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Leadership ideas are clear with Dr Birdi

Monday, December 9th, 2013

Abirdi-90x75s a senior lecturer in Sheffield University Management School’s Institute of Work Psychology, Dr Kamal Birdi is used to communicating his highly regarded research to groups of students. However, recently his work has reached a professional audience.

After an excellent interview on BBC Radio 4’s programme ‘Bobbies on the Tweet’, which discussed how police are fighting crime using the popular social media platform Twitter, Dr Birdi has had much involvement with local organisations, as well as the ESRC Festival of Social Science.

Two events in November called on Dr Birdi’s expertise and were part of the national Festival, organised annually by the ESRC. The first, held at The Circle, Sheffield, was a one-day CLEAR IDEAS creativity training workshop. Attendees numbered 18 and came from third sector organisations including SCOPE, Sheffield Cubed and St Luke’s Hospice. Feedback from the event, which saw participants tackling challenges such as recruiting a more diverse board and creating fundraising events, was overwhelmingly positive, with comments including ‘some of the best training I’ve been to’, and ‘I hope to champion this within my organisation’.SYFR-workshop

The second ESRC event saw Dr Birdi invited to speak at Aston Business School. His talk was titled ‘But I’m not Creative…’, in which he evaluated the role of creativity training in promoting organisational innovation. Of the talk, Dr Birdi said: “I reviewed the research on creativity training in organisations and discussed the practical experience of running my CLEAR IDEAS workshops in organisations for the past eight years. Other speakers at the event, which had a theme of ‘Organisational Innovation, People Management and Sustained Performance’, came from as far afield as the USA, Denmark, Portugal and China.”

Dr Birdi also teaches on the Sheffield City Region Leadership Programme, which includes delegates from South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue (SYFR). Having experienced the impact his CLEAR IDEAS framework has had on their staff who have graduated from the programme, they invited Dr Birdi to facilitate a creative ideas session for middle-managers, after they were given a task from senior managers to come up with new suggestions on reducing SYFR’s transport costs, ensuring firefighters are kept up-to-date with training and that key knowledge wasn’t lost when people left the organisation.

The session (pictured right) was a great success.

Dr Kamal Birdi announced as Keynote at DOP 2012 Conference

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

Dr Kamal Birdi has been invited to give the Keynote Address on Innovation and Creativity at the Division of Occupational Pyschology (DOP) 2012 Conference of the British Psychological Society.

He will be speaking on the topic of ‘Turning ideas into innovations? A review of creativity training in organisations’.

The increasingly dynamic and competitive conditions of the 21st Century are raising the need for organizations to innovate more frequently and more effectively.  However, there has been relatively little evaluation of the effectiveness of creativity training interventions.  Dr Birdi will review perspectives from innovation research, and identify factors influencing creativity training effectiveness in the workplace.  Three important lessons will be discussed:

  1. That the knowledge and skills required for idea generation are different for those needed for implementation of those ideas in organisations.
  2. That development of creative motivation and self-efficacy are as important as the development of creative thinking skills for the long-term success of such initiatives.
  3. That the work environment can play a significant role in influencing the transfer of creativity training back to the workplace.

The presentation will also report on a new model of innovation training called Clear Idea, which develops the skills needed for both generating creative solutions and facilitating their successful implementation.

Dr Kamal Birdi has been engaging in research and practice in the areas of organisational innovation, learning and performance for nearly twenty years at the Institute of Work Psychology. He developed a training evaluation framework called the Taxonomy of Training and Development Outcomes (TOTADO) aimed at improving evaluation practice and has now produced a practical training system (CLEAR IDEA) designed to enhance the innovativeness of employees. In 2010, he was given the DOP Academic Contribution to Practice Award in light of his efforts to apply research to enhancing organisational processes.

For further information about the on the conference see:

COMPOSITE project comes to Sheffield

Thursday, September 30th, 2010

Comparative Police Studies in the EU (COMPOSITE) is a major new European Union Framework 7 funded research programme valued at 6.6 million Euros. Based on a study of police forces across Europe, COMPOSITE aims to improve the planning and execution of change initiatives in the police, identifying how these activities can be better aligned with the cultural and societal context per country and explaining how negative process effects can be mitigated. The project also aims to improve individual police organisation per country and joint European capabilities.

The consortium consists of 15 research partners and 25 police forces in 10 European Union countries. The programme itself is made of eleven separate Work Packages.

Dr Kamal Birdi (Institute of Work Psychology, Management School, University of Sheffield) is leading Work Package 3 ‘Knowledge sharing capabilities and best practices in police organisations’ . This has received funding of £333,000 and will run from August 2010 to July 2014. The research objectives are:

1. To develop a framework for understanding knowledge-sharing practices between police organisations across Europe. This framework will comprehend knowledge sharing at three levels of complexity: communication, cooperation and collaboration.

2. Assess individual and organisational barriers and enablers to knowledge sharing.

3. Develop a diagnostic tool to assess the Knowledge Sharing Capabilities of an organisation.

The project is intended to enhance both the understanding and practice of organisational learning in police forces.

Dr Birdi has worked with a wide variety of pubic and private sector organisations and has published widely in both national and international journals. He is a fully Chartered Occupational Psychologist with the British Psychological Society/Health Professions Council and is Director of one of the UK’s leading MScs in Occupational Psychology at the University of Sheffield.