Your Guide to Workplace Innovation                                                                                                  View it in your browser.

Welcome to:

European Workplace Innovation Network | October Bulletin

EUWIN is an initiative of the European Commission’s Directorate General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs 

The European Workplace Innovation Network was initially launched in 2013 as a part of European Commission's wider industrial policy, to use all tools to increase productivity, innovation and competitiveness. And this point is still valid. In fact, it is more relevant than ever.

We are in the middle of a new industrial revolution. As the Internet has changed our patterns of communication and consumption, the Industrial Internet will change our patterns of production and work. Businesses need to be able to adapt to these - sometimes disruptive – changes.

How? The upcoming EUWIN big conference will shed a light on that both from the business and policy perspective. Top European companies will show how they adopt to the faster-than-ever changes in the global economic landscape using the power of workplace innovation. And European, national and regional policy makers will engage in the debate on what more can be done to support enterprises willing to better use their human capital.

Be a part of this discussion and help us shape future European policies!

  Get in touch 

Your Guide to Workplace Innovation
Making real and sustainable change happen in Europe’s workplaces

Success in the new industrial revolution naturally requires that our industries use the best available technologies. But technologies alone are not the answer. We need to put more focus on human factors. This is our main resource in Europe and we do not make enough use of it. Workplace innovation not only aims at fostering innovation capacities, it also allows business to remain innovative and adapt to changes more quickly and smoothly. But how to do it?

EUWIN has always taken a practical approach. Therefore we decided to answer the main question related to workplace innovation: “how can we actually do it?” This short guide will give you practical knowledge, inspire you with great case studies, help you to assess current practice in your organisation, suggest pathways to change, and signpost you towards further sources of information and support.

It is built around five challenges:

1. Why workplace innovation is important for your company?
2. How workplace innovation will transform your organisation?
3. Where to begin?
4. What are the ‘Elements’ of workplace innovation?
5. How to achieve commitment from everyone in your organisation?


How can you get your own copy? Simple: join us on our big Brussels conference on 10 October!

The EUWIN Team

Coming soon: The Animated Guide to Workplace Innovation!

Sociocracy is the only way forward

In 1970 Gerard Endenburg introduced sociocracy in his company. ‘Sociocracy consist of four rules, of which the first three are the most important. It starts with the decision, which is taken by consent. That means that no one has an objection to the proposal. Then there is the circle, which always consists of three roles: a client, a performer and a feedback. Third is the double link between the circles. And fourth: the election of a representative, which can only be done after an open discussion. We have noticed that if you do not do this, they still get elected democratically and with this, the minority is still overruled by the majority.’

Despite his old age, he is still working every day to spread the ideas of sociocracy. This is important, says Gerard Endenburg, because there is a great need for an alternative to democracy. ‘Democracy is a great invention, but it is at its end. That is where sociocracy comes in’.

Ben Kuiken

Read more 

Click here to find more about the differences between holacracy, sociocracy and sociocracy 3.0.

Win–win arrangements
Innovative measures through social dialogue at company level

Workplace social dialogue has always been seen as an integral part of workplace innovation. It is embedded within EUWIN’s Fifth Element approach as Co-Created Leadership and Employee Voice. A new Eurofound report, based on 20 company case studies, examines how management, employees and their representatives achieve common solutions to common problems. It also identifies innovative approaches that have been established through social dialogue in response to new workplace challenges.

The report finds that well-functioning social dialogue is a key component for the successful design and implementation of reforms needed to increase the competitiveness of Europe’s economies and create more jobs. It balances workers’ and employers’ interests and contributes to both economic competitiveness and social cohesion.

  Read more 

Going Digital? Harnessing Social Media for Employee Voice

At a time when trade union membership is declining in many parts of Europe, this new study raises a timely if sometimes difficult question. Is social media the new channel for ‘employee voice’ in the workplace? And what are the implications for the EU’s recent commitment, as stated in the March 2015 high-level conference organised by the European Commission, to ‘A new start for social dialogue’?

