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Developing a Culture of Innovation

Posted April 11, 2017


How does a company innovate? Can innovation be planned? Can it be taught? These are some of the most commonly asked questions by leaders, from start-ups to multinational corporations. WEX’s vice president of New Business Ventures, Rodrigo Meirelles, has an answer:

“Company culture and innovation can’t be separated. You have to have the culture, and you need to get it right.”

At WEX, we recognize that innovation is lifeblood of successful companies. That is why we focus on creating a culture that encourages employees to ask “is there a better way?” To support this core value, we have built an organization dedicated to finding partners, exploring, and building new business opportunities.

Innovation is not a top-down mandate. That is why it is essential for every company to build an “Innovation Culture” that allows all stakeholders, whether they are lines of business, shared services, or individual contributors, to have their voice heard, have their great idea considered, and to have the opportunity to make tangible impacts to their organization.

Blockchain's Place Within WEX

This year, WEX’s New Business Ventures organization introduced the first step in a formalized initiative to open venues to innovation across the business: a proof of concept competition to assess use-cases for blockchain, the bones behind the world’s leading crypto-currency, Bitcoin. Rolled out across the entire organization, we asked WEXers a (not-so) simple question: what opportunities do you see in blockchain for our business?

Featuring unparalleled security and transparency for transactions and data, blockchain is currently being explored for its business potential by medical institutions for use in confidential medical records, in finance for its ability to act as a fraud-proof transaction method, and by security firms for its ability to assure the provenance of data. Needless to say, it is a highly complex technology, the usage of which is only in its infancy.

Our Blockchain Beacons

Due to the complexity of the subject matter, we were astounded when twenty-six suggestions came in from over one hundred WEXers about how we could use the technology in the near future, with suggestions arising from every line of business and geography. From those twenty-six suggestions, a team of executive judges narrowed the competition down to three, who we have named our resident “Blockchain Beacons.” Their suggestions were regarded as having the strongest potential use-cases for the business, and those winners will be provided with a fully-paid blockchain training in the coming months.

Watch the video below to hear a bit about the program and see a Blockchain Beacon describe what it was about the technology that they found so motivating:



Click on the image above to watch the video.

We were blown away by the level of participation in this first competition, and it is only the start of a comprehensive innovation program that will find yet more innovators across our organization.

Have an idea you’d like to share with us? Email us at


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