Welcome to another Going. Ahead. With Gage interview! I had the privilege of interviewing our leader of the W2O Healthcare Practice, Diane Weiser, who shared insight on being a leader and how her team operations. I hope you all gain some valuable insights and enjoy the read!
What are you doing to ensure that W2O Group is at the cutting edge?
To stay at the cutting edge for our clients, I’m really focused on integration and making sure that we are bringing the best and the brightest offerings, disciplines, ideas, and innovation to our clients. It’s probably the most challenging to innovate in healthcare, so the more we can pull use cases and lessons from our technology and consumer colleagues in the firm, the more we can open up our clients eyes and show them what’s possible. On that front, our ability to offer valuable thought leadership on key issues impacting the healthcare space – from social media guidelines to how digital is changing the face of clinical trial recruitment – keeps us ahead of the curve and a go-to partner.
In a few words, describe what your team does for the company?
The healthcare practice brings the company and employees the opportunity to follow their passion for patient education, integrated marketing communications, and innovation. We work on some of the most innovative new therapies, devices, and diagnostics, particularly in the area of digital health where technology and healthcare are converging every day. We not only bring the opportunity to work on these really innovative, cool, really life transforming products and services, but we enable our employees to do something that means so much and is helping to save lives and transform them every day.
Thinking of your most successful current employees, what characteristics do they share?
Passion for the business of healthcare, great drive, entrepreneurial spirit, a real hunger to do great work, and innovation. Being a science geek and loving data helps too!
How do you empower your employees to do their best possible work?
Set a clear vision, road map, and get out of their way! I make sure that they know that I’m always here to support, guide, and help them no matter what. One of the reasons we as a company are so successful is that we hire the best in the business. What’s most important is to really ensure that people are very goal oriented and encourage them to take calculated risks, trust their gut, and their instincts.
I really believe that anyone who comes here has to be ready to raise his or her game.
How do you encourage creative/innovative thinking within your organization?
What I try to do goes back to collaboration. I find that the best creative thoughts come from a little bit of group think, but not too big of a group think. I like to connect the dots within the organization. I find that I do that quite a bit within the practice. What I mean by that is ensuring that if someone is trying to come up with a creative idea or solution to a client problem, I try to hook them up with other likeminded creative people or people that I know have particular experience in the area that they happen to be brainstorming. I’m constantly directing people to talk to Mike Hartman to ensure that he is central to ideation. It’s really about connecting the dots internally to encourage cross collaboration to come up with the best innovation and creative idea.
What is the most difficult leadership decision you’ve had to make in the recent past?
I recently had to make a decision to not re-pitch a piece of business that we had for several years. You know, you never want to turn down opportunities to work with a client, but it’s really important to evaluate the investment in pursuing a piece of business and the risk of not being successful in that pursuit. Sometimes you just have to say no and have the confidence that it’s the right decision for the team, the client, and ultimately the agency.
What did you learn from that experience?
I learned that it’s hard to say no and you can’t please all the people all the time. But again, you have to look at all the factors to make that decision and trust your judgment. I learned I had to trust it whether it is good, bad, or indifferent. You have to trust your decision and know that in the long run, with experience, you’ll always come to the right outcome.
I made the decision to not pursue that business based on a similar situation where we did pursue it, we weren’t successful, I regretted it, and I was determined to not make that mistake again. I actually applied a lesson learned in a previous tough decision to make this one and I know it was the right decision.