Practical Perspectives


Female runner at sunset

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

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Business Jargon

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

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Children's choir on the same page

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,

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Swiss Army Knife

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

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Female Creative Director at desk

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

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King on Chess Board

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

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Woman planking in exercise studio

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,

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Philadelphia skyline in Fall

Selling Innovation (Change) inside Big Companies

I’ve lived most of my life in the Northeastern part of the US, and autumn is a special time of the year. Despite a few weeks’ delay likely due to climate change, most of us still look forward to the change of seasons and the fall colors that paint the trees like dominos falling from north to south. I took the photo above a few years ago in Philadelphia, and each time I look at it I hear that classic Hall & Oates song. Change is natural and inevitable, and humans have adapted for a very long time. In the

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Problem-Solution Matrix

Improve Your Problem-Solving with this Simple System

Sometimes when we’re faced with problems at work it can feel like we’re lost in the woods and unsure of where to start. In this post we’ll look at a simple system to solve almost any problem you face in your daily life. After you gain a bit of experience, like I have, you see patterns in the world and in the problems you encounter at work and in other areas of your life. Here’s a straightforward approach that I use, and you may laugh at how simple it is. It strips down and organizes all of the possible problems

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3 Magic Questions

Start Every Project with these 3 Magic Questions

There are three magic questions that we use at our agency to ensure we’re making the best use of our time and talent, and our client’s resources. Whether you’re designing a new innovation process for your company, running the annual planning process for a brand, or even starting a new project at home — the three magic questions can really help you focus, clarify and prioritize during the critical early stages of discovery and planning. A problem well stated is a problem half-solved. The first magic question is, “What problem are we trying to solve?” It’s a basic question, so

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