The creative industries are heavily dependent on the skills and visionary mindset of the people they employ. Scottish Enterprise’s Clare Alexander explains how workplace innovation can boost business growth.


It’s no accident that Scotland is a frontrunner in sectors such as gaming, film, architecture, digital, design and fashion.

These industries rely on harnessing the flair and innovation of individuals and our country is blessed with a wealth of creative talent.

The ability of businesses to access a pool of talented people with diverse but complementary skills is crucial for their growth potential.

Like all employers, firms in the creative sector develop staff through different learning routes – that can be anything from on-the-job coaching and mentoring to more formal training courses.

But while all ambitious businesses want to encourage higher levels of performance, product and service innovation and employee engagement, many neglect to take advantage of an extremely valuable resource, namely, workplace innovation.

The concept is not just another fad or business buzz phrase – instead it’s associated with practices such as empowering job design, self-organised team working, opportunities for reflection, learning and improvement, innovation practices.

It’s also aimed at encouraging entrepreneurial behaviour at all levels of an organisation and employee representation in strategic decision-making.

Scottish Enterprise’s Workplace Innovation assistance is designed to support employers by developing the skills of the country’s workforce.

Edinburgh-based games developer Blazing Griffin, one of the companies we support, epitomise the value and benefits – to business and the individual – of promoting innovation in the workplace.

As one of the early signatories of the Scottish Business Pledge, the company pays the Living Wage and has no employees on zero hour contracts.

They are strongly committed to workforce engagement and have ensured that innovation underpins their business plans to expand into North America and Asia.

As a Scottish Enterprise High Growth start-up, they have been able to access a number of grants which have allowed them to employ an operations manager and undertake research and development work that otherwise may have been deemed too risky.

We’ve supported them throughout the implementation of workplace innovation practices.

In such a creative industry as games, the people behind the products are the key to success. Investing in staff and building strong relationships with suppliers has always been central to Blazing Griffin’s business strategy, and those aims align very closely with the objectives of Workplace Innovation.

For information about how SE may be able to offer you support please check out the Workplace Innovation pages on SE’s website.


The above blog post has been made possible through the generous support of Creative Clyde and the named contributors.