Workplace Innovation in Practice

What is workplace innovation?

Improved business performance and employee wellbeing are only fully realised when workplace innovation practices run throughout the entire company including individual learning and discretion, self-managed teams, open and fluid organisational structures, delegated decision-making, simplified administrative procedures, a coaching style of line management, regular opportunities for reflection, learning and improvement, high involvement innovation, entrepreneurial behaviour at all levels, and employee representation in strategic decisions.

Transformative changes in performance and working life can be achieved when senior teams, line managers and employee representatives share a common understanding of workplace innovation and a commitment to making it happen.

One of the most significant causes of failure in trying to create high performance and fantastic places to work is partial change – not recognising that organisations consist of interdependent parts which either nurture or obliterate innovative ways of working.

Our approach offers a practical, evidence-based approach to understanding workplace innovation and its impact on performance and working life. Grounded in extensive research and practical experience, The Essential Fifth Element explains the working practices that are becoming such a powerful force for innovation in a growing number of European companies and public sector organisations. It is the meeting point between high performance and great jobs.

Such outcomes are not the product of a simple initiative or a leadership development programme. They are only found when four basic building blocks, or Elements are in place and combine to create surprising synergies:

Jobs, Teams and Technology

Employee-Driven Innovation and Improvement

Structures, Management and Processes

Co-Created Leadership and Employee Voice

Watch our short animated film on The Essential Fifth Element


The Essential Fifth Element
The Essential Fifth Element

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