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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What on earth does Francis mean by it and how can we change it?

By Peter Totterdill

A patient-centred culture cannot be achieved by standards and enforcement alone. We need to move
beyond vague definitions of culture and to focus on the tangible, evidence-based practices that enable
staff at all levels to work together in achieving high quality care. The paper concludes with a series of
interlocking practical actions that should be at the top of every National Health Service Trust’s agenda
in the wake of the Francis Report into Mid-Staffordshire Hospital.

This is a Thinkpiece prepared by UKWON (the UK Work Organisation Network), a not-for-profit
organisation committed to supporting evidence-based approaches to work and workplaces. UKWON
is a lead partner in EUWIN, the European Network for Workplace Innovation, bringing together
practitioners from more than 30 countries in support of positive workplace change.

Download paper here

A Question of Engagement: Customer Care in the NHS

By Peter Totterdill

Preparing a time out session on customer care for the Board of a large NHS Foundation Trust gave us a great opportunity to review leading thinking and practice relating to customer care across all sectors - and the clear message is that there is no customer care without employee engagement.

There are lessons for the NHS from private sector companies, even if they need to be interpreted carefully.

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Dublin Declaration

The attached statement was prepared for endorsement by participants at the Workplace Innovation: Translating Policy into Practice conference in Dublin on 30th April / 1st May 2013 and is submitted for approval by social partners within the framework of the European Workplace Innovation Network (EUWIN).

Trade unions and employers’ organisations throughout Europe face challenges of adaptation in an increasingly volatile global environment. They have essential roles to play in building a European economy based on high performance, high quality of working life and high levels of social inclusion. The rapid pace of workplace change creates opportunities to deploy the knowledge and expertise of social partners in new and exciting ways.

Download paper here

UK Work Organisation Network (UKWON) response to the Heseltine Review

By Peter Totterdill

The Heseltine Review of Growth published on 31st October is a disappointment. While the focus on growth is to be welcomed, we consider that the Review represents another wasted opportunity. There is ample evidence from around the world that participative working practices are a major enabler of the productivity and innovation that underpin growth. Yet the systematic adoption of these practices in the UK is limited – and declining. Heseltine ignores these facts and the workplace remains largely invisible in his report. Meanwhile other governments around the world continue to implement sophisticated policy measures to support the upscaling of workplace innovation.

UKWON’s response can be found in the pdf below. We’d welcome your feedback - contact us here or on LinkedIn.

(The Rt Hon the Lord Heseltine of Thenford CH, No Stone Unturned in the Search for Growth).

Download paper here

Read the review here here

Dortmund-Brussels Position Paper

Workplace Innovation as Social Innovation

Reflecting the views of a diverse body of practitioners and experts across several Member States, the Dortmund-Brussels Position Paper (co-authored by Peter Totterdill of UKWON) argues that Workplace Innovation needs to be recognised as a core element within the EU policy framework. The paper demonstrates that the competitive and social advantage of Europe depends greatly on how our workplaces are shaped, and outlines the key role of the EU in enabling Workplace Innovation to achieve its full potential in realising the goals of the Europe 2020 Strategy. Download the Position Paper below.

In response, the European Commission hosted a workshop in May 2012 at which these issues were explored, followed by a number of meetings with signatories to the declaration - click here for further details from the Europa website. In July, the Commission announced its intention to launch a European Workplace Innovation Network. Enterprises, social partners, policymakers and researchers from the 27 Member States will work together to promote the upscaling of good practice in the workplace.

UKWON is a key member of a Consortium tendering for the contract to establish and run the Network. A decision is expected in November.

Download paper here

British Council Forums in Khartoum and Addis Ababa

Employee Engagement in Sudan and Ethiopia?

By Peter Totterdill

Employee engagement is a hot topic. Business organisations report that making best use of people’s skills, experience and creativity is a high priority for companies competing in a severe economic climate.

In January 2012 Peter Totterdill ran workshops on employee engagement and participation for members of business networks established by the British Council in Khartoum and Addis Abab. Here is an account of his visit.

Download paper here

View the presentation here here

The Big Society: collaborative advantage or policy vacuum?

By Peter Totterdill and Rosemary Exton

As the Coalition government’s big idea, the Big Society seems not to have generated a great deal of innovative thinking. An internet search reveals more about how third sector professionals are, understandably, seeking to reposition themselves in response to the new agenda than about the engagement of new participants; this is against a background of at best lukewarm enthusiasm from independent commentators. Standing aside from the widely held view that the Big Society is simply a mask for cuts and for the rolling back the state, it is worth engaging with the idea on its own terms and following it through to its logical conclusion.

If the Big Society is to be more than a passing political fad “with the resonance of a political epitaph" then there is a need for a robust policy framework that can animate and resource citizen engagement capable of renewing the public sphere. Our Thinkpiece tests this idea by examining two cases at the frontline of transformation: regional economic development and healthcare.

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Employee Engagement without a “Strategy”

By Peter Totterdill and Rosemary Exton

Many organisations invest heavily in employee engagement but find that embedding the practices which secure sustained change is often elusive. Two very different organisations, a UK construction company and a Belgian automotive supplier have succeeded in achieving high levels of employee engagement without a formal "Engagement Strategy". Each has achieved significant change through experimentation and learning, backed by sustained senior management effort without any kind of “best practice” guidelines. Together they offer an effective demonstration of the power of engagement in securing a sustainable future in a period of economic uncertainty.

