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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Workplace Innovation Engagement Programme (WIEP)

A Scottish Enterprise initiative delivered by Workplace Innovation Limited

As part of its commitment to enhancing economic competitiveness and growth, Scottish Enterprise, the country’s main economic development agency, appointed Workplace Innovation Limited to deliver an innovative but practical Workplace Innovation Engagement Programme (WIEP) to participating businesses.

The programme’s objective was to help businesses across a wide spectrum of sectors identify and critically assess existing workplace practices through a specialist diagnostic tool, and to support them in uncovering new ways of working to make the best use of talent across the entire workforce. It was important to deliver an approach that was relevant and practical for all types of organisation, all types of employer and all types of employee.

The Diagnostic Tool

The programme commenced with each of the 10 participating businesses using the on-line Workplace Diagnostic to assess a broad spectrum of workplace practices against evidence-based criteria. The Fifth Element, a concept developed by Workplace Innovation Limited for the European Commission, explains the benefits of workplace innovation to companies and provides practical guidance on making change happen. Employees and managers were asked to identify their experiences of four types of workplace practice:

  • Jobs and Teams
  • Structures, Management and Procedures
  • Employee-Driven Improvement and Innovation
  • Co-Created Leadership and Employee Voice.

Action Plans

Each participating business then received a detailed feedback report, and each was supported to develop an Action Plan based on the Diagnostic survey findings. Typical Plans included:

  • flattening the existing hierarchy and pushing decision making to the lowest appropriate level
  • defining and living organisational values and behaviours
  • implementing self-directed team working
  • creating empowered, cross-functional teams based on workflow rather than silos
  • establishing innovation forums and continuous improvement groups
  • rethinking traditional leadership and management roles, responsibilities and accountabilities
  • enhancing skills development and utilisation, training and coaching plans.


Throughout the programme, participants received continuous support from the Workplace Innovation team and Scottish Enterprise Specialists. Interactive workshops, facilitation, coaching and site visits helped with problem-solving and turning new ideas into practical action.

The development and implementation of practical Action Plans was also facilitated through regular peer review by ‘critical friends’ in Action Learning Sets, enabling participants to discuss their organisation’s challenges and how they were planning to meet them.

Participating companies also gained automatic membership of Fresh Thinking Labs, the international platform for knowledge-sharing between companies, offering an abundance of online resources and opportunities for in person contact with good practice companies across the UK and beyond.

It was clear that everyone benefited from learning about others’ ideas and experiences, from sharing the business benefits of good workplace practices and hearing about ‘what works and what doesn’t’.

WIEP participants can also opt to gain a recognised qualification, accredited by the Institute for Leadership and Management, based on their action plans.


“Our participation has been essential in meeting our need to adapt to changing circumstances, primarily because we were a very inward-looking company and it’s only when you come to this kind of programme where you realise that there are other companies with similar challenges”
LS Starret Company, Jedburgh

“This WIEP programme has already benefitted us hugely. It’s been great to hear of examples of best practice. It has enabled us to think outside the box, learn about the challenges of others and take some of their experiences back to our workplace”
Aviva, Perth

“Rosemary and Peter from Workplace Innovation have taken participants on a learning journey. The programme has been excellent for learning from other organisations. Building key networks and relationships has been invaluable. The content of the programme has been geared to ensure all organisations gain something. We are introducing a new business model and this programme has certainly helped guide and support us as we commence our three years Strategic Plan to bring transformational change to the care sector”

Liberty Steel

As a market-leading steel plate mill, Liberty Steel Dalzell has an established history of engineering outstanding heavy steel plate. Through their action plan, Willie and Peter recognised the need for openness, transparency, team working, visible and supportive leadership, and, above all, engaging the workforce. They designed an ambitious framework of regular meetings and forums involving all levels of the workforce.

Problems with the cutting machine brought the benefits of workplace innovation into focus. Everyone was looking to senior management to find a solution but none was forthcoming until a problem-solving forum was set up, bringing together frontline employees and younger engineers. Re-examining the evidence using problem solving tools and whiteboards, they identified the issue and corrected the machinery, leading to the most efficient 24 hours from the machine and the highest shift production level ever. View the film here.

“What makes the Workplace Innovation Programme different from others, it’s about resilience, keeping going, don’t give up at the first hurdle. And that’s why we have been at every session and enjoyed every session. We’ve taken the learning and ideas and brought them back and implemented them, and they work. Trust us, if they can work in our environment they can work in any environment” (Willie McWhinnie, Chief Engineer, Liberty Steel).

