Don’t Judge A [YOUR INDUSTRY HERE] Firm By Its Cover

Don’t Judge a [YOUR INDUSTRY HERE] Firm by Its Cover

Don’t Judge a [YOUR INDUSTRY HERE] Firm by Its Cover

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By Sarah Nasznic.

Last week, I ventured to The Broad Institute in Cambridge to join The Bioscience Network at their highly anticipated fall event, “Journey to The Top: What Biotechs Actually Do to Become a Top Employer”.  I have to admit, as I sat in the cab on my way to Cambridge, I was quick to assume that whatever was going to be discussed between the panel and the audience, might as well have been in Japanese. As a Marketing Coordinator at an Architecture firm, I speak graphic design, proposals and social media.

Fast forward … I’m sitting in my overly comfortable reclining auditorium seat and the show begins. Facing the audience at a panel table are four senior leaders representing Biotech and Pharmaceutical firms, all of which had been recognized as “best places to work”. For the next hour and a half, they discussed what that title means to their firm and how they live up to it. Time and time again, the panel hits home a few words that describe their culture and internal operations, and I couldn’t help but notice that they were applicable to firms in any industry:

  • TRANSPARENCY
    It’s all about keeping everyone in the loop on every level. Everyone knows what everyone else is doing.
  • NON-HIERARCHICAL
    Check your ego at the door. We are all on the same team with the same goal and everyone has something to offer to one another. (Aka, there is no “I” in “Team”…)
  • COMMUNICATIVE AND HONEST
    For better or for worse, it’s critical to be both of these. If you have an idea, say something. There are no bad ideas. If something isn’t working or could be problematic, raise your voice and opinion. Don’t wait until it’s already problem. Be willing to dish it … but also take it.
  • STREAMLINE
    Cut the fat. What processes don’t work? Where is time being wasted? Are negative thoughts and outlooks clouding the productivity of the group or team? Find the problem areas and address them head-on. This goes back to communicating and being honest with yourself and your team.
  • DRIVE
    Allow yourself to learn from others. No doubt, there are other team members that are smarter than you, and that’s a GREAT thing. Their perspective will challenge you and foster your personal and overall team strength and growth. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Ultimate success is not achieved by a back seat driver (no pun intended). Grab the wheel and hit the gas. (Again, no pun intended …)

All of these words and concepts go hand in hand –regardless of the industry or firm type. These biotech/pharma firms want their advances and drugs to go commercial –  at MPA, we want to build structures and design beautiful spaces! Although the panel was sure to throw in a technical word here and there that of course was way over my head, I realized that seemingly unrelated industries have a lot more in common than meets the eye.