Higher Performing Workplaces: Building agile and resilient businesses in times of change

22nd October 2020 - Susie Newton

Building agile and resilient businesses in times of change: Drew Rowlands discusses the IVE approach

A version of this article was first published on the 21st October 2020 by the West Yorkshire Consortium of Colleges (WYCC). 

We Are IVE (InnovatIVE) are perfectly placed to deliver Innovative Working training solutions to businesses in West Yorkshire through the Higher Performing Workplaces project.

Backed by extensive research around creativity and the impact it can have on the workplace, IVE helps organisations and individuals to understand the importance of creativity when it comes to resilience, problem solving, collaboration and communication. They give businesses the tools they need to have the space and time to allow creativity and innovation and build a creative culture.

We spoke to Drew Rowlands, Deputy CEO at IVE, about why it’s so important to be creative in any industry or team.

“Research shows that 98% of five-year-olds have genius levels of creativity but as adults we lose that potential, and it drops to about 2%. At IVE we try to break down the barriers that block creativity. When we are able to create an environment in which we are less concerned by risk and look for the learning in things that don’t go well, the more in tune we become with imagination, possibilities and opportunities; allowing the solutions to any business challenges to flow naturally. In doing so we develop individual, team and organisational resilience and innovation”

From surviving to thriving

Drew explained how many businesses, particularly SMEs, are currently in ‘survival mode’. This means the ability and capacity to look forward is a luxury that a lot of businesses assume they can’t afford. But Drew emphasised that there are various mechanisms that can easily be adopted to support change and innovation, the benefits of which can enable every person in an organisation to thrive.

“Creativity is often spontaneous and happens by accident but when you can consciously plan and develop mechanisms and systems for innovation so that you’re doing it deliberately, the impact that can have is exponential; particularly in terms of giving you the confidence to know that solutions are possible. This can be through simple, small pieces of behavioural change. For example, just the way you react to an idea can either kill it dead or grow its potential.”

The team at IVE understand that not every business has the capacity to have afternoons of creative brainstorming, but it’s about having an awareness of how to switch on your creativity when it’s needed. Whether individually, within a team or within your organisation.

“In the modern UK workplace, we work hard. But we’re not necessarily working productively or effectively. The biggest constraint we add to ourselves is the constraint of time, we are always working to the clock or to a deadline and it’s a constraining mind-set that stops you from being productive. Through our training we implement a creative and critical thinking process that provides understanding and techniques for breaking out of these constraints.”

More than training

Drew adds, “We are living in a VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous) society, a landscape where we don’t know what jobs and roles are going to be there week to week. Yet our business models are often stagnant, and we need to be far more flexible and imaginative in our thinking, particularly with robotics and automation growing around us. No matter what sector, every organisation needs to be looking at things differently. This is relevant now more than ever because of Covid-19.”

IVE offers blogs and thought pieces, which can be found on their website. They are also running FREE monthly taster sessions to showcase the training they have on offer.

Building Resilient and Agile Leaders in times of Uncertainty is available through Higher Performing Workplaces, a project that can offer eligible businesses in the Leeds City Region 40% funding towards training. In addition to this, the price of IVE’s training has recently come down to show support to businesses during the pandemic.

The Higher Performing Workplaces project is managed by the West Yorkshire Consortium of Colleges and funded by the European Social Fund.

Customer testimonial

Altrad – “IVE have been instrumental in helping our leaders inspire our business during a time of change. They used creative techniques as a way of breaking down inhibitions and enabling our people to better articulate the vision for the future. We’ve been blown away by the difference that the team at IVE are able to make.

“Not only have they made our leaders better communicators, but we’re now beginning to realise commercial benefit from the new skill sets they’ve given our people. Our partnership with IVE is a truly symbiotic relationship, bringing tangible benefits for all involved.”

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