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Diversity as a driver of creativity and innovation

3 questions for Dr. Nida Bajwa

20.05.2020

May 21st is the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development. The goal behind this day, which was declared by the UN General Assembly in 2001, is to boost the public’s appreciation of cultural diversity.

 

This is why we at imc decided that it would be an excellent opportunity to honour and cultivate the cultural and skill diversity within our company, which is why some of our employees will be telling us more about their culture, their specialized working environment, and their various interests on the company’s Instagram account in the next few days. The campaign will end on May 26th (Germany’s official Diversity Day) with a special campaign day for employees that will include a keynote speech by Dr. Nida Bajwa on the subject of diversity and creativity – a highlight that we are already looking forward to. To put it in other words, we at imc are convinced of the fact that diversity has a positive influence on creativity and innovation.

 

In an interview Dr. Bajwa, who is a doctor of organizational psychology, reveals how a single quiet hour or a simple walk can help boost creativity, what research shows regarding the connections between diversity and creativity, and how you can bring your own creative ideas to life.

Dr. Nida Bawja

Entrepreneurship & Innovation Psychology Researcher, Saarland University

Many creative people are well aware of and fear one thing in particular: creative block. So how can you overcome that and be creative on demand instead?

Dr. Bawja: Needless to say, creativity isn’t something you can simply turn on and off, but you can still establish structures that will help you boost your own creativity. And while this may sound a bit counter intuitive at first, one good option is to have certain routines. Take, for example, a “quiet hour” at work, which can be taken every morning at the office. During this hour, you don’t check your emails. You leave the phone off. And by eliminating these sources of distraction, you can pursue your creative ideas and work without any interruptions for a full hour. Of course, it’s perfectly possible for someone to suffer from creative block even when all distractions are gone, so sometimes it’s necessary to use additional techniques to get things started. One of them is to write down anything that comes to mind regardless of whether it seems to make sense or not at first.

 

At this point, it’s probably also worth mentioning that not every creative thought or idea will necessarily be good, and that this is OK. Evaluating the ideas comes later. What you want at this point is to generate them.

 

You should also think about other things (such as music, relaxation techniques, etc.) that could help you boost your creativity and adopt the right mindset. And one last tip: Don’t forget to take breaks! If you’ve been caught up on a single topic for a while, it might make sense to take a break, leave the office, and take a short walk through the company or a walk outside during your lunch break. That could be the key to putting some distance between yourself and your task. Oh, and you can also try to view your task from a different angle and see if that helps you develop some new ideas.

Diversity

Homogeneous teams produce homogeneous results – do companies need targeted diversity programs in order to boost creativity and innovation?

Dr. Bawja: Well, there are studies that show that diversity and creativity are related to each other. Kurzberg (2005), for example, showed that heterogeneous teams were actually able to generate more ideas. But just what exactly diversity needs to look like in order to truly result in greater creativity is not as clear: Is it about the team members’ diverse backgrounds? Or rather about different ways to approach problems? Right now, the latter is usually given more importance. However, it’s also important to point out that more heterogeneity can result in conflicts and frustration, that is, if the differences within a team are too big, members can be less satisfied and productive results may actually be affected adversely. And what this means is that it’s important to foster a good, open work atmosphere between team members.

From the stroke of inspiration to doing: How can we take our creative ideas and make them a reality?

Dr. Bawja: By being proactive and focusing on means and resources. I’m sure you are well aware that we have somewhat of a perfectionist in us, and sure, that can definitely help motivate us to really work hard at solving some problem or task really well. But at the same time, perfect solutions are simply not possible sometimes, and in those cases, perfectionism can prevent us from starting, continuing, or completing a task.

 

Now, it goes without saying that a large and complex idea can’t just be implemented at the push of a button, of course. Instead, you need to think in terms of (negotiable) partial goals. So it’s important to get in touch with these perfectionist impulses in order to keep your motivation going, but also to be ready for setbacks.

 

One common mistake is that people underestimate the amount of time that implementing an idea takes. And what that ends up doing, for example, is making it impossible to meet a planned implementation deadline because not enough time was scheduled for it. Now, it’s also important to point out that these mistakes are almost guaranteed to happen at some point, so what’s essential is to know how to handle them correctly. Basically, what you want to do is try and learn from your mistakes, which in this example would mean scheduling in more time for your tasks. Ultimately, this will spare you the frustration of making the same mistake over and over again.

Thanks for the interview!

