How can larger companies create and foster a truly innovative working environment, and how can you, as an employee within a large company, make an innovative difference to the culture and practices around you? Last week we were invited by LV= to explore these questions at their “Innovate Within” conference in Bournemouth.

LV= staff from around the UK were shuttled in to The Life Centre in Winton for a two-day conference to look at ideas of innovation, creativity and change. It wasn’t the large-scale systematic company-wide level of change that was under scrutiny, but the kind of small-scale incremental change that can be affected by individuals within a company.

Myself, Michelle, Christina and Kriss were present across the two days, staffing the Createful stand, to show the conference attendees some of the work we’ve done for LV=, and also some of the ways we maintain a “createful” way of working.

Obviously as a small business it’s a lot easier for us to make and affect rapid changes to our working methodologies and practices, and there are many careful considerations that come into play when working somewhere as big as LV=. That said, there are still many things we can do as individuals to bring about change on the micro scale, which further down the line can have an impact on the macro scale. This was the focus of the key note talk given by motivational speaker Richard Tyler, which was a great source of inspiration – especially the part where he had everybody in the crowd up on their feet singing!

Matt Desmier of ThinkCreateDo headed up the Innovation Lab, where a select group of people on each day were taken aside and given some practical tasks in innovation. It’s all very well and good talking about these things, but how can you actually make it happen? The results were fruitful, and Matt asked me to provide some #sketchnotes to illustrate their journey:

These were done at a pretty high speed, so forgive me the “sketchy” nature!

As for the Createful stand, we took along some cool innovative gadgets to kick-start some conversations and help get the creative juices flowing. As was the case at the BIMA Digital Day, the 3Doodler printing pen went down a storm, with just about everyone who saw it wanting to have a go.

The 3Doodler Pen in action

The team behind the event had done a cracking job, and the main hall where we were situated had a large stage decked out with chill out pods filled with cushions and retro video games consoles. Above us was a second seating area where the main sessions and key note talk took place, which had some impressive video screen technology going on.

The large screen at the LV= innovate within conference

All in all it was a great opportunity for us to chat to lots of people from LV= who were really keen to see how they could bring true innovation into their workplace. The atmosphere was vibrant, the facilities excellent and the people were really excited. Kudos to LV= who are prepared to encourage and enthuse its employees, when many other similarly sized companies in the insurance world might be hesitant to embrace change and innovation in such a dynamic way.