The Best Deal – Making Conferences: BIO International edition

Who’s better? BIO International vs J.P. Morgan Healthcare

Hello to the 15K of you that are at the BIO International Convention in San Francisco!

Biotechnology companies, academic institutions and state biotech organizations flock to this international event to network with each other, learn about each other’s pipelines and capabilities, and to get deals done. This meeting covers a broad spectrum of life science domains including drug discovery, biomanufacturing, genomics, animal health, biofuels, nanotechnology and cell therapy.

Even with all of this content and opportunities to connect, there’s debate about it being the “place to be”. Damien Garde at STAT posed this question and pointed out that the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference is THE meeting where multi-billion dollar deals are made and mergers announced.

Garde has some good points. However, we’d hedge that the deals that close at J.P. Morgan are initiated at BIO. STAT also gives BIO the edge for startups seeking funding as compared to the ‘by invitation only’ J.P. Morgan meeting. And, if you do want to mix your deal-making with learning objectives, Lodescores show that BIO bests J.P. Morgan for Educational experience.

What are you scared of? 4 Real Reasons People Fear Success

Seriously. What are you scared of?

It’s a simple question that shocks people when I ask it.

I am a very positive and upbeat person. I really enjoy helping people succeed – in business and in their personal lives.  And, I am so fortunate that people trust me with their stories and helping them figure out pathways forward.

Recently, I have found that some of my most confident and successful friends are facing challenges and are getting stuck in ruts.

It’s not because they do not know what to do, it’s because they are holding themselves back.  When I ask all of the typical questions – What do you want to accomplish? What are the assets and tools that you have at your disposal to get to that goal? What’s missing? Who do you have on your ‘bus’? Are they the right people? Who needs to be with you? How are you going to convince them to take a seat? – They’ve got the answers.

Yet, something is holding them back.

They are struggling.

That’s when I ask, “What are you scared of?” The question has the effect of putting electrical panels to a person’s chest and shocking their heart. So simple, yet, it makes the person turn their focus inward. It’s not about external tactics. It’s about them. Makes them ponder what’s really happening.  Getting in touch with the core of their struggle.

My first inclination is to assume that they fear “failure”. Right? Make sense?  Don’t we all fear failure on some level?

If I had bet on it, I would have lost some money.

My friends and colleagues are NOT scared of failure.

It’s the polar opposite.

They fear “success”.

Crazy, right? Success.

I am not a certified therapist of any type, but I get this.

I’ve been there. On the edge of leaping into something that I knew would be successful. More times than not, I overcome the ‘fear of success’ and go ahead and jump… Make it happen. Get shit done.

Yet, I get it. I have had my moments where I relented to the instinct to push pause. Held back. Didn’t push forward even though every bone and muscle wants to move. I still shake my head when I think of those moments. Should’ve, would’ve, could’ve.

Why the sudden inertia forced on myself? How could the thought of ‘success’ immobilize me or any other person?

The reasons may be shocking. Based on my own experiences and what I’ve been able to glean from discussions with friends and colleagues, there are a few things… 

1. Scared of exposure

Success typically means that more people know about you. Know about your skills and abilities. Exposure is a blessing and curse. Your network expands; now, you’ve got connections to do even more! New opportunities surface and, it usually means an increased work load.

2. Scared of being promoted

Having a quantifiable success under your belt typically means that you are going to move up in an organization. If you are not prepared for this type of move up, it creates anxiety until you get the new lay of the land and really rock it out.

3. Scared of abandoning the baby

In many cases, this fear comes from being separated from work that they started. It’s their baby. They feel an obligation to care for it. However, if they succeed, they may get expanded responsibilities and their baby will be handed to someone else. That someone else may not nurture and care for the baby the way that the originator would’ve.

4. Scared of the lack of future success

What if I don’t have another successful idea or project? What if this is where I top out? I have found that the fear of not having another success stops people in their tracks. Many people would rather slow burn something then be seen as a spark or flame that burns hot and fast, but doesn’t sustain.

