, engaging the whole workforce in innovation and improvement, and managing career progression in a flatter structure, each taking away actionable insights both from Saint-Gobain and from the other visiting companies. A full report of outcomes is available to participants.



    Participant feedback from the Saint-Gobain Open Event

    "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.  This makes us really think about what we are doing, what we are trying to achieve."

    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. 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 two days were great in bringing different people from different backgrounds and different industries together. I’m a great believer in learning from each other, and the most powerful thing is when you have a problem statement, which is not even from your context – but your brain starts working, and you have some inspiration which you can take in analogy to think ‘how can I apply this to the issues, questions or challenges in our own organisation?’ It is not only ‘fresh thinking’ but refreshing!”

     

    Gabriella Eberhardt, GE Transportation – Mining

     

    "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."

    Mary Lester, Nottingham City Council


    Want to be part of our next Open Event? Join Fresh Thinking Labs to access the 2017 Open Event Programme.

     

    Fresh Thinking Lab members enjoy access to a unique range of opportunities for sharing knowledge and experience, building professional relationships with like-minded people and collaborating with them on issues of common interest.

    The following Open Events are available to all Fresh Thinking Labs members.

    2017 Open Events
    Description
    February 22nd-23rd February, Nottingham
    E.ON: Diversity, Inclusion and Culture

    EON is one of the UK's leading power and gas companies - generating electricity, and retailing power and gas. The company has been passionate about Diversity and Inclusion for many years and has won several awards for its initiatives in this area. During this event E.ON will examine the question: “how do you embed Diversity and Inclusion in the very DNA of an organisation – and reap the resulting benefits in terms of enhanced engagement and business performance?”
    March 8th-9th March, Copenhagen
    Two day event: Collaborative Workplaces of the Future with the Danish Technological Institute & Novozymes
    Denmark’s capital has become an innovation hotspot and host to some of the world’s most innovative and creative companies. Inspired by exciting companies and leading experts we will immerse ourselves in an intensive two-day programme featuring speakers from IKEA, Hitachi, Copenhagen Institute for Future Studies, ISS, VELUX and more. We will network and learn how to make our workplaces more collaborative and engaged in creating innovations that excite our customers, including interactive learning sessions and hands-on workshops.
    May 9th-10th May, London
    GE Mining: Transforming culture
    Changing culture in one of the world’s largest multinationals is an exciting and ambitious prospect. Share GE’s experiences – and challenges – in his highly interactive event hosted at its London HQ.
    June 14th-15th June, San Sebastian
    Ederfil Becker: Self-Managed
    Teamworking in a Flat
    Organisation
    .
    Ederfil Becker is a striking example of innovative management. This manufacturer of electrically conductive materials ascribes its remarkable competitive advantage to self-organised teams in which communication, transparency and employee voice set the lines of action of its daily operations.
    June 21st-22nd June, Nottingham
    The Good Work, Mental Health and Well-being Lab: Opening Workshop
    Fresh Thinking Labs and Mindful Employer are delighted to launch the Good Work and Mental Well-Being Lab in association with E.ON, Macmillan Cancer Support and Emma Bridgewater. A highly interactive event combining insights and knowledge from leading experts with opportunities for participants to learn about each other and to share practical experience.
    September
    19th – 20th September, Tallinn
    Organisation Design at Proekspert
    In 2014 Estonian software development company Proekspert announced that it had become a manager-free, flat organisation… and won first place at the ‘Employer of Your Dreams’ 2014 competition in the business sector category. Staff are invited to “organise your own work, choose your own tools, and communicate directly with your clients”. So how do you embed – and sustain – such a change?

    NB: timing and content of events may be subject to change.

    How do I sign up?

    Become a member of Fresh Thinking Labs to gain access to these Open Events. The registration form invites you to indicate which of these events you are interested in signing up to, so that we can allocate your place as soon as possible.

