you start

Before you start training curriculum and materials are developed by the partner team of the project “Towards a More Innovative Workplace” (InnoWork, №: 2014-1-BG01-KA202-001634). They are mainly intended for the EU micro, small and medium sized enterprises willing to enhance their innovative The InnoWork course focuses on developing concepts and hands-on techniques for enhancing SME’s business adaptability in highly competitive environment through organizational innovation.

The curriculum may also be interesting to vocational education and training providers which deliver courses in organizational innovation. It is complimented by “Guidelines for VET providers” – a methodological documents leading educators through the InnoWork training content and explaining how they can integrate it into their programmes.

The InnoWork course employs the perspective of a manager of a micro, small or medium sized enterprize. Saying “a manager” we mean not only seniour executives – owners and managing directors, but also mid-level managers, first line managers, and even functional specialists – all those who take responsibility for the success of the company. Because, in fact, bringing about organizational innovation is more than seniour management setting up an appropriate strategy. It makes all people in the company ground the innovation perspective in their operational reality.

The InnoWork course is specifically tailored to SMEs’ needs related to organizational innovation. Its content is prompted by the results of the survey among European SMEs and VET providers carried out by the project consortium in February and March 2015 (summary of the survey results can be found at: ).

The companies which took part in the survey mentioned that innovation is often hindered by organizational impediments such as time and resource constraints, lack of motivation and relevant experience on behalf of staff. The course is designed to help you overcome these barriers to innovation. The theoretical chapters are accompanied with examples presenting the best practices implemented by companies in their way to fake watches Each module suggests game-like activities which all together help you develop and improve your ability to perform organizational innovation.

Considering heavy workload of SME managers and employees, the InnoWork course allows for flexible learning pathways - self-study approach or tutor-guided approach.

The InnoWork course consists of 10 modules. Each module represents an independent learning unit. Its inner structure includes: module overview, learning content – reading part and exercises, self-test questions – quiz, additional readings, glossary, and bibliography.

Before you start the course we recommend that you familiarize yourself with the InnoWork Curriculum! InnoWork Curriculum


Overview of InnoWork Modules

Module 1: The concepts of creativity and innovation

The module is divided into three main sections:

1) Why is creativity important? – presents some facts on the role of creativity in organizations as well as its impact on societal and economic trends.

2) What are the main characteristics of creativity? – introduces the concepts of “adaptors” and “innovators” and makes comparison between the two types of persons.

3) How can we develop creativity? – focuses on:

  • leadership behaviours that nourish creativity in organizations;
  • interesting models of the creativity process in organizations by looking at three approaches to the creativity process: those of Charles Cave, Amabile and Woodman & Schoenfeldt.


Module 2: Organizational structure (business model), the creative process and governance for innovation

the module is divided into five main sections:

1) Business models, organizational structure, SMEs and innovation – explains the definitions used in Module 2 and reveals the role of SMEs for the creation of innovation. Reflects on the difference between organizational structure and culture and provides insight on how to promote culture that supports creativity in an organization.

2) Business models and business model innovation – investigates the importance of the business model and elements that bring innovative and novel aspects into the business model, such as Teece’s business model design and questions to support creativity and innovation, Blue Ocean Strategy, Creative Guerrilla Marketing and Guerrilla Marketing.

3) Open innovation in SMEs – reveals the concept of open innovation and how it can benefit micro, small and medium-sized enterprises.

4) Processes for open innovation – looks at the practical side of open innovation, and how SMEs can use it, providing illustrative examples. It also presents Design Thinking as an approach complementary to open innovation.

5) Governance for innovation – introduces the governance of innovation model of Hobcraft and Phillips.


Module 3: Creating a culture of innovation

The module is divided into three main sections:

1) Setting the scene and context for defining culture and its importance for creativity and innovation – questions such as What is culture?, Why is it Important?, How to create it? are raised and discussed.

2) Making teamwork work – stressing the importance of team-building for developing an innovative culture.

3) Leadership practices – six leadership and management practices that foster creativity in the workplace are identified and explained.


Module 4: Maintaining a culture of innovation

The module is divided into two main sections:

1) Ideological study around maintaining a culture of innovation – focusing on the right frame of mind to keep the desired culture going as well as on people as the most important factor for defining pro-innovative culture.

2) Brief coverage of simple innovation techniques – a number of general actions that support creative thinking across any organization are identified and discussed together with key aspects which should be taken into consideration when measuring culture development.


Module 5: Application of creativity to the work tasks

The module is divided into two main sections:

1) Work tasks and creativity – presenting and challenging the most common misconceptions about creativity by defending the understanding that creativity is diverse and can be applied to any kind of work by any individual.

2) Design thinking and creative problem solving – provides an overview of various design approaches to problem solving and creative problem solving processes, describing its steps and suggesting creative techniques which can be used in each step.


Module 6: Creative workplace management

The module is divided into three main sections:

1) Defining creative workplace – providing a definition for the creative workplace from the single individual’s point of view in the context of the workplace environment.

2) Developing a creative workplace:

  • “HP Labs: Coffee, Communication and Innovation outputs” is given as an example of an organizational tool that promotes brainstorming;
  • “McKinsey study: Relationship between collaboration and trust” explores the factors which are correlated with strong performance on innovation.

3) Managing a creative workplace – a case study of Mindvalley enterprise provides a good example of setting up and managing creative workplaces.


Module 7: Innovation leadership

the module is divided into 3 main sections:

1) Innovation leadership – introduces the concept of innovation leadership and clarifies the nature of its two components: innovative leadership and leadership for innovation. In addition, the specific features of innovative thinking vs. business thinking are explained.

2) How to enable innovation in a team - explains how to enable innovation in a team and identifies what the differences are between a leader, manager and a CEO.

3) Creative teams in organizations – provides insights on how to lead an effective creative team.


Module 8: Technology as an enabler of innovative ideas

The module is divided into three main sections:

1) Business challenges and opportunities in the information age – explains the role of contemporary internet technologies and software tools for the organisational creativity and innovation. The value of the information in the information age is clarified as well as concepts such as “social business”, “crowdsourcing and human cloud”, etc.

2) Exemplary list of web-based technologies and tools – an extensive list of tools is provided to help companies acquire the image of “social business”, adopt open innovation strategy and provide crowdsourcing opportunities.

3) Finding the best web-based technology for your company – provides an insight on how to choose an appropriate tool for solving a specific problem regarding a certain category associated with organisational innovation (e.g. idea management).


Module 9: Designing an organization innovation plan

The module is divided into two main sections:

1)  Model for an innovation plan for SMEs – presents in detail the main steps that a company should follow in order to develop an innovation plan. Each of the five steps is described in a way that can support the implementation of practices in companies leading to innovation and a culture of innovation

2) Critical success factors in the model – details the 10 conditions that should be fulfilled in order to guarantee the innovation plan successful implementation for the respective SME.


Module 10: Reference to other creativity and innovation tools

The module is divided into three main sections:

1) Creativity – provides information about the three concepts of creativity to consider when thinking about creativity at the workplace: personal creativity, creative thinking and organisational creativity.

2) Innovation – briefly explains the specific features of innovation in comparison to creativity.

3) Tools for creativity and innovation – presents and discusses different tools that can be used to enhance and support creativity and innovation at the stages of their measuring, monitoring and continuous implementation.



The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

Copyright © 2015. Developed by ApplaDesign Ltd.