Workplace Innovation Limited

Featuring Lewis Banfield | 8th September, 2017

PKF Francis Clark client Workplace Innovation Limited is a not-for-profit organisation collaborating with public and private sector enterprises, trade unions, policymakers, researchers and other stakeholders to explore the future of work and organisations and to share good practice in the workplace.

Their aim is help enterprises and their employees to improve organisational performance and working lives by releasing the full knowledge, skill and creativity of people at every level.  They argue that there is irrefutable evidence that innovative and employee-driven innovation not only improve performance and productivity but advance health and well-being in the workplace.  The objective is to close the gap between theory and practice and get more employees not only finding out ‘what works’ but applying it in their own workplaces.

Established in 1997 by current directors Peter Totterdill and Rosemary Exton, the company has delivered projects for organisations as diverse as BT, E.ON, GSK and the NHS and has created some ground-breaking initiatives including spearheading EUWIN (the European Union Workplace Innovation Network) and its huge knowledge bank of research and case studies; established Fresh Thinking Labs, the international open source movement for workplace innovation; and pioneered The Essential Fifth Element which describes the enabling, responsive and innovative culture that is so deeply embedded in some organisations and results from a fusion of improving jobs and teams, structures, management and procedures, employee-driven innovation and improvement, and co-created leadership and employee voice.

Workplace Innovation offers business and other organisations a unique diagnostic resource designed to highlight potential improvements in business performance and employee health, and leads them through a programme of change by providing insight, facilitating innovation, working with boards and senior teams, developing emerging leaders and through interactive theatre.  They also stage events, masterclasses and networking opportunities including visits to like-minded businesses as ‘critical friends’.

Recent projects have seen Workplace Innovation working with Scottish Enterprise, Skills Development Scotland and Highlands & Islands Enterprise to promote and resource workplace innovation in a diverse range of companies.

Professor Peter Totterdill:

“Our aim is to demonstrate how participating companies can create workplaces in which employees use and develop their full range of knowledge, skills, experience and creativity in their day to day work, leading to inclusive growth based on productivity and enhanced quality of working life.

“The challenge is to provide leaders and change agents with a robust yet practically oriented programme which combines individual competence development with the implementation of evidence-based workplace innovation.

“We focus on individual and shared learning as well as workplace innovation projects, which generate measurable and sustainable improvements in performance, quality, cost containment, employee engagement and well-being for the company and its employees.

“We are currently involved in a series of EU based projects both new and on-going and needed to consider how to present ourselves to our European colleagues post-Brexit.  We were recommended to PKF Francis Clark and have been delighted with the advice they have offered.  Their support has given us confidence to stay on the course we have chosen.  It has certainly tightened our own processes and procedures and allowed us to focus more intently on client delivery.”

PKF Francis Clark partner Lewis Banfield said:

“Workplace Innovation Limited is a very interesting business committed to a specific cause.  They have a talented, experienced and multi-skilled team with some incredible connections.

“We have been able to help them on a number of fronts ranging from assisting moving the accounting records from spreadsheets to Xero software and helping with general accounts, to VAT advice relating to the new Fresh Thinking Labs project which includes advice regarding online resources and subscriptions to this service, and advice and assistance in setting up a new company in Ireland to help with grant funding prospects going forward after Brexit.

“We are also preparing an R&D claim based on their development of a web-based networking platform.”

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