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Vanessa Klein
Senior Event and Communication Manager
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Integrate LinkedIn into imc Learning Suite

LinkedIn Learning is one of the largest online providers of professional development. More than 15.000 courses on business, technology and creativity from proven experts are available in its e-learning platform. Now it is possible to integrate LinkedIn Learning into imc Learning Suite.

21. 04.2010

After the implementation of a Learning Management System, the procurement of learning content is the next big step towards a digital learning strategy. However, creating high-quality courses takes time from experts who often have no experience in creating online learning content. A sensible solution is, as far as possible, to use learning content from external providers. But accessing different platforms for corporate learning often creates confusing learning scenarios and makes learning management more difficult.

 

Therefore we have worked on a simpler solution and now provide an interface between imc Learning Suite and LinkedIn Learning. Now, our customers can easily integrate the high-quality and diverse LinkedIn Learning offers directly into their blended learning strategy via the imc Learning Suite.

 

When content library providers such as LinkedIn Learning are integrated into learning management systems, all content isusually loaded into the system in catalog structures. In the initial application scenarios with customers, we have evaluated that this amount of content is often too confusing and reduce userfriendliness. In addition to the desire for an extensive library, another was created: support in selection and the possibilityof integrating content into existing company-relevant learning scenarios.

 

On the basis of these findings, the integration of LinkedinLearning was realised via an efficient search function with import function, which, in addition to providing content via catalogues, also allows the integration into all conceivable learning management scenarios.

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Kerstin Steffen
Head of Global Marketing & Communications
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imc makes portal for online laboratories, inquiry apps, and virtual learning environments available - free of charge

Digital teaching has been an important topic for quite some time - long before corona started impacting all aspects of life. But it is precisely in such times of crisis that its importance increases enormously. Around the world more and more schools are shutting down to prevent the virus from spreading further. Teaching must continue, however, and this is where the Go-Lab initiative comes in.

17.03.2020

The web-based Go-Lab platform combines interactive online experiments with conventional classroom teaching. Go-Lab offers a comprehensive variety of tools for research-based lessons, supporting science teaching in particular.
Diana Dikke, Innovation Project Manager at imc AG was in charge of this project on behalf of imc, the leading full-service provider for digital learning. She has summed up the most important aspects of Go-Lab for us and explains which particular new feature is available free of charge immediately.

 

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Diana Dikke, Innovation Project Manager

Diana Dikke has been working at imc for ten years and leads several international research projects.

1. How was Go-Lab created?

The online platform was developed within the scope of several EU projects, especially Go-Lab, Next-Lab and GO-GA that have been initiated in 2012. Today, Go-Lab is no longer a mere project but rather a community of several players from the fields of science and teaching, the professional development of teachers, and the software industry. We refer to this cooperation community as the "Go-Lab initiative".

The Go-Lab Ecosystem was designed in close cooperation with school teachers. As of this date it's the world's largest platform for online laboratories provided by industry leaders.

2. How exactly does Go-Lab work?

In the Go-Lab Ecosystem teachers and their students have access to more than 600 online laboratories. This can include virtual - i.e. simulated - as well as remotely controlled experiments, in which the web interface enables students and teachers to access real laboratories.

Teachers have the possibility to select an online laboratory that matches the lesson topic and can combine it with interactive learning applications and other content in a virtual learning environment, building a so-called "Inquiry Learning Space". They share this learning environment with their students via a web link, which enables them to utilize this Space in the classroom but also at home.

Structured learning environments such as these guide students through the research process and support them in every phase. This way they learn how to phrase research questions and hypotheses, how to verify them by experiment, how to analyze the collected data, and how to summarize such data in a digital report.

3. What is the goal of Go-Lab?

The underlying idea is to introduce students to scientific subjects and encourage them to pursue a career in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). It was, however, very important to us to not only provide theoretical knowledge but also impart practical skills and abilities. This is why Go-Lab allows students to work like real scientists during the lessons and provides the necessary research skills, such as analytical thinking and an empirical approach. Go-Lab also takes the so-called "21st-century skills" into account since it integrates collaboration and reflection into the learning process.

4. Which age groups is Go-Lab designed for?

With its huge selection of online laboratories end ready-to-use virtual learning environments Go-Lab basically covers all age groups from six through 18 years. It's focus, however, is rather on secondary level education.

 

Go Lab Logo

5. In which countries and in which languages is Go-Lab available?

The platform can be accessed from all over the world. It is mainly used in Europe but also in our partner countries in Africa, i.e. Kenya, Nigeria and Benin. To date, approximately 120,000 students were able to benefit from Go-Lab.The online laboratories are available in more than 60 languages, while Inquiry Learning Spaces can be prepared and published in almost any language.

