Less Innovation, More Execution?
We can’t go more than two days without hearing someone talk about their need for “more innovation.” We need more innovative marketing tactics… We need an innovative way to engage our staff… We need an innovative approach to [whatever]…. What you probably need is a lot more execution. The truth is, you probably don’t need as much innovation as you think. What you probably need is a lot more execution. That’s a hard sell to most people, including a lot of company leaders, because everyone likes to think that their big break is right around the corner. “We could blow
We Want Change! But Not that Much….
Sometimes, even great organizations find themselves in situations in which everyone knows that change is needed, but nothing happens until a crisis. There are telltale signs that an organization is heading in that direction, but having the strength and courage to act can be harder than it looks. Here’s what you can do to help avoid a bad situation for your team or organization. Here we were, speaking to an individual who was beginning to lose sleep about how to prepare the organization for sustainable success. “I know we need to make changes – maybe several changes – but I’m
Are Your Advisory Boards Echo Chambers?
Advisory boards (affectionately called “ad boards”) can be a valuable resource when it comes to getting expert, external opinions. But there are times when they can lead your team to incorrect conclusions and bad decisions. Here is a real-world situation to illustrate this point, help you avoid a similar situation, and figure out what to do if it happens to you. Our client was responsible for commercializing a product for one of the company’s largest potential audiences. We had worked with her for quite some time when we received a rather distressed message from her, asking us if we could
Back to the Office in 2022? Let’s See How that Goes
It’s early December 2021 as I write this. Since well before the pandemic started, and throughout, our companies have worked with clients across the U.S., primarily in life sciences or healthcare, to help them improve their business performance in a variety of ways. Most of the individuals we’ve worked with are classified as “high performers” who have been given increased responsibility in the past year and have therefore asked for our help to make their ideas and initiatives a success. Over the past 18 months, most of our clients report great earnings numbers at their companies, and their success with
Is Jargon Sabotaging Your Communications?
Industry jargon can imbue communications with clarity and precision, particularly in scientific or technical fields such as medicine, for very specific audiences in very specific contexts such as journal publications or congresses. Complex and important concepts in these fields actually require their own language, otherwise simple words strung together will produce simplistic and even inaccurate explanations that may have life-or-death consequences. A good example is the International Classification of Diseases, or ICD, that provides a standard lexicon enabling our entire healthcare system to communicate, diagnose, treat, and gain reimbursement across an incredible array of human maladies. Jargon is often used
Getting Colleagues “On the Same Page”
We’ll bet you’ve heard it a thousand times: “We need to get everybody on the same page.” It’s one of those things senior leaders and managers say when they feel like people are starting to break off into separate factions or are pursuing a goal by following too many different – likely unapproved and uncoordinated – paths. “Getting everybody on the same page” is an admission that unless people act in a coordinated way, things aren’t going to go the way we planned, or desire. How Do You Truly Align Your Team? Getting everybody on the same page sounds easy,
Multiple Indications, One Unifying Brand Story
In the early small-molecule era of pharmaceuticals there was usually a one-to-one correlation between an FDA-approved medicine and the indication or use for the condition it treated. Then things started to change and become more complex. For example, the industry developed relatively simple cardiovascular drugs like beta blockers and then found evidence that they could also treat a variety of related conditions, from hypertension to angina to congestive heart failure. Brand X was a dessert topping and a floor wax, to reference an SNL skit from an even earlier era about Swiss-Army-knife products that seemed to do a lot of
Investor Relations Needs a Creative Director
Investor Relations (IR) is a vital function within any company, large or small. Its primary responsibilities are to give current and potential investors and industry analysts a range of financial and non-financial information, access to company executives, rationale for a company’s valuation, and confidence that their money – or that of their clients – will provide the returns they are looking for. IR also ensures a company’s compliance with the laws and regulations that govern securities. Yet it does more than that. IR also helps company officers with messaging and managing the expectations of various stakeholders. The ripple effects of
When Your CEO Makes It Hard to Communicate
We hear a lot about the ‘boss’ in our line of work. We help busy people create and deliver stories about important and complex subjects, and as you already know, that’s harder than it sounds. Our clients have tough jobs sometimes, so if the boss is part of the problem when it comes to delivering those messages, sooner or later we’re going to hear about it. But here’s the surprising thing: Most of the time, these people think that their boss – usually the company’s CEO, but sometimes another senior executive – is a genius, an inspirational leader, and a
Strategic Communications: First, Strengthen Your Core
At Health Accelerators we believe that strategic planning should be methodical and sequential. Jumping directly into tactics during the planning process is like eating dessert first: it tastes good for a few minutes, but ultimately ruins your appetite for the food you need to stay healthy. Good planning practice means getting it right from the start. It takes discipline and requires a systematic approach to ensure that your tactical investments are built on a solid strategic foundation. Our clients understand that investments in strategy, communications planning and core messaging create a multiplier effect on their subsequent investments in media, meetings and events,