TSI Blog

The move from a Knowledge to Creative economy and why ‘employee engagement’ will be ever more important…

March 18th, 2011 by Gary Cattermole

There is no getting away from the fact that many organisations are now gearing up for the move to a ‘creative economy’.  The traditional carrot and stick approach to management may well prove even less successful than it has during the ‘knowledge economy’. Employee engagement will play an ever-increasing role in ensuring that organisations can make the most of this change.


By enabling an organisations management structure to flex and shift to allow its employees to be creative, energised and engaged.

Why is this so important?

Clear evidence already shows the bottom line benefits of employee engagement1, as we move to the ‘creative economy’ it will prove to be the difference between winners and losers.

Let’s take a look at Apple as one example.  Back in 2009 (Q3) the iPhone division delivered circa $1.5 billion in profits, over at Nokia a mere $1.1 billion. Now, here’s the kicker, rough market share2 – Apple 2.5% and Nokia a whopping 35%…OUCH!

Apple was able to deliver the iPhone (when launched in 2007) with something fundamentally different (from a users perspective), its team was creative and enabled an extremely rich user experience that other manufactures/providers were not able to do (I fully appreciate that not everyone enjoys the Apple experience…).  Since then it has remained innovative to ensure that it stays ahead of its competition.

Would this have been possible without a highly motivated group of employees with a clearly defined goal and a management structure that enabled those employees to genuinely innovate and deliver?

Employee engagement is already a game changer and as we move ever more towards the ‘creative economy’, where organisations differentiate themselves by creating a rich environment for their users/customers/clients it will become more so.

  1. David MacLeod and Nita Clarke, “Engaging for Success: enhancing performance through employee engagement,” Department for Business Innovation & Skills, May, 2009, p. 37-39, http://www.bis.gov.uk/policies/employment-matters/strategies/employee-engagement, accessed May 2009.
  2. MG Siegler,“While Rivals Jockey For Market Share, Apple Bathes In Profits,”  Techcrunch website, http://techcrunch.com/2009/11/11/while-rivals-jockey-for-market-share-apple-bathes-in-profits/ accessed November 2009.
Written by Gary Cattermole
Gary Cattermole is a Director at The Survey Initiative, a dedicated employee research organisation devoted to helping its clients gain insight and understanding into what drives employee engagement in their business. Gary has extensive expertise and experience in a range of employee research techniques from employees surveys and 360 degree feedback to workshop facilitation and action planning sessions, working with a diverse range of clients such as EPSON, Telegraph Media Group, Natural History Museum, AVEVA and Accor. Gary is an avid sports fan, in particular table tennis and football. Visit http://www.surveyinitiative.co.uk for more information.

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