Skip to main content

New program helps employees ‘switch’ on innovative thinking at work

Media release

Employees within the public service sector who want to learn how to create an innovative culture within their workplace can now apply for Switch, a new program launched today by Curtin University in partnership with the City of Canning.

Switch is a five-day pilot program run over three months that will give local, state and federal government employees the mind-set, tools, evidence and confidence to ‘switch’ on innovative thinking in the workplace. The program will comprise of practical teaching sessions, expert panels, mentor sessions and experienced advice from government leaders and change makers from various industries.

Lead facilitator Dr Dorothy Wardale, Deputy Director of MBA Programs at Curtin University, said it was important for organisations to encourage their employees to embrace innovative thinking, in order to remain competitive and relevant in today’s workforce.

“Employees who are passionate about innovation are a real asset to any organisation that is looking to adapt, improve and benefit from innovative change. The unique ideas and skills that result from an innovative culture will help organisations respond to their customer and stakeholder needs more effectively,” Dr Wardale said.

“The new program offers a unique opportunity for managers and employees in the public service sector to learn from experienced professionals who are leaders in this space, while also working on their own innovation project in between sessions.

“By the end of the program, participants will have learned how to support innovation and develop an innovative culture in the workplace, solve business problems using innovation methodologies and tools, identify and tackle barriers to innovation, and negotiate effectively.”

City of Canning Mayor Paul Ng said that by collaborating and working with Curtin University, employees working across all levels of government would benefit from a customised solution that would build their own culture of innovation.

“The Switch program aims to fill a gap in the market for Government specific courses. Where many innovation courses focus on methodology, Switch focuses on how to build an innovative culture and staff capability. Participants will be given access to practical tools and Curtin’s Business School network of entrepreneurs,” Mr Ng said.

“The City is proud to be partnering with Curtin University to provide a customised solution that will assist employees from local, state and federal levels in ‘switching on innovation’ in their workplace.”

The program, which will be led by Dr Dorothy Wardale and Mr Brad Birt from Curtin University, will include additional cross-disciplinary and high-profile academic facilitation from across the University. The program will also include facilitation from Ms Jemma Greene, Chief Innovation Officer for the City of Canning, as well as other high profile industry and government leaders.

The program itself will be complemented by a research project, led by Associate Professor Amy Tian, from Curtin’s School of Management. This research project will track the innovation culture of the organisations and departments participating in the pilot program.

The new program, which runs from August to October 2019, will be held at 137 St Georges Terrace, Perth, Curtin’s newest city-based location that delivers postgraduate courses and professional development programs for business professionals and students. Further information on how to enrol in the program can be found online here.