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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Argenta Dundee

A case study in cultural transformation

The Company

Argenta provides veterinary product development and pharmaceutical contract manufacturing services to the international animal health industry.

Previously part of a larger pharmaceutical company, the Dundee operation was acquired by Argenta in April 2017.

The 80,000-square-foot Dundee facility encompasses a manufacturing plant, laboratories and warehouse spaces for the production of a broad range of high-quality animal health products, including non-sterile liquids, suspensions, and gels. It currently employs 130 people on-site.

Becoming part of a much smaller company, the leadership team at Argenta Dundee had to redefine their roles and responsibilities and to take on tasks that had previously dealt with by specialists in other parts of the group. These included HR, payroll, VAT returns and managing cashflow.

The change of ownership also entailed considerable culture change, team development and workforce engagement.

Argenta benefited from participation in Scottish Enterprise’s Workplace Innovation Engagement Programme where they were introduced to new forms of training as well attending a series of workshops facilitated by Workplace Innovation Limited where they were introduced to the Essential Fifth Element Diagnostic, an on-line employee survey tool designed to assess a broad spectrum of workplace practices.

The Challenge

As part of a large multi-national, the leadership team at the Dundee operation enjoyed all the support they needed in terms of funding, training, strategy, logistics, exporting/importing, and sales from internal sources at its US based headquarters. After the sale to Argenta, a much smaller New Zealand based business, this support was no longer available and the management team needed to take on responsibilities and new decision-making that they had not previously encountered. In addition, the uncertainty associated with the sale of the business threatened staff morale.

David O'Byrne, Operational Excellence Lead at Argenta Dundee, identified two specific issues following the sale on the business to Argenta:

The senior leadership team had to get much more involved in the strategic management of the business and as a result we had stop focusing on being scientists and engineers. Secondly, the career opportunities that existed in the multi-national company were no longer available. We now have to work much harder to keep our best people engaged and interested. We must ensure that they can see how their career will develop in Argenta. . .

The prolonged sale of the business created uncertainty amongst the staff and, although most accepted that some redundancies were inevitable, senior management recognised at an early stage that this need to be managed sensitively.

David O’Byrne explained the need for adopting personal change if you want to make new forms of communication effective.

We tried to make sure senior managers spend more time with front line staff and less time at their desks. Senior managers are encouraged to get out and make contact with people and ask how are you getting on? Have that personal conversation - how is your process running here? Are you okay?

But it’s clear if you don’t have the right attitude to change, if you don’t have managers who are open to relinquishing power, if you don’t have a strategy from the leadership team that is being effectively communicated, if you don’t have a frontline workforce who are engaged and not scared by change and don’t feel that change is going to cost them their job, if employees at every level aren’t engaged and the culture is not right then you are going to lose every time.

David described the process of creating more effective communication, of getting people focused on the things that were stopping them doing their job better and the importance breaking down silos, getting teams working better together and getting the leadership team around the floor and pushing decision-making down to the lowest possible level.

Solutions can be very simple. A normally stress-ridden morning meeting was pushed back by half an hour giving people time to catch up on any issues that arose overnight or in the previous evening, talk to their team, have a cup of coffee and breath. People then began to come to the meeting more relaxed and with positive solutions or suggestions.

Workplace Innovation teaches you to go and find out what people’s problems really are, to listen to what they are saying and work with them to identify whether there something to it and how you can help? Workplace Innovation also highlights that you must not ignore ideas coming from unlikely sources. It’s very easy to ignore the lone voice but it’s the power of the best argument - the best argument should win no matter where that comes from.

In one case, the management team were considering ways of handling trip hazards in a manufacturing area with multiple hoses on the floor connecting various tanks and some new fixed pipework was suggested. Had they left it to the engineering team, tens of thousand pounds worth of stainless steel piping would have been the solution, but they involved the operators, one of whom suggested using some existing pipes which are currently only used during the cleaning process.

We have multiple PhDs but nobody else had thought of this radical idea to use the pipework that’s already in the room. Just take off the sticker that says ‘cleaning’.

Engagement is key. This incident shows how new thinking at Argenta encouraged an operator to speak up in front of management to make a point where previously he may have said nothing but grumbled down the pub saying “I could have told them that.”

Feedback is not just about making operators feel good, it is about encouraging them to release their potential. If someone makes a suggestion give them feedback even if it’s telling them why you haven’t acted upon it or you may never get another suggestion from them.

According to David O’Byrne, it’s also about identifying with what you’re doing and seeing he bigger picture. It’s about employees accepting and implementing change and future proofing the business and it’s about ensuring there is not only effective and consistent communication but everyone is made to feel part of the decision-making process.

He added:

The involvement of Peter Totterdill and Rosemary Exton from Workplace Innovation Limited has been extremely important to our change journey. They have such a vast wealth and breadth of experience, so if you say ‘Oh I’ve tried that’, they’ll come back to you with ‘have you tried it this way?’ It is so useful to be able to go to someone neutral, someone independent and highly experienced and have them reassure you about how you are going about the process of change and saying have you tried this, are you looking after yourselves?

Latest News and Events

Your invitation to a free company visit and workshop How can you ensure that your organisation is ready to take full advantage of digital technologies – and unleash the full potential of your people at the same time? Booth Welsh (, a specialist engineering services company based in Irvine, has been on a remarkable journey. It has transformed workplace culture and created day-to-day opportunities for staff at every level to be part of the company’s deep commitment to innovation and improvement – all part of its strategic plan to stay ahead of the competition. Booth Welsh understands that getting a full return on expensive digital investments doesn’t happen without the full engagement of its workforce, harnessing the experience and insights of people at every level, and developing the knowledge and skills they need to play a key role in this growing company’s exciting future. Martin Welsh (the company..

Workplace Innovation’s Peter Totterdill ( facilitated a dynamic panel discussion at the Work Foundation Centenary Celebration ( in London last Thursday. The panel titled ‘Dynamism: Creating productive, dynamic and engaging workplaces’ included Richard Carter - Managing Director of BASF UK&Ireland, Rannia Leontaridi - Director of Business Growth, BEIS, Tony Tanker - CEO, Be the Business, and Paul Nowak - Deputy General Secretary, TUC. Key findings from the debate are: Pinch with pride, learning from other businesses and productivity ideas from your people is the future of good and productive work! Discover our new company events ( Invest in your people's development (including managers) and empower them to bring ideas forward. Learn more about our Program..

A fasttrack to leadership development for change leaders We’ve had some brilliant feedback from our Leadership for High Performance workshop in Exeter and can’t wait for the repeat sessions in Glasgow and Bristol during June. Why not join us? ( These workshops respond to the needs of such a diverse range of participants, coming from organisations of very different types yet learning together from evidence and experience, sharing ideas and providing mutual support. They’re also a great way of kickstarting our ILM Level 5 Certificate in Leadership & Management ( programme. Find out that participants had to say (

Workplace innovation is strongly grounded in evidence – and needs to stay that way In 2001, the European Commission asked Peter Totterdill and his colleagues to produce a study that would analyse evidence both from existing research and from a broad sample of one hundred highly innovative companies in six European countries. The aim of this study, known as Hi-Res¹ (#partners-at-work) was to create a practical approach designed to help companies and their employees achieve win-win outcomes in terms of business performance and quality of working lives. The concept we developed was ‘workplace innovation’. It describes workplace practices and cultures which enable employees at all levels to use their knowledge, competences and creativity to the full. Above all, workplace innovation describes a series of interlocking workplace practices that are solidly grounded in evidence. It starts with the practical problems, challenges and opportunities ..