Welcome to Space4Careers

Welcome to Space4Careers, the blog of the Centre for Career & Personal Development at Canterbury Christ Church University. This blog does what it says on the tin, it provides an opportunity for anyone who is interested in all aspects of careers work to find a little bit of space in their busy lives to think about current issues and trends. If you like or dislike, agree or disagree with what you see, please respond and let us have your views. We'd love to hear from you.

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Canterbury Christ Church University.

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Monday, 27 June 2011

Innovation, Innovation, Innovation

I went to a great workshop yesterday, about ‘Innovation in the workplace’ organised by social enterprise London and facilitated by KPMG.  Interestingly, the facilitator was actually a tax advisor employed by KPMG who had a great teaching style!  I was struck by how ‘innovative’ it is of the organisation to utilise staff in this way – maximising skills and perhaps even aiding retention by offering diversity and a ‘break from the norm’ (the extremely plush building in Canary Wharf signalled that this was not an efficiency saving!).  I went along because I have been reflecting recently on the need for creativity and innovative thinking and action in the austere times that we face.  The research collaborators in my own doctoral study about collaborative working between statutory and non-statutory sectors, have spoken about the need to be responsive and flexible and creative whilst as one of them stated “keeping your balance on a floating raft”.  It seems that human capital is a valuable currency, more so now than ever – when financial currency is scarce and we are expected to do ‘more for less’.  Doing more for less would surely necessitate innovative thinking and thinking outside of our own norms?  Participants in the workshop spoke about innovation defining their own random thinking and some key ‘behaviours’ that were conveyed as necessitating innovative thinking included ‘bravery’ and ‘playfulness’.  Perhaps the current climate has prompted a step change…that whilst cautious spending is inevitable, creativity could be invited, initiated, nurtured, embraced and valued.  Innovation perhaps is less about doing or being anything else but is about drawing on the playful, creative, unself-conscious parts of us and letting go of the restrictive messages about what we can and cannot and should and should not do in our respective professional fields.
Jo Oliver