Every career takes twists and turns. Sometimes ones you plan, sometimes ones you don’t.
When I left W2O Group three years ago, I thought I knew the risks: leaving mentors who had invested in me, clients who challenged me, colleagues who had become IRL friends, and teams that I loved. Understanding risks and benefits have always been a key part of my life, whether in healthcare communications or as a junior researcher, and I thought I had it nailed.
But like so much else in health, it was the risks I didn’t account for that loomed large. I missed the unique blend of healthcare clients that lives here at W2O Group and the way that healthcare makes up the backbone of the firm’s DNA.
I’m a healthcare geek. I’m energized by the cross of healthcare clients that have found a home here at W2O Group. We see the forest and the trees: the innovation of start-up biotechs, the experience and rigor of pharmaceutical companies, the novel approaches of medical device companies, and the digital health companies, health systems and other stakeholders that hold the ecosystem together.
It turned out that leaving the Long Hallway was also an underappreciated risk. The Long Hallway–our unique location-agnostic model—actually boosts collaboration between offices and geographies by allowing us to tap into talent, no matter where talent calls home. I’m in Austin, Texas—an inferno of a hotbed for new ideas—but unless an agency can partner seamlessly with clients and teams anywhere, they risk creating heat but no light. At the end of the day, clients are looking for an agency that has the team members who bring the best thinking and execution to help them achieve their business goals.
But the most important—and unexpected—flaw in my risk/benefit calculus in leaving W2O Group was failing to appreciate the firm’s relentless pursuit of “what’s next” in communications. From the day Jim Weiss started this company, we have always asked how we can better understand the trends that will impact our clients’ position in the industry. How we can more effectively understand patient mindset. How doctors want to get information in today’s communications environment.
In the traditionally conservative healthcare industry, W2O Group has leveraged learnings from other industries and created totally new tools in analytics and software to drive forward healthcare communications.
That was three years ago. Earlier this year, I once again looked at the risk-benefit data when it came to health communications. I realized that if I wanted to sit at the intersection of critical health trends, if I wanted to work with a top-notch set of teammates dotting the globe, if I wanted to work with the next generation of tools, there was only one place I belonged.
So I’m thrilled to be rejoining the impressive W2O Group team as we write the next chapter in “what’s next” in healthcare communications.