    Please note that Company Standard Membership of Fresh Thinking Labs includes one place at each Open Event; Company Plus Membership enhances these benefits by offering up to three places, while Company Premier Membership includes up to five places.

    In Person Labs in 2017

    Fresh Thinking Labs members also enjoy unique opportunities to form In Person Labs, which are closed groups of circa 15 companies focused on a specific theme or geographical location. These groups meet three or four times a year, typically in members’ workplaces, enabling the host to showcase good practices and gain support from other participants as ‘critical friends’. Fresh Thinking Labs Members join In Person Labs either at a reduced subscription fee or free of charge, depending on their category of membership.

    Find out more about In Person Labs running in 2017.

    Any questions?

    Contact us: info@freshthinkinglabs.com

    Register Now for our latest news and updates or for Fresh Thinking Labs.



    The Good Work and Mental Well-Being Lab


    Good work supports mental well-being for everyone. Employers increasingly recognise the need to identify and support people with mental health problems but the wider task is to identify and address those workplace practices which build or undermine mental well-being. Excellent support for individual employees on its own doesn’t address the underlying factors in the workplace that either promote or undermine mental well-being. Employers need to do more to fulfil their duty of care.


    Experience and research evidence accumulated over several decades shows that jobs which enable employees to exercise discretion, to work in self-organised teams, to have opportunities for learning and development, to contribute their ideas for improvement and innovation, and to have their voices heard in decisions that affect their work make organisations more productive and their workforce healthier. People are more likely to go home satisfied, feeling that they have done a good job, and this can have a significant impact on mental well-being. These practices have come to be known as ‘workplace innovation’.


    The Lab is based on a small, closed network of companies and public sector employers committed to exploring and developing future-focused workplaces that generate positive mental health and well-being for all through healthy and engaging work.


    More details here



    The Employee-Driven Innovation Lab


    Fresh Thinking Labs is delighted to launch the Employee-Driven Innovation Lab in association with four leading companies willing to share good practices and to explore the challenges involved in engaging employees at all levels in innovation and improvement.


    Innovation is popularly associated with R&D, ICT investment and high-profile entrepreneurs. However this association can be misleading. Much of the innovation in products, services and processes that leads to enhanced business competitiveness and performance is generated by interaction, dialogue and exploration within the workplace. Unsurprisingly this is more common in workplaces where employees have greater control over their own work coupled with discretionary opportunities for learning and problem solving.


    Systematic opportunities for shared learning and reflection are well embedded in these workplaces. It means the ability of employees at every level to reflect on what has gone well and what can be improved in the future, to share knowledge and skills gained in the course of recent work experience, and to anticipate and reflect on the impacts of future challenges and change. Sometimes it involves imaginative opportunities to ‘think out of the box’ by bringing people together across different departments and divisions to share knowledge and experience and to think creatively together.


    The Lab is based on a small, closed network of companies and public sector employers committed to exploring and developing future-focused workplaces that generate positive mental health and well-being for all through healthy and engaging work.


    More details here


    The Employee Representation and Direct Participation Lab


    Fresh Thinking Labs, the Involvement & Participation Association and LO Denmark are delighted to launch the The Employee Representation and Direct Participation In Person Lab in association with four leading companies willing to share good practices and to explore the challenges involved in bridging the gap between representative participation and direct participation in the workplace.


    Partnership between management, employees and trade unions can take many forms, but always requires openness, transparency and two-way communication. At the very least it can be an effective tool for positive industrial relations, minimising conflict and resistance to change.


    Yet partnership also needs to transcend the industrial relations sphere. An important body of research has begun to show that representative partnership structures on their own may have little direct impact on performance or quality of working life. Rather they can exert a positive influence on the development of activities and practices that may do so. In short, they can become the animator and guardian of employee empowerment and engagement.


    The Lab is based on a small, closed network of companies and public sector employers committed to exploring and developing workplaces that generate win-win outcomes for businesses and employees alike.


    More details here
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