Acas is the UK’s employment relations agency, largely publicly funded but tripartite in its governance structure. Although not stated, the study implicitly asks ‘who fills the gap?’ when trade unions are not present in the workplace. The use of social media has grown exponentially in the last decade, and currently around one UK employer in two makes use of a social media tool.

The paper argues that enterprise social networks are potentially a very powerful tool for employee voice “allowing organisations to go beyond monologue and one-way communication to two-way and indeed multi-directional communication. Using such networks for employee voice provides the opportunity for organisations to drive insight and innovation.

Reviewer: Peter Totterdill

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Co-creating humane and innovative organizations
An important new book on workplace innovation

In this multifaceted book, edited by Bernard Mohr (USA) and Pierre van Amelsvoort (Netherlands, Belgium), thirty authors (academics, union leaders, and practitioners) describe their different lenses on STS-D (Socio-Technical System Design) to shed light on the panoply of past, present, and future thinking and practices that give life to the challenge of “co-creating humane and innovative organizations.” A number of active EUWIN participants contributed to the book.

The book is sponsored by the Global STS-D Network, cofounded by the STS Roundtable (North America) and the Ulbo De Sitter Institute (in the Netherlands and Belgium).

The book is recommended by - among other persons - Edgar H. Schein: “Finally we have an excellent overview of Socio-technical theory and practice, a historically seminal concept that has not nearly received enough attention among managers and organization development practitioners” and by Peter Totterdill: “(…) This book deserves to reach the bookshelves of researchers and practitioners alike”.

Reviewer: Frank Pot
Radboud University, The Netherlands

Read more 

Innovation starts in the workplace
Your invitation to EUWIN’s Brussels Conference, a unique opportunity to learn from the fascinating journeys of companies who champion employee engagement in innovation

On 10 October the European Workplace Innovation Network will bring to Brussels global champions in workplace innovation. The conference will gather business practitioners, policy makers and experts who will share their experience and know-how. It is also an opportunity to learn about the future and to claim a role in this discussion. Register now for free to ensure your place by following this link.

Innovation is a complex process. And even during the digital revolution we need to build workplaces that use and develop the full range of human creativity, knowledge and skill.

The European Commission launched the European Workplace Innovation Network (EUWIN) as a part of its wider industrial strategy.
What have we achieved in the last 4 years?
And what challenges remain, especially in the context of the Fourth Industrial Revolution?
What can the future of EUWIN be?

Don't miss out - Register now!

Save the Date
Keep up to date with EUWIN events

5-6      October  2016


Invitation to Saint-Gobain with Fresh Thinking LabsFresh Thinking Labs the international open source movement for workplace innovation is your pathway to the best workplace practices and latest thinking from across Europe and beyond. Find out more.

October  2016

San Sebastian, Spain

Urban Social Innovation: System, Policies and Impact. A European Meeting to debate issues related to Urban Social Innovation. Organiser: Sinnergiak Social Innovation. More details here.

10      October  2016

Brussels, Belgium

EUWIN Conference in Brussels. Innovation is a complex process. And even during the digital revolution we need to build workplaces that use and develop the full range of human creativity, knowledge and skill. During this stimulating and interactive event you will meet inspiring businesses and discover groundbreaking workplace practices.BOOK NOW

14-15    October  2016

Barcelona, Spain

European Organisation Design Forum Annual Conference. Thinking, Feeling, Playing, Doing Organisation Design for the 21st Century Organisation. Read more

19-20      October  2016

Stockholm, Sweden

SIMPACT’s Social Innovation and Public Sector Innovation Symposium will explore the conditions under which the state either enables or constrains effective social innovation, and how it can transcend the boundaries between different actors. For more details please contact Peter Totterdill.

7      November  2016

Nottingham, UK

Creating Innovative and High Performing Workplaces. This half-day workshop offers a rare opportunity to discover how a growing number of companies are transforming their working practices and culture in ways that lead to real improvements in productivity, performance, engagement and well-being. Apply for a place now.

9      November  2016

Helsinki, Finland

A unique opportunity to assess workplace practices and culture in your company against some of the best examples in Europe, and to identify positive opportunities for innovation and improvement. Read more


Find out more about our events

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