It is Thursday evening at 9:45 PM, and I am stepping into the Simplon Bar off of Zurich's famous Bahnhofstrasse.
The manager, Oliver, knows me well, which is why I recommend meeting people here. The whisky selection is huge, and the cocktails are fantastic. But I am not here for that tonight. I am meeting up with Sunnie Tölle. As I arrive, I look around for a seat only to discover that she is already there. We greet each other and sit down.
Active and Engaged Workforce
It has been a few months since we last caught up, so I am excited to hear how things are going for Sunnie. She is busy planning her second large event with Inspire925.
Her start-up has been making Swiss news every time there are major stories about the "burn-out syndrome" or economic inefficiencies. She is consulting Swiss companies to become some of the best employers in the world by showing them how an active and engaged workforce is most productive.
The upcoming conference is entitled "Creativity goes to work", and it is taking place in Switzerland's tallest building: The Prime Tower in Zürich. Anyone living and working, doing business with, or simply traveling through Switzerland knows that this is an expensive country.
Despite this fact, however, demand for Swiss products in foreign markets continues to climb. Most demanded are precision tools and devices from established companies, as well as state-of-the-art premium products from new companies like On, Zai, and even Swiss Post.
Creativity: The Key to Success
Despite these positive developments, many (more conservative) Swiss are constantly in fear of Swiss jobs being exported to countries with cheaper production costs, such as to Eastern Europe and Asia. I would postulate that this fear need not be.
The above stated companies are successful not just because of the quality of their products, but because of their creativity and ability to meet future challenges - be it re-thinking a better shoe, creating a fairer working environment, or re-imagining the way mail is delivered.
The key that all of these companies have discovered is creativity. In fact, creativity was even a topic at last year's World Economic Forum in Davos.
In order for companies located in Switzerland, especially SME's, to continue to demand their current prices, guarantee their employees the quality of pay they are accustomed to, and remain viable, they will need to embrace creativity. No, they will need to nurture it!
And helping company and industry leaders, from CEO's to HR heads, realize this is exactly what Sunnie and Inspire925 hope to do with their next conference. From leveraging the transformative powers of creativity to making one's work environment more productive and identifying the best practices for sparking innovation in the workplace - all will be discussed at this week's conference.
Inspire925 has sourced one of the world's leading and most acclaimed experts on creativity - Denise Jacobs. On stage with Jacobs will be Zürich's own Chris Brügger from Denkmotor, a leading innovation agency.
Those wanting more than just an evening with these speakers can also sign up for the Deep Dive on Friday. The organisers promise attendees of both events that they will leave the event with concrete methods for making their work environment more conducive to innovation and creative productivity.
After being briefed on the event and finding out about all of the new developments at Inspire925, Sunnie and I call it a night. Two busy entrepreneurs need to get their rest, for tomorrow is another busy day... And having enough rest is vital to being creative in the first place!
If you are interested in finding out the secrets to increasing creativity in your workplace (and reaping the economic benefits), get your conference ticket for Thursday and Friday today!
(Photographs copyright by Impact HUB)