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Embracing a Culture of Innovation

9th Oct 2012


Last Thursday, Xpand Singapore hosted our inaugural Xpand Xpresso. Held previously in our Australian offices, we were incredibly excited to hold ours in a quaint coffee place, appropriately called Shots, for a shot of espresso paired with brilliant ideas by thought leaders.

We were pleased to have Joel Cere address us on the topic of Embracing a Culture of Innovation. His take on the topic was innovative – apt given that he is the Global Director of Insights and Innovation Solutions at eYeka. Focusing on Open Innovation and Co-Creation, he brings to light the power of social media to spark new ideas into tired or dated practices, processes, or products an organisation might face.

Xpand Xpresso eYeka

InnoCentive defines open innovation as “innovation efforts that leverage external partners, ideas or problem solvers to contribute to internal innovation initiatives”, to turn on its head the popular notion that too many cooks spoil the broth. The belief is that when an organisation approaches anyone outside the designated team of problem solvers, new and exciting ideas are born. In that same vein, the more people an organisation approaches, the more ideas, perspectives and solutions will be thought of.

In it also lies eYeka’s own definition of co-creation, a more specific type of open innovation involving crowdsourcing, which “engages consumers directly at the onset of the innovation process to gain fresh, fast and creative ideas that are consumer-rooted, streamlining and compressing a complex chain of ideation-validation steps with multiple stakeholders”.

Xpand Xpresso Singapore

Armed with case studies of brands such as Mini Oreos by Kraft Foods and Volvic by Danone Waters, as well as a take on cultural studies in France which encourages youths to vote during the elections, the presentation was both light-hearted, yet thought-provoking – a tricky balance that was well-achieved.

While most of Joel’s examples do touch on more of a product-based approach of innovation, the idea behind open innovation is applicable across most, if not all, organisations and sectors within the organisation. In the human resource department, it might be worth considering connecting with external parties to come up with more streamlined and effective recruitment processes. Alternatively, individuals not directly related to the brand can also brainstorm on marketing ideas that represent the organisation’s unique value proposition and employer branding. After all, it is a future employee, not a current one, who is more familiar and concerned with how the organisation portrays itself as an employer.

Xpand Xpresso Shots Cafe

Following the success of the First Sip of Xpand Xpresso, we are eager to hear your thoughts on the event or suggestions on topics that spark your interest. You can email us at or comment on the post below. Also, do like our Facebook page to keep abreast of future events.