Innovation management for workplaces with Janet Sernack

A lot of organisations say collaboration is important to them. It probably is. Yet unfortunately their workspaces and the way they work in their space can undo this powerful message. 

Janet Sernack is a global expert on innovation. We are thrilled to share her wisdom and experience on the Workplace Makers podcast.

Janet’s view on workplace symbols is clear: “If you are looking to innovate but you are still symbolically rewarding individuals for individual achievement, then you’re not going to get collaborative achievement.”

For example, if you’re still giving the most senior executives the car parking place closest to the entrance of the company, while talking about being inclusive, that’s a clear sign the company doesn’t have integrity about inclusivity, which undermines the language around it. 

Janet talks about the integral importance of managing risk to foster innovation. Applying this to the workplace, where businesses are taking on a high degree of risk, it becomes vitally clear how important it is to create the right environment for safe team conversations. 

“I’m finding now that a lot of the digital transformations have now regressed because people have frozen and we know we need to change. We understand we need to shift our mindset, but we still don’t have a safe environment to start to do it.” Janet Sernack

Key moments

1:53 – How Janet became interested in the people side of innovation

5:09 – What is innovation?

8:29 – How innovation is a people-oriented pursuit

10:10 – Exchanging value for innovation

15:50 – Suiting innovation to a brand strategically

19:45 – Explore or exploit thinking – why you would use it to stimulate innovation

21:21 – Bringing humanity into the workplace

22:26 – People-oriented workplaces – the financial implications of innovation and keeping talent

25:23 – How board member behaviour affects a business

26:40 – What research says about the future of innovation in the workplace

Connect with Janet

Janet shares practical and strategic innovation insights over at her award-winning ImagineNation blog.  

ImagineNation –

The Workplace Makers podcast explores workplace making – building modern workplaces that people are drawn to, wherever they work from

Workplace Makers – the podcast about people building workplaces that attract a crowd

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