 

6. What is the free premium offer about?

Some of the providers in our partner network offer professional online labs at a certain charge. These online laboratories will now be available as "premium labs" in addition to our free offer that we will of course continue to provide.

Our partner LabsLand, for example, offers a large variety of remotely controlled laboratories. Their huge advantage is that the installation of every laboratory is replicated at several universities and research institutes, thus ensuring continuous availability and excellent technical reliability. These labs enable students to program real Arduino robots and to conduct experiments covering topics such as radioactivity and kinematics.

It's exactly this service that we offer together with LabsLand free of charge from now on since we want to help mitigating the effects of school closings due to the corona pandemic as much as possible.

Curious? More information can be found at he Go-Lab Plattform ordirectly at our partner's site on LabsLand.

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Kerstin Steffen
Head of Global Marketing & Communications
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imc's response to the COVID-19 coronavirus

On behalf of the entire imc family, the management board assures that in times of uncertainty safety and wellbeing remain our highest priority. We want you to know that we are monitoring the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation closely, keeping those who are affected in our hearts, and are listening carefully to the questions and concerns we receive from employees, customers and partners.

13.03.2020

Confident in our care

Providing safe and clean environments for our employees and customers is always a top priority for imc globally - even more so today.
We remain committed to upholding the highest standards of cleanliness and hygiene.

To keep our employees safe, we have encouraged cancelling all work-related travel to reduce exposure risk. And, if anybody does need aid, we have processes in place already to meet the needs of any team member no matter where they are located - without causing any service disruptions.

 

imc as a pioneer of digitalization is an expert in working remotely. We are able to guarantee the same high level of operations and customer service that you’ve come to enjoy daily from us - even while our team is working from home.

 

We have systems in place that allow us to work with no interruption to service. Even so, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have reviewed our Business Continuity Plan and can confirm that no gaps exist for this specific threat. We have also confirmed that all critical third-party infrastructure providers are prepared and adequately addressing the threat.

 

Our shared passion may temporarily be challenged, but at imc we believe in its enduring power to connect us and move us closer to our vision: empower people and organisations throughout the world to achieve their full potential in a constantly evolving world. At all times, we remain grounded in our purpose and focused on our values of inclusion and respect. COVID-19 does not distinguish between nationality, race or geographic origin, and imc’s steadfast commitment to inclusion and care guides our actions, at our properties and in our communities.

 

Guaranteed service levels

imc as a pioneer of digitalization is an expert in working remotely. We are able to guarantee the same high level of operations and customer service that you’ve come to enjoy daily from us - even while our team is working from home.

 

We have systems in place that allow us to work with no interruption to service. Even so, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have reviewed our Business Continuity Plan and can confirm that no gaps exist for this specific threat. We have also confirmed that all critical third-party infrastructure providers are prepared and adequately addressing the threat.

 

Our shared passion may temporarily be challenged, but at imc we believe in its enduring power to connect us and move us closer to our vision: empower people and organisations throughout the world to achieve their full potential in a constantly evolving world. At all times, we remain grounded in our purpose and focused on our values of inclusion and respect. COVID-19 does not distinguish between nationality, race or geographic origin, and imc’s steadfast commitment to inclusion and care guides our actions, at our properties and in our communities.

 

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Kerstin Steffen
Head of Global Marketing & Communications
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International Women's Day 2020: For all my ladies out there – you rock!

On 8th March we celebrate International Women’s Day. With its special postcard, imc is telling its female team members, as well as all the other women out there: “You rock!”

06.03.2020

On Sunday, 8th March 2020 we celebrate International Women’s Day. Women around the world demonstrating on this day goes back all the way to 1921 – for equal pay for equal work, greater say in politics and the end of discrimination of their gender.

 

imc also wants to use this day to support equality between men and women, and to tell its female team members, as well as all the other women out there: “You rock!”

 

 

Image womens day

imc is a member of the official Diversity Management Initiative

imc firmly believes: Diversity and equal opportunities are crucial for corporate success because they promote creativity and innovation. This is why the company officially committed to the Diversity Charter last year. 2020 will see diversity anchored deeper and become more tangible. Initially, the focus will be on the following three core areas:

  1. Cultural diversity
  2. Professional diversity
  3. Female leadership

The International Women’s Day 2020 marks the beginning. The next milestone is Diversity Day on 26th May.

Join us in seizing this opportunity to empowHER other women!

Trust the power of compliments. Leave a colleague, a female family member or a friend a short note to tell her what makes her so special to you. You can request the imc International Women’s Day postcard free of charge by emailing vanessa.klein@im-c.de.

