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Act NOW!

Sometimes I ask my clients ‘what will it take for you to act on your idea or vision right now?’ Very often they will respond, ‘Gee, I would love to but…’ and finish with one of a litany of reasons why they need to wait.  I have heard everything (and said some of these myself):  ‘I need to finish my plan’, ‘I don’t have enough money’, ‘I am too busy’, ‘I am scared’ (the most honest of all the answers), and the catch-all ‘I don’t know what I want to do.’  All of these excuses (yes, they are excuses) seem highly justified at the time but they are, in reality, simply ways of avoiding our own fears.

When we take action toward our dreams we intuitively know that our life will change, and this generates fear.  We are familiar with our life as it is today, and although we may not like it, we at least are comfortable with this reality.  Taking action puts at risk all that we have become accustomed to, and so we avoid doing even those things we know will make us happy and successful.

The only way to move past this fear is to confront it.  Look around you right now.  What have you been avoiding that you KNOW would help you move forward?  What small action can you take in that direction?  What could you do RIGHT NOW to start this process?  It may be sending an email or calling someone, or perhaps just writing one sentence of that book.  Or maybe sketching a list of things that you know you want out of your life.  My point is that there are many small things you can do right now to jar you out of your stasis.

If you want to achieve and move toward anything, there is a first step, then a second, and a third.  All you need to do is choose to act RIGHT NOW toward your dreams.  Then in every moment simply ask yourself again, what can I do NOW?  And NOW?  And NOW? Your small steps begin to add up until voila, you find yourself at your destination.  Success is not an event…it is a process.  Like drops of water wearing away a stone, so can you achieve anything if you take simple, moment by moment steps.  Try this!  Start NOW on something you desire…and watch what happens!

KC Hildreth

Tips on Cultivating Vision in your Organization

Leadership is a term that can mean a wide range of things to people.  What does it mean to you?  Who have been powerful leaders is your world? Who has created powerful vision for the organizations you’ve been a part of?  Who has inspired the individuals within that organization to implement and move that vision into action?

Leadership encompasses a wide range of skills, but envisioning a powerful and inspiring path to focus an organization is a key component.  But why is this not enough?

Establishing a vision, like all goals or great intentions, needs follow up and nurturing.  This is where it gets a little trickier.  It takes the engagement of the whole organization or at least a substantial part of it to bring it into fruition.  What can a leader do to create the climate for this to happen?

  1. Beat the visionary drum.  Repeating the vision, communicating it over and over in ways that truly inspire and engage people is necessary.  A single pronouncement or publishing of that vision isn’t enough.  It’s the repeat conversations about what it means on a daily basis that begin to create integration.  Challenging the vision, practicing it, tweaking it and discussing it as experience is gained can enhance any brilliant idea.
  2. Allow it to morph.  Vision is only as fresh and perfect as in the moment it is created, no matter how inspired it feels.  Allowing the vision to have integrity, but change as circumstances evolve can give it longer life and allow for it to have true impact on an organization.
  3. Engage the next level of leadership to embody it, and inspire their teams to do the same.  It is the ‘walking the talk’ at numerous levels of a business that create a real change.  Hold yourself and your teams accountable for continuing to move towards the vision, while allowing them to make mistakes and get back on track.  It’s an organizational skill to learn from mistakes in a healthy way and move on to do things better the next time.
  4. Revisit the organization’s progress, celebrate the wins and feed the beast.  All things require sustained focus to be fully developed and vision is no different.  Evaluate progress in part by watching for success.   The attention to success and where things are going right aids the process and gives you opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate them.

While leading vision for an organization is not the only task of a leader, it is a powerful place worthy of attention and nurturance.  Outlining a path for success requires cultivating focus on that vision for the long haul while inspiring a team to engage and implement it.

Laura Smith

The Cadence Concierge Experience

I often get asked why I joined Cadence and what sets us apart from other Medical Communications companies. For me, it’s a very obvious answer: we provide a concierge-level quality of customer service.

All agencies care about the outcome of each project. Each team stands a hundred percent behind what they do and are committed to each task at hand, no matter how big or small. But our clients have told us that we consistently go above and beyond that level. A few weeks ago, a client told me that he had just watched the film, “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” and she couldn’t help thinking of how we made her experience feel like she was being looked after by Ralph Fiennes’ character. She said, “You know, you should call it the ‘Cadence Concierge Experience.’”

