We began in 1997 because there were too few spaces where enterprises, employers’ organisations, trade unions, policymakers, professional bodies and researchers could come together, both to explore the future of work and organisations and to address the persistent “long tail” of those not making use of workplace practices that engage and develop the full talent and creativity of employees at all levels.

Since our foundation we have created a series of joint initiatives and projects involving diverse stakeholders, held regular pro bono events to share evidence and good practice, and has been a persistent advocate for national government and EU policies to promote better ways of working.

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Research and Evidence


Two things are clear.

Firstly there is a vast and growing body of evidence to show that workplace innovation practices which empower employees to make day-to-day-decisions, challenge established practices, contribute ideas and be heard at the most senior levels of an organisation lead to better business results as well as enhanced workforce health and engagement.

Secondly it is equally clear that most businesses are either unaware of this evidence, or that they are unable or unwilling to act on it. Successive surveys demonstrate a substantial gap between research evidence of “what works” and common workplace practice.

We work with diverse stakeholders to:

  • Undertake high quality research into leading practice and emerging challenges relating to work and organisations. Current and Past Projects
  • Build bridges between research and practice through publications, events and the creation of the EUWIN Knowledge Bank as the leading European source of case studies, articles and other learning resources on workplace innovation.

We have also established Workplace Innovation Limited as a consultancy arm to help companies and public sector organisations create new and better ways of working which build on a vast body of research.

Explore the site to learn more about our surprising range of activities.

 Contact Us

Workplace Innovation helps improve performance and working lives by releasing the full range of talent, knowledge and creativity from employees at every level.

Organisational Health Check

A springboard to innovation

Our Health Checks are not about us telling you what is wrong or right with your organisation. They are about your people telling us what is wrong or right, what can be done better, what works really well and what doesn’t.

An Organisational Health Check acts as a springboard with the potential to release innovative behaviour, improve performance, enhance employee well-being and stimulate growth.

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We know the importance of listening to employees at every level in order to understand what is working and what needs to be improved.

Our reports based on employees’ own accounts of experiences at work provide boards and senior management teams with a powerful stimulus for change, and help to define priorities for action.

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Facilitating Change and Innovation

Breaking down walls and ceilings

Workplace Innovation is at the heart of performance, growth and employee well-being. Many see it but don’t know how to implement it.

We help organizations review improvement and innovation practices by breaking down walls and ceilings and creating dialogue across hierarchies and functions so that the better argument always wins.

Workplace Innovation’s facilitators work closely with leaders, managers and employees at every level, understanding their aspirations and strengths as well as what holds them back. We seek solutions co-created by all of the main stakeholders in an issue to ensure buy-in and to minimise resistance to change.

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Working with Boards and Senior Teams

Horizon-scanning, thought leadership and rehearsing the future

What will your business look like in 2024 and what will your role be in leading it?

Seeing the world in a different way should be on the job description of Directors. Change is happening and it can’t be controlled but it can be anticipated.

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Developing Emerging Leaders

From transactional to transformational

The demands of leadership are changing. At a time of significant challenge and opportunity, leaders and managers must drive improvement and innovation while motivation and energising employees. Emerging leaders must migrate from purely transactional management to proactive, transformational behaviour while current leaders must address the question of succession.

But where are the next leaders coming from and what skills and competences will they actually need?

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Interactive Theatre

Using drama to provoke thought and motivate change

Interactive theatre in the workplace is a real eye-opener. It helps to unlock employee engagement and creativity, one of the key challenges in securing successful organisational change, improving performance and enhancing working life – but it does it very differently.

You’ll see your organisations in a completely different and thought-provoking light.

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Presentations, Facilitation and Masterclasses

Stimulating, informing and resourcing innovation and change

Expert facilitation, engaging presentations, creative thinking and interactive theatre are just some of the ways we enhance and enliven conferences, time-out sessions, in-house training and team development workshops.

We can also deliver masterclasses and provide internationally recognised expert speakers covering all aspects of people centres change, employee engagement, high involvement innovation and leadership development.

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Transformational Coaching

Achieving a new culture

We know how to coach – we do it for a living. However, we are also on a mission to help managers and leaders become inspired coaches in their own right and to introduce a coaching culture to their organisations that will achieve sustainable benefits.

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Networking and Knowledge Sharing

Remember, you are not alone

Networking, knowledge sharing, the pooling of ideas and intellectual capital are the dynamics that underpin a sustainable movement of workplace innovation and provide all organisations looking to change and to challenge the future with access to the choices open to them and the experiences of others.

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Flexible ILM Leadership & Coaching Courses 

In-house and Distance Learning

Flexibility in learning is becoming increasingly important in employee development. We are experiencing a significant increase in clients needing a more flexible approach to the delivery of our ILM programmes.

Releasing staff to attend off-site public courses can cause problems for organisations, despite the obvious benefits of individuals from different backgrounds and industries sharing their experiences as they learn together. It is not always convenient for managers to block out days in their diary to attend sessions off-site, on dates that tend to be inflexible.

We recognise this and in addition to our public courses we are able to offer a range of flexible options to make it easier for organisations and individuals to access our ILM Leadership, Management and Coaching programme.

