First published on PharmaVOICE.
As president of precisioneffect, Carolyn Morgan’s vision is clear: to work with companies that are seeking to change the standard of care. “This has been a big part of our success and a big part of our strategic vision,” she says. “People understand what kind of company we want to be and what kind of clients we want to work with. We tend to be risk takers. We are comfortable charting uncharted territories and figuring out how to solve complicated problems.”
To achieve the agency’s goals, this requires behavior change across the board. “We look to change the way physicians practice and have patients open up to try a new novel therapy or a new way of being treated,” she says.
This philosophy of behavior change extends to the agency’s internal culture as well. Cultivating team dynamics while cultivating client business is never easy, especially during a growth phase, so Carolyn says in the last year the agency conducted an internal cultural analysis. “We have to keep up with what the teams’ needs are,” she says. “It’s different workflows. It’s different processes. We have to make sure we are
giving everybody what they need to be successful.”
Through that process, Carolyn and her executive team started to hear a lot of the same things. And like other successful agencies, she learned there was a need to celebrate teamwork. “We’re a large team but we’re also individual teams helping each client,” she says. “We’ve relaunched our culture as one of we-centricity and we’re celebrating we-centric moments through we-centric toasts every Friday to celebrate different team wins or nominating peers for cheers and giving them opportunities to be recognized through company meetings. We want to make sure that we’re celebrating those smaller moments to build each other up and that we’re always proud of the work that we’re doing before it leaves the shop.”
Carolyn joined the agency more than 15 years ago, and was named president in 2013. In that time, the agency has experienced tremendous growth and was brought in under the umbrella of the Precision Medicine Group, founded by Mark Clein and Ethan Leder.
As a leader, Carolyn says helping people to trust their gut has been one of the biggest lessons she’s learned.
“It’s okay if something’s not going right; we’re human, things are going to go wrong,” she says. “I’ve also learned that I always need to be learning. I don’t have all the answers and I’m not afraid to fail, but I’d rather fail fast. I’d rather make a decision and move forward, and then if it doesn’t work out, I’m okay saying it wasn’t the right choice. Let’s regroup and let’s re-band together and let’s move forward with another alternative. Banding the team together in those moments is really important.”
Carolyn says her job as a leader is never done. “I know that I can improve all the time, and I know the agency can improve all the time,” she says. “I’m constantly seeking additional inputs so I can determine whether or not something is going to work well. I think if you go through a whole year and you haven’t made any mistakes you're probably not taking any risks and you’re probably not growing.”
Bruce Lehman, founder of LehmanMillet, which eventually became
precisioneffect, saw Carolyn’s potential early on and positioned her to take over the agency upon his retirement. But she had to prove herself first and moved to
southern California with her husband and two sets of twins, which were born 26 months apart, to run a sister agency that had been recently acquired. “In 2013, I achieved my goal of growing that office, I tripled it in size, and I moved back to Boston to become president,” she says.
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