Bob Hoskins once said “It’s good to talk”. At Bromford Lab we certainly believe that to be true. Lots of our design and innovation inspiration comes from conversations; conversations between ourselves, conversations with colleagues, conversations with people in our communities. . . So we got thinking - How might we create the right conditions for more serendipitous conversations? One of the solutions we have come up with and are currently testing is Bromford Lab Inspiration Sessions.

Inspiration Sessions are all about giving ourselves and colleagues the space to think differently, by coming together to discuss a co-produced reading list comprised of interesting blogs, articles, videos and podcasts. Creativity isn’t like a tap that can be turned on and off. A library of inspiration develops through a lifetime of experiences, and if you keep your mind open to a host of possibilities you will find that inspiration is everywhere. We’ve got a hunch that Inspiration Sessions will help us build our library, but more importantly the discussion with colleagues will help us to make connections between the entries which will help us unlock our creativity.

Sometimes inspiration sessions will have a direct and immediate impact on our work. We might find videos that will help us to communicate a way of thinking to other colleagues, find tools that will enrich workshops and lead to great outcomes or find insights to influence decision making. However, by simply giving ourselves the space to keep up to date with current trends and thinking, we hope that we can evidence some real impact, whether that’s tomorrow, next month or next year. It might not always be possible to measure a direct outcome from a session, but we’re thinking that if we leave the session feeling energised then that’s going to make us more creative in itself.

Our first session is on Friday 23rd June. We’ve given it the theme - The future of how we work. Over the past week colleagues have been submitting links for inclusion on the reading list. We're now busy reading, watching and listening to the links and are looking forward to chatting about them over lunchtime on Friday.

We’ve shared the list below and would love you to join in the conversation. If you have a comment about anything on the list, tweet us using #InspireMeLab and we’ll try to include your comments in our conversation.

We’ll be writing about how we get on with the sessions, so keep your eye on the blog.

Happy reading! (watching or listening).


The Future Of How We Work - #InspireMeLab

LISTEN - Companies without managers

BBC Radio 4 - Who's your boss? Peter Day explores how three different companies, in three different countries, do business without managers. Who hires and fires? And how do you get a pay rise? He asks how these radical organisations emerged, and whether other companies may follow their lead.

Short on time? If you can please listen to this in full. It’s a great programme from start to finish, but if you are pressed for time, skip to the middle segment: 9:27 to 18:30 ish.

WATCH - The jobs we'll lose to machines, and the ones we won't

Machine learning isn't just for simple tasks like assessing credit risk and sorting mail anymore — today, it's capable of far more complex applications, like grading essays and diagnosing diseases. With these advances comes an uneasy question: Will a robot do your job in the future? Anthony Goldbloom provides his thoughts in this 4:36 min Ted Talk.

READ - Do we really need a 40-hour work week?

Is the eight hour work day we are accustomed to is a relic of a different era, when most people worked with their hands, rather than with their minds?

READ - Here’s how the 100 most innovative companies adapt and respond to change

The Corporate Rebels explore IDEO’s human-centered design thinking methodology and uncover the common characteristics of some of the world's most innovative organisations.

READ - Cut the crap - the truth about different generations at work

Is the job hopping myth just a made-up generalisation wrongly shaping the way we think about generational differences in the workplace? Believing such claims to be false, the Corporate Rebels decided to put some of them to the test.

READ - The benefits of an unconditional basic income

With job markets becoming increasingly unstable, the provision of a universal basic income could be the key to a successful modern economy. Kim Darrah explores how Finland became the first European country to provide citizens with an unconditional basic income.

READ - 3 Ways the internet of things will change every business

Have you entered the Internet of Things yet? If you have a FitBit or a Nest thermostat, or any other household device that you can control with your computer or phone, you have. But even if you haven’t got one of those devices yet, Bernard Marr is betting you will within the next 3–5 years.

READ - Pros and cons of a portfolio career

As more people move away from traditional 9-to-5 jobs,  Simon North sets out the benefits and disadvantages of  juggling a variety of different roles at the same time.

READ - Teaming - Self management

GE has a version of self-management that is much like Zappos’ Holacracy–and it works. Sarah Kessler explores why.

READ - Designing the experience driven life

Experience — the sum of our interactions with the world around us — is increasingly the focus of design. In a digital era, a one-note, one-dimensional experience fails to impress. You have to connect with people emotionally at every moment in their journey, and map how that experience unfolds.

READ - 9 ways the workplace will be different in 2050

Imagine how much different things will look several decades from now. Business Insider spoke to futurists with expertise on the workplace to better understand how it could change by the year 2050.

READ - 10 Ways 3D printing could change the world

When an engineer named Chuck Hall first dreamed up the idea of printing three-dimensional objects back in the early 1980s, it probably seemed to many people like something out of a particularly far-fetched sci-fi novel. However, over the past decade 3D printers have started to become more and more popular. The question is - what could that mean for the future of work?

READ - How to carry out repairs, on-time, first time

Changes to regulations and reduced performance reporting means that landlords now enjoy greater flexibility over the way in which they deliver services to their tenants. With increased government emphasis on local accountability, the way services are delivered in the future is much more likely to be influenced by tenants and value for money than the target driven reporting requirements of old.

WATCH - Aspen Lecture: The future of imagination

Thinking about the far-off future isn’t just an exercise in intellectual curiosity. It’s a practical skill that, as new research reveals, has a direct neurological link to greater creativity, empathy, and optimism. Master game designer and acclaimed futurist Jane McGonigal explores in her Aspen Ideas Festival lecture.


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