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The Employee-Driven Innovation Lab

Fresh Thinking Labs and the Danish Technological Institute are delighted to launch the Employee-Driven Innovation Lab in association with Leo Pharma, SAAB Aerospace, MBDA and other leading companies keen to share their experiences of engaging employees at all levels in innovation and improvement.

The Employee-Driven Innovation Lab is a closed network of companies committed to exploring leading edge practice and identifying practical, evidence-based solutions. Here is our exciting programme for 2017-18:


An evening introduction and orientation to the programme. The focus will be on creating and using spaces in which employees can think differently and generate new ideas for products, services and processes.
13th – 14th
March 2018
Employee-Driven Innovation Workshop hosted jointly by the HELIX Institute at the University of Linköping and the nearby SAAB Aerospace plant. This two-day event will bring together some very innovative companies and leading Scandinavian researchers to explore theory and practice relating to employee-driven innovation. Linköping is easily accessible by train from Stockholm’s Arlanda Airport.
16th - 17th
May 2018

Building Innovation Competence – a ‘critical friend’ visit hosted by MBDA in Stevenage, near London. MBDA is an advanced manufacturing company that has made long-term investments in the development of innovation competencies and creativity amongst a wide cross-section of its workforce.
Fresh Thinking in Innovation – hosted by the Danish Technological Institute in Copenhagen, and bringing together experiences from several companies from Denmark and other European countries.

Joining the Employee-Driven Innovation 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, access to unique learning resources, events and personalised introductions to other members based on shared interests and experience.

You can join using the form below or request further information.

The Lab

Enables the sharing of good practice and ideas between workplaces.

Builds active relationships with your peers in other organisations.

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.

Provides access to expert guidance.

Key points of a typical Lab visit to a member’s workplace:
  • Informal dinner with expert speaker and dinner on the previous evening.
  • Visits take place between 09.00 and 16.00 with coffee and informal networking on arrival.
  • An initial orientation session by Fresh Thinking Lab experts and the host – focussing specifically on issues relating to employee engagement in improvement and innovation.
  • Themed discussions, sometimes led by external practitioners or experts.
  • Visitors will be able to talk informally to as many different employees and managers as possible.
  • During the afternoon the visitors will prepare their feedback, including ppt.
  • Visitors will offer ‘critical friend’ feedback to an appropriate panel of staff from the host organisation.
  • Delegates will receive a full Case Report after each event.

The Labs will be facilitated by:

Dr Peter Totterdill, a Director of Workplace Innovation Europe CLG. Peter is an international expert, consultant, policy advisor and passionate advocate for workplace innovation. He is also Visiting Professor at universities in the UK and Lithuania.

Signe Skov-Hansen, Senior Consultant at the Danish Technological Institute. She works internationally to support the digital transformation of companies and organisations through the use of open innovation forms, including employee-driven innovation, digitally supported stakeholder management, crowdsourcing, social and community-based innovation.

We hope you will be part of it! You can join using the form below or request further information via [email protected]

About Employee-Driven Innovation

How do you create an inclusive culture of innovation?

Leading thinking and practice no longer sees innovation as the principal prerogative of entrepreneurs or people in white coats; rather it is becoming part of the day-to-day work of employees at all levels of the company. Competitive companies need all their people to come to work to do two things: to accomplish their functional tasks in the best possible way and to improve the business. For such companies, “improving the business” can mean anything from empowering frontline workers to instigate incremental improvements in productivity or quality, to involving a whole diagonal slice of employees in groundbreaking innovation by bringing together the conceptual and strategic knowledge of technicians and managers with the tacit knowledge and practical experience of those in assembly teams or frontline staff.

Systematic opportunities for shared learning and reflection are well embedded in these workplaces. This is reflected in times and spaces where people at work can discuss ideas with co-workers or in team meetings. It can be as simple as establishing regular forums that enable people at all levels of an organisation to leave job titles and hierarchies behind, and to explore new ideas through open and free-thinking discussion.

A growing number of organisations provide employees with regular opportunities to join cross-functional improvement teams to identify and drive forward product or process changes that would otherwise be lost under the pressure of day-to-day workloads. Time-out sessions, ‘down-tools weeks’ and hackathons, bringing people together who otherwise wouldn’t meet, can become fountains of constructive dialogue, creativity and innovation.

For an increasing number of organisations it means creating dedicated innovation labs that bring diverse combinations of people together, thinking in different ways, sharing technical knowledge and insights, creating new products or services and reinventing work processes.

In this programme we will explore how a culture of innovation also 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. Workplace practices throughout the organisation must be aligned with high involvement innovation as a corporate value: designing jobs in ways that empower and enable people to think critically, to experiment and to learn; building teams that act as fountains of innovation; redefining metrics and incentives in ways that encourage collaboration and innovation; challenging organisational ‘walls and ceilings’, creating regular spaces and opportunities for creativity, ‘fast failure’ and employee-driven innovation; and establishing patterns of shared and distributed leadership that allow everyone’s creativity and innovative potential to flourish. Finally we will focus on practical approaches to enabling culture change, including tools and resources to support action planning and implementation.

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