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Learning from other businesses and productivity ideas from your people is the future of good and productive work! Invest in your people's (including managers) development and empower them to bring ideas forward. The workers have the answers and together with dynamic managers will improve productivity .... key messages from the panel led by Peter Totterdill at the The Work Foundation Centenary Celebration.

Also in the panel were:
Richard Carter - Managing Director of BASF UK&Ireland 
Rannia Leontaridi - Director of Business Growth, BEIS
Tony Tanker - CEO, Be the Business
Paul Nowak - Deputy General Secretary, TUC.


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Interested to learn more? Fresh Thinking Labs is the international platform for company networking and workplace innovation, On Line  and In Person: www.freshthinkinglabs.com

Please contact us for further information!

A fasttrack to leadership development for change leaders

We’ve had some brilliant feedback from our Leadership for High Performance workshop in Exeter and can’t wait for the repeat sessions in Glasgow and Bristol during June. Why not join us?

These workshops respond to the needs of such a diverse range of participants, coming from organisations of very different types yet learning together from evidence and experience, sharing ideas and providing mutual support. They’re also a great way of kickstarting our ILM Level 5 Certificate in Leadership & Management programme.

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Workplace innovation is strongly grounded in evidence – and needs to stay that way


In 2001, the European Commission asked Peter Totterdill and his colleagues to produce a study that would analyse evidence both from existing research and from a broad sample of one hundred highly innovative companies in six European countries. The aim of this study, known as Hi-Res¹ was to create a practical approach designed to help companies and their employees achieve win-win outcomes in terms of business performance and quality of working lives.

The concept we developed was ‘workplace innovation’. It describes workplace practices and cultures which enable employees at all levels to use their knowledge, competences and creativity to the full.

Above all, workplace innovation describes a series of interlocking workplace practices that are solidly grounded in evidence.

It starts with the practical problems, challenges and opportunities facing an organisation. Fuelled by open dialogue, experimentation and shared learning, it gradually transforms an organisation by empowering employees at all levels to lead improvement and innovation throughout the business.

In short, it is not the latest management fad or quick fix.

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Latest workshops provide a fasttrack to leadership development

Described by one participant as “a fantastic opportunity to reflect on the current landscape of your organisation and develop ideas to drive innovation”, our recent Exeter workshop created such a great buzz that we’ve decided to repeat it – this time in Glasgow and Bristol. The Exeter event attracted companies as varied as including Johnson & Johnson, Delt Services, MBDA, Futures Housing Group, M-EC and Lightfoot, and we’re expecting even greater diversity at our next events.

Several participants in the Exeter workshop used the event to kickstart their journey towards an ILM Level 5 Certificate in Leadership & Management combined with accreditation as Workplace Innovation Practitioners.

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Recently we enjoyed some delightful and stimulating 'walk and talk' sessions with Edwin Van Vlieberghe, until recently a Global Vice-President at Bombardier Transportation. Standing in the middle of Grimspound, a spectacular Bronze Age settlement on Dartmoor, Edwin pointed out that the unique effectiveness of #workplaceinnovation as a means of enhancing business performance and working lives lies in its insistence on leaders changing themselves as well as their organisations.

He went on to share some inspiring experiences from his working life in the rail and automotive industries - and we look forward to hearing more from Edwin when we facilitate Scottish Enterprise's Workplace Innovation Masterclass in Edinburgh on 21st May. We're also excited about our plans for collaboration with Edwin in the future!

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Former Met Office consultant joins Exeter leadership workshop

A diverse group of businesses and not-for-profit organisations from around the UK are gathering in Exeter next month to participate in an innovative leadership workshop programme aimed at providing leaders with the knowledge, skills and confidence that enable them to build high performing organisations by fully engaging their people.

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Inspiring business leaders are not hard to find, but survey evidence and experience suggest that they are not yet the norm.

Supporting business leaders to build the capability and competence required to survive and thrive in an increasingly volatile global economy starts with a clear and consistent view of leadership and leadership development, one that is informed by evidence and practical experience alike:

Empowering others

Earlier theories emphasised ‘transformational’, ‘charismatic’, ‘visionary’ and ‘inspirational’ leadership. Yet organisations seeking to engage the full range of workforce talent and to encourage entrepreneurial behaviours are abandoning such approaches in favour of shared and distributed (or ‘Co-Created’) leadership. This empowers everyone with the opportunity to lead in areas which reflect their own expertise or initiative, whether strategic, innovative or operational, while understanding and aligning their actions with those of others.

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Our experience of promoting fairer, more productive work dates back as far as the early 1990s. Together with our Dutch partners, we were the co-creators of the workplace innovation concept - which has now taken root in European Commission policy and in the economic strategies of several countries, including Scotland.

Workplace innovation sees organisations as systems of interdependent parts which need to be considered as a whole, leading to simultaneous benefits for businesses and their employees, and is evidence-based.

It includes:

  • good job design,
  • self-managed teamworking,
  • human-centred technologies,
  • employee-driven improvement and innovation,
  • flatter organisational structures,
  • coaching styles of management,
  • trust-based systems and procedures,
  • employee voice in decision-making,
  • shared & distributed (‘co-created’) leadership.
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Your fast track to leadership development and organisational change

Exeter: 9thApril (16.00) to 10th April 2019 (16.00)

An Immersive Workshop, full of fresh thinking and interaction
Followed by e-learning and online coaching
Leading to your ILM Level 5 Certificate in Leadership & Management


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Scottish Enterprise has announced the continuation of its nation-wide programme of workplace innovation Masterclasses confirming Scotland’s status as one of the most pro-active European countries promoting long-term sustainable economic growth through the development of inclusive and creative workplaces.

The contract to conduct the next 12 Masterclasses over a three year programme has been awarded to Workplace Innovation Europe Limited (WIE), a not-for-profit organisation which successfully delivered Scottish Enterprise’s Workplace Innovation Engagement Programme (WIEP) where 19 business were engaged in a ground-breaking combination of individual learning and development, peer-to-peer exchange of knowledge and experience, and on-site coaching and facilitation.

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