Innovation in the Workplace

January 28, 2009

How Web 2.0 and Generation Y are changing the way management work is done

The second wave of the Internet revolution, often called Web 2.0, has had an enormous impact on the way we interact with each other online and the ways we access and use information.   This is particularly so for Generation Y, the generation born after 1980, who were born into a high-tech, digital world, and who are now entering the workforce in large numbers. Generation Y employees communicate differently than their baby boomer or Generation X bosses, and they have different expectations about what constitutes an exciting and worthwhile work environment.

Profound as these trends are, they have not yet had a dramatic impact on the nature of management work itself—on the way that we make decisions, motivate employees, set objectives or coordinate activities.  But this is set to change: Generation Y employees are demanding new ways of working, and Web 2.0 is enabling the development of new tools and applications that are making such change possible.  

The purpose of this MLab conference is to explore the impact of Web 2.0 and Generation Y employees on innovation in the workplace. Speakers will include CEOs and senior executives from companies with highly innovative management models, and from thought leaders who are exploring the potential of these trends for a radically different workplace of the future.

Wednesday, January 28th
London Business School

3.00pm Arrive at London Business School
3.30pm Part 1: How Web 2.0 is changing management work
Jack Hughes, CEO, Topcoder
Sherman Rowland, CEO, Co-thrive
Don Sull, Professor, London Business School
Bruce Rayner, CEO, You at Work
5.00pm Coffee break
5.30pm Part 2: How Generation Y is changing management work
Ross Smith, Director, Testing solutions, Microsoft
Julian Birkinshaw, MLab
Peter Cheese, Managing Director, Accenture
7.15pm Finish, drinks reception


The MLab is supported by UBS Investment Bank,the David and Elaine Potter Charitable Foundation, and the CIPD.


Speaker Information

Jack Hughes is CEO of Topcoder, A Connecticut-based software company founded in 2002 that uses programming “tournaments” to develop software for its clients. This unique management model allows Topcoder to harness the voluntary efforts of programmers from all over the world. And it is a leading example of a “virtual” internet-enabled organisation.

Sherman Rowland is CEO of Co-thrive, a Massachusetts-based company that develops software to help monitor and manage employees’ commitments to one another. Its proprietary software facilitates dramatic improvements in organisational effectiveness, and offers the potential to change the way we work with one another.

Don Sull is Professor of Management Practice at London Business School, and a leading expert in managing strategic agility. He is a member of the advisory board of Co-thrive.

Ross Smith is Director of Test, Windows Security, at Microsoft in Redmond, WA. He is the architect of an organisational innovation at Microsoft, 42Projects, that has succeeded in dramatically enhancing the levels of trust and engagement in his team, many of whom are Generation Y employees.

Bruce Rayner is CEO of You at Work, a Canary-Wharf based provider of flexible benefits solutions for large companies and one of the fastest growing technology companies in the country. You at Work has recently developed a new offering with Web 2.0 facilities that encourage member participation and on-line social interaction.

Peter Cheese is Managing Director, Talent & Organization Performance at Accenture. Peter is an expert on the impact of Generation Y employees on the workplace of the future. He is the co-author of The Talent Powered Organisation: Strategies for Globalization, Talent Management and High Performance.

Julian Birkinshaw is a Professor at London Business School and cofounder of the Management Innovation Lab. His research is focused on the emergence of new management practices, processes and principles.


For further information, please contact:
Rosie Robertson
London Business School
Regent's Park
London NW1 4SA
United Kingdom