Innovation Days

Keeping you at the forefront of innovation

Members attend monthly workshops to develop action plans for innovation Hot Topics. Putting the latest management and leadership ideas into practice.

Innovation Day

Next Innovation Research Group

10th February

Playing the Wellness Game:

Since the dawning of the fourth industrial revolution, there is a great deal of focus on the development of technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, and Big Data Algorithms. All of this with a view to improve workflow. However, this has brought with it the very real reminder that machines can outperform human beings in almost every endeavour. At the same time, there is still the continuing global problem of under-performance, presenteeism, and increased mental health problems. For a happier, human-centric, and productive world, there appears a need to redress the balance.

So how can we ensure digitally gamified processes and human psychology operate in unison, as an avenue in which to help our people and organisations unleash their near limitless potential?

Games programming lecturer and Gamification researcher Craig Weightman will introduce a new development framework for use to address this issue. This model draws on fundamental findings in positive psychology and refined techniques of engagement from the world of games development and fuses them together to create a tool to be used across any given context, and with any given human-technological system.

Specifically, the framework manages to incorporate design methodologies that encourage the phenomenon of Flow, as well as the identified need for self-actualisation. Overall, the model looks at the work environment as set of systems, all interlocking, and realigns them, with human being at the centre, for increased productivity.


Craig Weightman is a lecturer in Computer Games Programming at the University of Staffordshire. He is particularly interested in the area where psychology meets technology, and is passionate about encouraging responsible technology development, that favours human development. He fully believes that our technological endeavours can improve our mental wellbeing and unleash our near limitless potential. He has written articles that have appeared in The Conversation, Scientific American, and National Geographic. He has also appeared on local radio, and various podcasts and online media.

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Recent Innovation Days

From our Innovation Programmes

Adapt to the Future of Work

13th January

The future of work is currently being shaped by two significant forces. Firstly, the possible movement of employees away from the office and the second is the associated increasing reliance on technology. This reliance on technology applies not only to the Zoom meetings that we have all become increasingly familiar with but also the expanded use of data and artificial intelligence. As with all dramatic changes, it is important to be able to separate the myths from the realities of the situation. To what extent will we permanently move away from the office and remain working from home indefinitely and what are the benefits and constraints associated with this possibility? Moreover, what can we expect from a Zoom filled world? Is Artificial Intelligence really going to reduce the need for human input? In this session, Abigail Marks, Professor of the Future of Work at Newcastle University Business School, will look at these and other questions that face the modern workplace. Abigail will use insights from the [email protected] study to address some of these issues.

Leadership with Grit

16th December

In our continued pursuit of personal goals and organisational objectives, never underestimate the power of perseverance. As the events of 2020 can testify, we never know when we may find ourselves faced with unfamiliar challenges and unexpected obstacles. Consequently, the ability to remain focused, passionate, and resolute in the face of such adversity (whilst encouraging others to do the same) represents a valuable leadership commodity. Through demonstrating grit (a passion and perseverance toward long-term goals) we as leaders and managers not only ensure our working teams remain focused in the pursuit of organisational objectives, but do so with an enduring sense of focus, optimism and passion. In turn, the promotion of grit in the workplace, presents promising a pathway toward enhanced effort, greater productivity, and even increased employee happiness. In this talk Dan Sly, Senior Researcher at KnowledgeBrief and BPS chartered Performance Psychologist, utilises over a decade of experience working as a researcher and practitioner in high performance environments (including top tier sport and business), to help you uncover the strategies required to enhance grit at an individual, team and organisational level.

Maximise Employee Engagement

18th November

We are currently experiencing multiple transformations in the world of work, from rapid advancements in AI and the use of digital technologies, to the new ways of working that many have been adapting to during the course of the pandemic. How, then, can we see more of the opportunities such transformations present, rather than the challenges they pose? One answer is through the use of creative thinking. Creativity is good for both individuals and organisations. For individuals, thinking and working creatively, or getting into ‘flow’, can feel like an end in itself; being creative is broadly associated with positive emotion, and general well-being. Organisations that support and promote creativity benefit not only from the new and useful ideas that result from their employees’ creative thinking, but also from a workforce that is motivated and engaged. At this session, Dr Sara Jones from City, University of London will explore the who, what, why, where, when and how of creativity in the workplace and how this supports employee engagement, supplying practical recommendations for action to support creative thinking in individuals and projects, as well as the organisation as a whole.

Explore the Future of Leadership

21st October

The need for widespread economic, social and cultural recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic has created an opportunity for change in the role of leaders and leadership. In addition, the desire for more inclusive leadership has never been in such high demand. Brexit, the financial crisis, the shifting political landscape, and disclosure in business and public services are highlighting the consequences and impact of a lack of responsible leadership to business success. Organisations need to challenge the status quo, enable creativity, and be innovative and entrepreneurial. Leaders must be aware of the multifaceted nature of leadership. The agenda for inclusive leadership is more than ever critical if businesses are going to reflect and merit the trust of the diverse communities and stakeholders they serve. At this Innovation Day, we will welcome Professor Kiran Trehan, Pro-Vice Chancellor and Director of the Centre for Women’s Enterprise, Leadership, Economy and Diversity [WE LEAD] the at the University of York. We will explore how leadership will look like in the future and how we can ensure that our changing workplaces are reflected with leadership that is inclusive, entrepreneurial and ethically resilient.

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