 

Many of my friends know that none of these fears hold water with me. Yes, I’ve been there. I let these fears influence me. I pushed pause. However, when I think of those moments, I regret not taking the leap. Getting out of my own way.

Life is uncertain. Believe in yourself. Don’t let the fears keep you from realizing your potential and achieving the success that is at your fingertips.

What are you really scared of?

 

 

ROAD CLOSED

I was invited to be a guest speaker at Rose-Hulman Ventures James R. Baumgardt Distinguished Speaker Series Program. Even though I am a big fan of Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, I am embarrassed to admit it, but I had never had the pleasure to visit the campus. So, when I got in my car, I booted up Google Maps and started driving.

It was an easy drive. I was cruising along and was going to get to Rose-Hulman on time. I did pass a sign that said Road Closed ahead, but I trusted Google Maps and figured that I would be turning off before that point.

Then, it happened.

The road ended.

I sat parked for a minute in total disbelief as staring at a ROAD CLOSED sign.

Yes, I could have sat there and waited for months (years?) for them to finish the construction and re-open the road. Instead, I used the resources that were readily available and quickly identified an alternate route to my destination and was only inconvenienced by a few minutes.

I realized that the mornings experience wasn’t the first road closure that I’ve dealt with. Most of the road closures were not physical like this morning, but had the same effect. I wanted to go somewhere and it was not going to happen the way that I had originally planned. Yet, not all of the closures were total and complete surprises, some were anticipated. Nonetheless, all of the closures required an adjustment to my plans.

This is where it gets exciting. Because instead of thinking about alternative routes to my original destination. In many cases, I realized that I wanted to change my plans altogether and go somewhere different…. Initiating a journey through unchartered wilderness where there are no maps, experiencing things that I would have never predicted, and arriving at destinations that are more exciting than I could have ever imagined.

What do you think? I would love to hear your experiences with ‘life’ road closures and the journeys that ensued.  Comment to this post or send me an email: keilenberg@lodestonelogic.com!

 

Hoosier Healthcare Innovation Challenge and the Hoosier Code 4 Health

Lodestone Logic is excited to sponsor and support several exciting events focused on driving innovation in healthcare.

First, this year’s Hoosier Healthcare Innovation Challenge is being held on July 12th from 8 AM to 5 PM in Hine Hall on the campus of IUPUI.  This event is intended to bring together healthcare and technology professionals and organizations from around the state to identify and develop solutions to solve for some of today’s most challenging healthcare issues.

During the daylong event, time will be dedicated to allow participants to discuss the challenges with the organizations that are hosted them.  Lodestone Logic is proud to sponsor and coordinate this year’s Match Up Lounge so that participants will be able to connect with each other to form teams to tackle the challenges.  The day will wrap up with several education and discussion sessions about topics like the potential impact of wearable devices and sensors to transforming healthcare.

Second, the first ever Hoosier Code 4 Health will be held on Saturday and Sunday, July 13th and 14th at Lilly’s COI Center in Indianapolis, Indiana.  This is a codeathon. So, the focus will be ‘mashing’ up data streams from different APIs and unlocking the potential of the data that has never been achieved previously. Codeathons typically are events that occur over the course of one or more days and bring together developers, designers, innovators and entrepreneurs. It is exciting to consider that this Hoosier Code 4 Health could potentially generate insights that could improve our understanding of co-morbid diseases OR surface tangible opportunities to create more efficient processes OR find out about human behavior factors that could be influenced to improve patient adherence and patient outcomes… the opportunities are endless!

The Launch Reception to kick off these events will be held on June 27th from 5 to 7 PM at The Speak Easy  and DeveloperTown. The challenges will be announced at this event.  Attendees with have an opportunity to learn more about the event, the Challenges as well as have the opportunity to network, form teams, and begin to discuss possible solutions.  Attendees will be able to enjoy Sun King beer while doing a quick dusty-boots tour of the future INFUSE Digital Health Accelerator. It’s going to be a great evening!

Participants may register for all of these events at http://www.hoosierchallenge.org/.

Attendees and those interested in watching the action from afar can use the Twitter hashtags #HHIC and #HC4H.