DS Smith

DS Smith is a leading packaging company based in Lockerbie. Operations Manager David Murdoch asked the Workplace Innovation team to help involve his staff in innovative ways to improve the business. A Mini-FabLab session, facilitated by Rosemary and Peter, brought together frontline staff representing each area of production. The group modelled and then re-modelled the factory, sharing experiences and creating solutions … using boxes and paper! They addressed several production issues including improvements in teamwork and opportunities for quality improvement. Some ideas were quick wins and some involve quite radical changes.

They presented the redesigned model to David who was very receptive to their ideas. He is supporting the group to meet every month to develop further improvements. David also welcomed their idea that teams of operators should be able to pause production, identifying and resolving problems together at the time they are flagged, rather than at the end of the line. He agreed that this will reduce waste and improve quality control. See more.

“We realised we needed to give people time and space away from their machines to offer their true potential, which could make us a more effective and profitable business. The solutions are far superior to any that I could have come up with on my own because we are harnessing the experience from the business. So the time taken for the session was well and truly paid back to the company, not only in the bottom line, but in terms of team commitment” (David Murdoch Operations Manager, DS Smith).

Further information

Discover The Fifth Element and watch the animated film

Download the Guide to Workplace Innovation and try the Short Diagnostic

Learn more about Fresh Thinking Labs


Workplace Innovation at Booth WelshIndustry 4.0, digitalisation and the people-centred workplace

The event, Industry 4.0, digitalisation and the people-centred workplace, brought an amazing international group of companies and experts together to explore how successful organisations are engaging employees in digital transformation. The key takeaway was that technological innovation and innovation in work processes need to go hand in hand.

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Workplace Innovation at CornerstoneThe Journey towards Self-Directed Teamworking

The event 'The Journey towards Self-Directed Teamworking' was hosted by Cornerstone and CEO Edel Harris, Strategy Implementation Leader Mairi Martin and several members of their frontline teams presented one of the best examples of the journey towards self-managed teamworking that we’ve heard in 25 years! Participants from five other companies on similar journeys took part in this latest Fresh Thinking Labs event, gaining unique insights into organisational transformation.

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Fresh Thinking Labs Masterclass in Lisbon

Participants from the Workplace Innovation Engagement Programme wowed Portuguese companies with their stories of transformation at the Fresh Thinking Labs Masterclass hosted by the Instituto Portugues de Business Process Management in Lisbon last week. Aimee Doole and John Richardson (Booth Welsh), and Robert Heron (East Coast Oil & Gas), spoke passionately about how the programme has created high levels of staff engagement in idea generation, improvement initiatives and innovation.

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Scottish experience kick starts workplace innovation in Portugal

More than 60 Portuguese company representatives took part in an interactive workshop held in Porto earlier this month where the experiences of two Scottish businesses were used to demonstrate the beneficial outcomes of workplace innovation and employee-led change. The workshop was facilitated by Workplace Innovation Europe Limited who introduced Doug Johnston, General Manager at DS Smith’s Lockerbie operation and Dundee based David O’Byrne from animal pharmaceutical business, Argenta.

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Inclusive and devolved decision making at DS Smith

DS Smith Lockerbie believes in open, inclusive and devolved decision-making. As part of the company’s commitment to workplace innovation, morning meetings in the Operations Room were introduced to improve communication and enable joint planning and problem-solving amongst employees. Front line representatives from each work area take part in these meetings and use a series of visual management boards to record their daily discussions. Participants take turns in leading the meeting and are encouraged to keep the tone optimistic and collaborative.

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Creating Fair and Innovative Workplaces – An Industrial Strategy Perspective from Scotland

This policy-focused event identified the levers that make a difference in delivering inclusive growth and competitiveness. Senior representatives of UK government departments, companies and trade unions took advantage of an opportunity to hear about Scotland’s practical approach to supporting progressive people practices, and how it leads to enhanced productivity and the reduction of inequality. The workplace is facing unprecedented change as it faces the digital revolution as well as an increasingly volatile business environment.

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Workplace Innovation facilitates an in-company Mini-FabLab session at DS Smith

DS Smith is a European leading packaging company of customer-specific packaging, based in Lockerbie, Scotland. Operations Manager David Murdoch asked Peter and Rosemary from Workplace Innovation Europe, as part of the Scottish Enterprise Workplace Innovation Engagement Programme, to help involve his staff in innovative ways to improve the business. A facilitated Mini-Fab-Lab session, with front line staff representing each area across the workforce, was a new experience for DS Smith.

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Workplace Innovation Limited helps to build a very special relationship between Scotland and the Basque Country

Workplace Innovation Limited has been supporting Scottish Enterprise and the Provincial Government of Gipuzkoa in the Spanish Basque Country as each develops its own approach to promoting the uptake of workplace innovation by companies.

Read more and watch our video
Back to Scotland Leads the Way

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