Download paper here

Lessons from Kaiser Permanente: Improving performance and engagement in healthcare

By Rosemary Exton

On 15th June 2011 representatives from Acas, the IPA, NHS Acute Trusts and PCTs, NHS Employers, Royal Colleges and Universities took part in a Workplace Innovation Workshop which focused on a question of key relevance to the future of healthcare: "how do you involve and engage NHS staff in ways that lead to tangible benefits in patient care and organisational performance?"

Guest speaker John August (Executive Director, Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions) led a lively and informative discussion on how collaborative working relationships between management, unions and staff at US healthcare provider Kaiser Permanente create sustained improvements in quality of patient care.

Download paper here

Community Cohesion in the Classroom

By Richard Ennals

This paper is based on a presentation given at the conference “Developing Community Cohesion in Schools”, at the Institution of Engineering and Technology, on 26th February 2008. It links to presentations given by June Bam-Hutchison and Jude Smith Rachele, who led successful workshops at the same event.

The conference brought together an audience of 150 teachers from across the UK, seeking to learn more about the UK government’s new priority of Community Cohesion, which from autumn 2008 will be a component of OFSTED inspections. My invited keynote talk was to be concerned in particular with learning and teaching. Other talks provided perspectives from head teachers, the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust, OFSTED, and concerned researchers.

My core argument was that the issues of community cohesion in school are not new. My classroom examples covered the period 1975-2008, based on personal experience as a teacher. A radical version of my argument would be that learning and teaching in the classroom have to make sense in terms of community cohesion. This involves a departure from conventional models of learning and teaching.

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Reparation for the Past and Preparation for the Future: Community Cohesion and a World City

By Richard Ennals

In the context of innovation and regional development, increasing attention is being given to the level between individual companies and national governments. At this intermediary or meso level, we see networks and development coalitions, with diverse partners, including universities. In a "Europe of the regions", cities can make a strategic difference, recognising their distinctive backgrounds, finding niche opportunities, and defining creative futures. At each level, diversity represents a positive resource, if dialogues can be created which engage the different communities.

Much can be learned from differences. In the presentation in Bristol we hope to learn from experience in other world cities, and to set out a new and inclusive agenda. In the context of new priorities of "Community Cohesion", we argue that the best form of reparation for the past is preparation for the future. In the context of the Legacy of Slavery, and beyond, Bristol is making a distinctive and valuable contribution.

Download paper here

Academic Study and Working Life

By Richard Ennals

Universities face new challenges in changed economic conditions. We consider current cases of universities in Norway, Sweden, Lithuania and the UK, and identify starting points for a new approach to learning. As universities are contracted to provide short term emergency services, new questions are raised, affecting current programmes and future plans.

Key words: business, confidence, research, teaching, universities, working life

Download paper here

Latest News and Events

Are you wondering on how to create high performance and make your business a great place to work? If so, come and join us for this fantastic event! This lunchtime session offers a unique opportunity to discover how a growing number of companies are transforming their working practices and cultures in ways that lead to real improvements in business performance, innovation, employee engagement and well-being. Workplace innovation is a term increasingly used across Europe to describe the introduction of evidence-based workplace practices that enable people at every level to use and develop their full range of skills, knowledge, experience and creativity. It helps organisations and their employees improve organisational performance and working lives.The approach is of equal importance to all types of organisation, be they large or small, in manufacturing or services, or in public administrations. Participants at the session will gain practical insights and actionable id..

When: 23 - 24/10/2019 (Register before: 01/10/2019) Where: EIPA Headquarters, Maastricht (NL) Work and workplaces are crucial to creating sustainable innovation and growth. Inclusive and engaging workplaces provide staff with good quality jobs that utilise their skills and develop their talents effectively enabling these staff, in turn, to deliver high levels of performance and future innovation. With the Europe 2020 strategy, workplace innovation now occupies an important place in EU innovation and competitiveness policy. In 2013 the European Commission launched EUWIN (the European Workplace Innovation Network) and started a large-scale movement to create more productive and healthier places to work. 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. Ov..

Booth Welsh ( and Workplace Innovation Europe ( will jointly lead The Digital Advantage Innovation Consortium (, an innovative programme beginning Autumn 2019 and bringing up to twelve companies together on a shared journey towards digital advantage. The programme will provide individual participants with digital change leadership skills, with the option of an internationally recognised Institute for Leadership & Management (ILM) qualification. Their companies gain structured support to build digital and organisational readiness for technological change, drawing on evidence-based practices and exemplary cases from across Europe. Read more (

Industry 4.0: Enabling Digital and Organisational Readiness Booth Welsh ( and Workplace Innovation Europe ( will jointly lead The Digital Advantage Innovation Consortium (, an innovative programme beginning Autumn 2019, which will bring up to twelve companies together on a shared journey towards digital advantage. The programme will provide individual participants with digital change leadership skills, with the option of an internationally recognised Institute for Leadership & Management (ILM) qualification. Their companies gain structured support to build digital and organisational readiness for technological change, drawing on evidence-based practices and exemplary cases from across Europe. Find out more (