Competitive Intelligence – Assessing and exploiting the business landscape

Competitive Intelligence (CI) is a key investment for most of the best business leaders. Instead of making significant business decisions based on intuition or gut, the best business leaders put time and resources towards better understanding the business landscape of opportunities. The benefits of making investments in CI directly correlate with one’s ability to exploit opportunities.

CI can be both internally and externally focused. Many large organizations have so many irons in the fire that few know the full extent of the activities and investments that are underway. By using CI tactics internally, business leaders become more aware of the organization and are able to more effectively navigate internal channels, connecting and sharing resources with other business leaders, and optimizing existing activities and investments.

CI of the external business landscape can be overwhelming. Where does one start? The key to successful CI is focus. Scope creep will kill the best CI efforts. When CI is initiated, the projects need to be clearly defined by objective and by time. CI is only valuable if it informs and facilitates better business decisions, so timely production of CI findings is essential.

Some CI projects may evolve into ‘surveillance’ efforts once business leaders see the initial value of continuing to collect and analyze specific business landscape elements. This is good, but do not assume that all CI projects will lead to ongoing surveillance; some topics are finite. When CI projects shift into surveillance, business leaders should ensure that reporting expectations are established; no one wants activity happening if it is not generating information or knowledge that can be used.

From experience, CI is not rocket science. Yet, not everyone can do good CI. It requires a level of domain expertise then a competency in doing research, aggregating disperse data, and being able to do an analysis to surface the valuable bits and pieces.

The Innovation Conundrum

Corporate America is searching for the single answer that will solve all of its woes with regards to innovation. Yet, there is an obvious internal blind spot when it comes to innovation.

Innovation and innovative assets already exist within these companies, but they are underutilized or untapped for their potential.  The asset is their own employees that are true intrapreneurs.

So, what is an intrapreneur? These are unique employees that have some of the following characteristics. They:

  1. Believe in the mission and cause of the company
  2. Make sense of complex things to develop strategic, yet very concrete ideas that will transform the way that the company is doing its business.
  3. Develop and nurture a robust network – both within the company and outside the company spanning to the direct competitors and other industries and sectors.
  4. Get things done.

There’s no doubt about it, based on these traits, intrapreneurs are management’s dream of the ideal employee. Yet, intrapreneurs are rarely leveraged to help transform the company.

Instead, intrapreneurs are usually recognized as the ‘problem children’ by management (and HR).

Why?

Typically intrapreneurs are the employees are difficult to manage because they have a bigger perspective about the business, which generates ideas, and suggestions about how to do things differently. They push their direct line management to initiate new projects and work that may be in direct conflict with the status quo. They are considered ‘cage rattlers’ and ‘boat rockers’ because sometimes they lack patience and tack. They like to be involved in ‘new’ things; if their direct line management denies their ideas and requests, they will still pursue them through other internal channels. Even though they are being recognized as delivering on the projects for other teams and functions, there are times when intrapreneurs struggle to do their ‘boring’ job responsibilities.

So, instead of intrapreneurs being recognized for their abilities, they are usually ‘coached’ to be like everyone else and do their written job description. If they continue to show their intrapreneur characteristics, the result is demotions, firings, or the decision to leave for another company where their intrapreneurial traits are encouraged and recognized in a positive manner (in many cases, it is to a direct competitor) .

It’s a serious conundrum. Intrapreneurs are the employees that are out on a ledge and are not accepting of the status quo. They are willing to take risks and initiate projects that they believe will create a more promising future for the company. But, because most organizations struggle with innovation and change, the intrapreneurs create internal friction. So, companies and organizations that want to be innovative NEED these employees to do what they do. The challenge is to identify these intrapreneurs, channel their energy, drive for tangible results, and recognize them for the contributions that they make.

As many people know, I wholeheartedly believe that intrapreneurs are the key to true transformation of the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries. As such, I am an advocated for intrapreneurs and have invested time researching and learning about this particular employee population.

