the essential fifth element



The Essential Fifth Element is Workplace Innovation’s practical programme of support for building high performance and high levels of engagement. It draws on all the research evidence embodied in The Fifth Element, conceived by Peter Totterdill and Rosemary Exton as a means of building a bridge between theory and practice in workplace innovation.

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The Essential Fifth Element is an integrated approach to workplace innovation, creating high performance, engagement and great places to work. It builds workplaces where people at all levels can use their knowledge, talent and creativity to the full.

It starts with the organisation as a whole, recognising that practices and cultures in one area inevitably have an impact on other areas.

The Essential Fifth Element brings together individual job design, teamworking, relations between different teams and department, systems and procedures such as performance management, opportunities for shared learning, improvement and innovation, how employee voice is heard in strategic decision making, and the role of leadership.

It draws on day-to-day experiences of the workplace, recognising that the stories people tell each other about their working lives can represent a fantastic, if often untapped, resource for improvement and innovation.

It also recognises that there is often a discrepancy between the ways in which senior managers see their organisations and the ways they are experienced by frontline employees.

Finally The Essential Fifth Element inspires, drawing on experiences and practices from some of the most exciting organisations in Europe to stimulate new ways of looking at workplaces and organisations, raising aspirations about what can be achieved.

It is The Essential Fifth Element. Talk to us at contact@goodworkplaces.net about how The Essential Fifth Element can transform performance and engagement in your organisation.

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We are 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.

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Workplace Innovation helps enterprises and their employees to improve organisational performance and working lives by releasing the full knowledge, skill and creativity of people at every level.

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Workplace Innovation is an international company that bridges the gap between research and practice, spreading more productive and better ways of working across the UK and Europe.

We are the originators of The Fifth Element, an evidence based approach to workplace innovation and how it can transform your organisation.

Latest News and Events

Latest workshops provide a fasttrack to leadership development Described by one participant as “a fantastic opportunity to reflect on the current landscape of your organisation and develop ideas to drive innovation”, our recent Exeter workshop created such a great buzz that we’ve decided to repeat it – this time in Glasgow and Bristol. The Exeter event attracted companies as varied as including Johnson & Johnson (https://www.jnj.com/), Delt Services (https://deltservices.com/), MBDA (https://www.mbda-systems.com/), Futures Housing Group (https://futureshg.co.uk/), M-EC (https://www.m-ec.co.uk/) and Lightfoot, (https://www.lightfoot.co.uk/) and we’re expecting even greater diversity at our next events. Several participants in the Exeter workshop used the event to kickstart their journey towards an ILM Level 5 Certificate in Leadership & Management combined with accreditation as Workplace Innovation Practitioners. Join us in Glas..

As a member of the 2019/20 Fresh Thinking Labs programme, you’ll visit some of Europe’s most innovative companies and meet highly experienced change leaders. Giant companies such as Scania (https://www.scania.com/uk/en/home.html) and SMEs such as Dutch special needs cycle manufacturer Van Raam (https://www.vanraam.com/en-gb) share a commitment to employee empowerment and a culture of innovation – and they’re willing to share their experiences. And you can even opt to use the programme to support your journey to an ILM Level 5 Certificate in Leadership & Management – your learning and reflections from the visits are part of the assessment. We’ve designed an exciting programme offering you the opportunity to learn from practitioners and thought leaders from several countries. Each visit addresses key workplace practices associated with high performance and great places to work, enabling you to share experiences and practical advice wit..

Recently we enjoyed some delightful and stimulating 'walk and talk' sessions with Edwin Van Vlieberghe (https://www.linkedin.com/in/edwin-van-vlierberghe-45139374/?lipi=urn%3Ali%3Apage%3Ad_flagship3_pulse_read%3B81w6IgVyQa2d1W9IQ4fwkQ%3D%3D), until recently a Global Vice-President at Bombardier Transportation (https://www.bombardier.com/en/transportation.html). Standing in the middle of Grimspound (https://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/grimspound/), a spectacular Bronze Age settlement on Dartmoor, Edwin pointed out that the unique effectiveness of #workplaceinnovation as a means of enhancing business performance and working lives lies in its insistence on leaders changing themselves as well as their organisations. He went on to share some inspiring experiences from his working life in the rail and automotive industries - and we look forward to hearing more from Edwin when we facilitate Scottish Enterprise's Workplace Innovation Masterclass (http://freshthinkingla..

Former Met Office consultant joins Exeter leadership workshop A diverse group of businesses and not-for-profit organisations from around the UK are gathering in Exeter next month to participate in an innovative leadership workshop programme aimed at providing leaders with the knowledge, skills and confidence that enable them to build high performing organisations by fully engaging their people. Led by Workplace Innovation Europe CLG (WIE), participants include Plymouth based shared services company, Delt Services (https://deltservices.com/), Exeter based Lightfoot (https://www.lightfoot.co.uk/), an award-winning, highly innovative vehicle improvement technology business, Midlands-based construction engineering specialists M-EC (https://www.m-ec.co.uk/), and Macmillan Cancer Support (https://www.macmillan.org.uk/). Futures Housing Group (https://futureshg.co.uk/) which manages over 9000 properties in the Midlands, and Stevenage based defence manufacturer MBDA (h..