Instagram campaign week on International Women’s Day

In the coming week, our corporate Instagram stories will offer you insights into the daily working life of female imc team members. Follow our corporate account and never miss a story again! You can also find the stories in the highlights later. Please feel free to comment, join the discussion and share your pictures on the topic. Simply tag imc_learning or use the hashtag #WeEmpower.

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Vanessa Klein
Senior Event and Communication Manager
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imc is a Core Leader in 2020 Fosway 9-Grid™ for Learning Systems

The latest report in January 2020 of Fosway Group identified imc as a Core Leader for Learning System. imc was also announced as a Core Challenger in Digital Learning and is in total the best European full-service provider in digital learning.

12.02.2020

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The leading e-learning provider, imc AG, announced its position as a Core Leader for Learning System in Fosway 9-Grid™.

 

Furthermore, imc was also recognized as a Core Challenger in Digital Learning. This achievement cemented imc’s mission to be an excellent partner in Learning Management Systems and tailor-made content solutions. Only limited number of companies manage to handle both fields on a high level and can be recognized as full-service provider for digital learning.

 

Christian Wachter, CEO of imc declares: “We are very honoured to have a high position in both categories. Our strategy of holistic and individual learning journeys is very important, not only for the European market, but also in the international platform and for our target markets in Asia Pacific region. We are proud to position ourselves among the best competitors all over the world.”

 

The Fosway 9-Grid™is a five-dimensional model that can be used to understand the relative position of solutions and providers in a particular learning and talent systems market. Solutions are evaluated based on their Performance, Potential, Market Presence, Total Cost of Ownership and Future Trajectories across the market.

 

More about Fosway 9-Grid™.

 

Awards und Auszeichnungen: Wir sind ausgezeichnet
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Kerstin Steffen
Head of Global Marketing & Communications
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Digital, connected and global: the new brand identity of imc AG

At the beginning of the year and one week before the new trade fair season starts, imc will be presenting its new brand identit including logo. The future of imc will be digital, connected and global. The new brand thus marks the start of a new era and into the digital age.

23.01.2020

The international roll-out will begin in Germany as part of LEARNTEC, the leading trade fair for digital learning in Europe. The global changeover will take place in several waves. The roll-out should be completed by June 2020. The relaunch affects 12 locations in Europe, the USA, Asia and Australia.

 

"The new image of imc accompanies the strategic realignment of the company. With the new brand identity, we express the digital transformation and the targeted globalization of our company. The beginning of the year is the right time for us to make the new approach of imc and the brand visible to the world," explains imc's board member Sven R. Becker. "Our goal was to create a globally uniform 360° brand experience that is more modern and authentic," adds Kerstin Steffen, Head of Global Marketing and Communications.

 

Strategy

 

Where the company has already taken on the role of the market leader in the DACH region, imc now aims the development and position itself in further markets. "We would like to develop the future of imc, a clear long-term corporate strategy based on our corporate purpose, vision, mission and values," says Becker. "These guidelines were specifically reviewed, revised and scrutinized in the course of the new brand identity. It was important for us to bring these principles into a contemporary and future-oriented version".

 

Logo

 

imc is part of the Scheer Group, a group of companies with more than 1,000 employees in over 15 countries and a group turnover of over 100 million euros. The expert network for digital business models and transformation projects has the mission to promote and strengthen the cooperation of the participating companies.

The goal: As a full-service provider, to increase the added value for customers and at the same time facilitate access to new markets for the network partners. From now on, this affiliation will also be reflected, in the new company logo.

 

Rewrite the way we learn

 

"imc aims to empower people and organizations around the world to reach their full potential in a constantly evolving world. We want to make learning better by redefining the way we learn," says Becker, describing the new corporate vision.

The slogan "Rewrite the way we learn" is intended to underscore this endeavor. In the future, experts from all areas of the company will be working hand in hand to offer customers holistic and customized strategies, solutions, products and content.

 

Corporate Design

 

The main element and trademark of the new design is the "digital underscore". It visualizes the digital approach, but also stands for imc's individual and customized training concepts, solutions and training content.

The element can be used flexibly and has a very good recognition value across all media and communications. The new brand language has also become more modern, bold and fresh - without losing its high-quality standards.

"In designing the brand, we paid particular attention to a high degree of flexibility and applicability in digital media," says Steffen. "The underscore in combination with the new imc orange visuals will give our brand its new characteristic look ".

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Kerstin Steffen
Head of Global Marketing & Communications