I knew exactly what she meant. Many hotels have someone that you can ask for advice as to what activities you could do, or where you should go and eat, and you will usually talk to someone who will pull out a city map start drawing circles. However, the very best properties have professional concierge who is genuinely thrilled to guide the guests’ itineraries and usher them through an exquisite experience. At Cadence, we only hire these concierge-level people, screening for individuals with good attitudes and who demonstrate the ability to truly care about our clients. This cannot be simply taught, nor can it be simply bought.

There are a number of unique situations we’ve found ourselves in over the years, and each time our team has gone above and beyond the letter of the contract. We pride ourselves of being one of the best medical communication companies in the industry, and all our team members are highly qualified with many years of experience in the field. As such, we know the extent to which careful attention to what others might consider to be minor or small details can make a major difference to our clients.

In one situation, our team was managing a European meeting and our client was looking forward to exploring the city once the meeting was completed. However, he was a bit intimidated by the public transport system, and mentioned that he was nervous about taking the local train. Our team researched the train lines, accompanied him to the station, and outlined how he could get to his destination and back to the hotel again. He arrived back that evening, full of stories and enthusiastically grateful for our assistance and the boost of confidence it gave him.

On another occasion, the meeting we had organized happened to coincide with a major storm that had moved into the area at the same time advisors were scheduled to arrive. Our client was extremely concerned about the participants getting to the meeting safely and timely, given the cancelled and delayed flights that resulted. To allay their fears, we posted team members in the hotel lobby until very late at night to personally greet each advisor upon arrival, to show them how grateful our client was that they still made the trip despite the delays and less than convenient travel experience. The next day, several of the advisors commented that this small gesture was greatly appreciated, and our client told us that we had made them feel taken care of at the end of a long and frustrating travel day.

One other situation occurred at one of the major European Medical Conferences, where in addition to supervising several projects for large clients, the Cadence team was also assisting in a smaller project for a start-up company. When the Cadence team landed on the tarmac, they found several urgent voicemails from the start-up client disclosing that there had been a terrible mix-up in the printed materials their internal team had prepared for another project, and they didn’t have the ability to fix the problem on their own. Our team jumped to action immediately and found a local printer who was able to recreate the materials. The Cadence team went to the printer, proofed them for accuracy, and then personally delivered them to the hotel where our client told us, “You really saved my bacon!”

Of course, small situations like this don’t make or break any event; however, it has definitely been our experience that if clients and meeting participants feel that all the details of the meeting are being handled professionally and that the organizing team truly demonstrates that it cares, it frees the client to focus on the big picture. Ultimately, our mission is to help our clients reach their short-term and long-term goals, and I think we have found that small acts of kindness go a long way.

Susanne Blassingille

Leveraging Innovation Centers to Re-prime the Development Pump!

Innovation!

Innovation is a hot word right now in pharmaceutical strategy.  It is futuristic, creative, cutting-edge, energizing, and entrepreneurial.  Innovation is not hype, though.  It is the solution to the reality that internal R&D labs are losing productivity, drug approvals are down, and venture capital for start-ups is drying up.  Innovation has just a little do with a brilliant idea, though, and everything to do with executing it with discipline.

How is this exciting?  This sounds dull.

There is a vibrant community of biotechs, academics, incubators, and accelerators teeming with cutting-edge science.  To forge the deals that will re-prime its development pump, pharma must take its careful processes, performance criteria, gates, and thresholds and apply them to this wild and exciting space.  Innovation is a methodical, stepwise process of diligence, negotiation, contracting, planning, and collaborating.

Inside Out

Innovation is about creating value.  Innovation centers are cropping up in scientific hot spots – outside of traditional pharma campuses – all over the globe.  Pharma’s goal is to embed its best and brightest in the scientific community to partner with entrepreneurs and academicians.  Innovation has, quite simply, turned the pharma model inside out. Done well, innovation can result in on-boarding new products and business models at a sustainable steady state over time.  By looking outside, innovation creates value inside.

— Sherry Danese