If you want to learn more about the intrapreneur research, findings, and detailed profiles, then check out the e-book, The Business Intrapreneur: Unsung Heroes of Corporate America (http://www.ebookit.com/books/0000001789/The-Business-Intrapreneur-Profiles-of-Unsung-Heroes-of-Corporate-America.html?LLblogpost ), add a comment to this blog post, or send me an email: keilenberg@lodestonelogic.com.

Disruptive Sparks of Innovation

Today, the en vogue and sexy term in pharma, healthcare, and technology is “disrupt”. Being “disruptive” will definitely help us move from the status quo of inefficient processes, expensive systems, under utilization of analytics to improve the quality of care and ultimately deliver patient outcomes.

But, the reality is that being disruptive means that there is something (eg a project or initiative) pushing against a pre-existing system and causing friction. And, friction causes heat. Heat causes fires. Fires, when uncontrolled, burn down houses and institutions. Just think of the video coverage of wild fires and it is easy to comprehend why most organizations enable and reward their employees to say ‘no’ to disruption, rather than ‘yes’.

To avoid wild fires organizations do a very good job creating sub-zero conditions that inhibit any kind of molecular reactions that may trigger a spark.  If you have ever tried to get support from your leadership or an organization to do something that is not the status quo, then you’ve probably felt the chill of a sub-zero environment: paperwork, committees, paperwork, 1:1 meetings, return on investment  (ROI) thresholds, review boards, etc… all are organizational tactics built to protect the organization and inhibit the creation of a spark.

Do not lose hope. Ideas are a dime a dozen, but when you know that you have one that will really make a difference, do something about it. And, this is what you need to do to create a warm pocket within your organization that will not only allow for a controlled spark of innovation, but also support a small flame to show people the possibilities of your ‘big idea’.

1. Earn the right to create the spark

Perform above expectations. No one is going to support someone who is unable to successful execute on their existing job and responsibilities. You have to figure out how to deliver 150% in your current role. Organizations and leaders are more likely to support zany and out-of-the-box ideas when it comes from an employee that has a solid performance track record.

2. Find an executive sponsor

You need someone to create a protective shield, also known as “cover”, for you and your idea. The sponsor needs to have sufficient power and credibility within your organization to be granted the freedom to support and advocate for ‘special projects.’ Just realize that, by supporting you, this person is extending their professional brand to you. If you succeed, they succeed. If you fail, then their reputation may be tarnished or negatively effected. Respect what this relationship means to you both.

3. Build an extended team of resources that include domain experts that advocate for the idea

Check the ego at the door. Know your limitations and seek out and befriend the people that will be able to help you tackle the toughest bits and pieces of the project. Your idea will only be executed if you get support from peers that are the domain experts. In most cases, you will not be able to secure them as full time resources, but you need to be able to call on them and tap their expertise. Make sure that you have access to true experts in public policy, privacy, legal (eg intellectual property), and regulatory. If you project goes wonky on any one of these items, your small flame could quickly turn into a wild fire and your ‘big idea’ turns into a career limiting opportunity.

4. Be honest and transparent

Communicate. Communicate. Communicate. There will be days where you will not want to type another email or speak to another person. When you are working on projects and initiatives that ‘no one has ever done before’, you need to make sure that you are staying connected with the real world – your sponsor and your extended network of resources. Plus, it is in your idea’s best interest for you to invest in building the bridges to the organization and continue to generate support and advocacy. Adhere to your company’s communications policies, but get the word out internally and externally … the more that you share, the more likely your project will attract others that are interested in helping you make it succeed.

5. Take care of yourself

You’ve worked for months on the ‘big idea’ and you’ve hit umpteen walls and hurdles. The pressure is almost unbearable. You are burnt out and want to call it quits… but you are so close…. So, TAKE A BREAK. You need to get away from the mayhem. Go off the grid. Shut down the electronics. Or, at least don’t check work email. Do something that you love to do. Even if it is just for a half day, you need time to clear the brain. This mini-mental vacation will help you recharge your batteries, focus, and get back on task.

Navigating organization dynamics is always a challenge, especially when you want to change the status quo. However, following these five steps will not only help you to initiate a spark and small flame, in time you will generate a larger and more sustainable fire that is welcomed and encouraged by the organization.

You can do it!