The Business component of #BAT2018 Business-Art-Technology

B&M feb 2018 JAX

BUSINESS  – The #Business component of #BAT2018 -Business-Art-Technology for 2018

I launched the year with a column talking about going to #BAT in 2018 and I’ve received a whole lot of feedback and acknowledgement that I’ve touched on something important. The speed of change and the need for human adaptation leaves many of us trying to figure it all out.

The most oft asked question has been for me to give examples of organizations that do a good job integrating business, art and technology to stand out above the crowd in this disconnected communications environment. Most appropriately – my best examples come from Maine & Boston.  Coincidentally, they are both making a difference in human health.

My very first #BAT2018 award goes to The Jackson Laboratory headquartered in Bar Harbor Maine. Founded in 1929 they are an independent, nonprofit biomedical research organization who dares to assert their vision imagining “a world free of devastating disease.”

I have no insider’s view here. I am aware of them because of my work with biomed and medtech research organizations. Mostly, however, I continue to learn about them because of their internet and social media activity. This organization has integrated business art and technology with a very human approach to everything they do. I have never really “met” anyone from that organization and yet I feel like I know the CEO and their social media strategist very well. In reality – that discovery of @jacksonlab on twitter – led to a series of real time exchanges and my warm inclusion as a friend of their social media community. Community by its very nature must have dialogue between members. Community is not a brand pitching every single moment with outbound broadcasts. Jackson Labs acknowledges and responds to online comments and makes it fun to be involved with what they do and what they offer.

One very popular item with me was their 2018 calendar. It’s a salute to a dozen famous artists thru a wickedly wonderful re-interpretation of their work. Roy Lichtenstein, Peter Max and Idelle Weber highlight the lab’s commitment to women in science as well as the joy of discovery while science and lab mice remain center stage.

b&m20180125_095548_W ©KeithSpiroPhoto

Does this poster style look familiar?  The most popular mouse in the house delivered in a clever Andy Warhol style.

A business is successful because of its people. When it comes to Jackson Labs, I’ve seen some team photos online and I’ve looked at their job postings.  The employees clearly reflect the wide diversity you should expect of an impactful organization. I’ve said it before. You either are or are not diverse. There is no maybe and no hiding behind geography, availability or other excuses.

Business attitude is also readily revealed in job postings. Collaborative and Interdisciplinary, Jackson Laboratory ideal candidates pay attention to coveted values of: Integrity, People, One Team, Excellence, Innovation and Stewardship. Job descriptions acknowledge that every position contributes to JAX’s mission of discovering precise genomic solutions and empowering the global biomedical community in a shared quest to improve human health.

WOW! Whether its research or media and communications, cross disciplined creativity is encouraged and their benefits package reinforces the expectations and opportunities at every step.

JAX is one of those best practice examples of integration of Art & Technology, Social media and Community, Outreach and Diversity in everything they do. In a world full of noise, they are Creative & their mission is  compelling.

 Follow them online on Facebook and Twitter

You can support their work!  Click Here! They will gladly accept donations. You can make a tribute gift, have your business  step up and partner with them. You can even help fund a scientist!


Next installment, we’ll take a look at the other end of the rail line down by Boston.

b&m20180122_151358_KSPwC ©KeithSpiroPhotoAnother organization devoted to integrative approaches to health. Technology, depicted here, looks like something out of a Peter Max poster and they too are amazing.



Boston & Maine connection post on TrustDoes your business engender trust with your customers and your vendors?

I’ve been thinking a lot about this word trust lately. It was a pivotal word influencing the outcome of the national election. It also played prominently across all the presentations at Xconomy’s recent conference, What’s hot in Boston Health Tech.  Boston contains a high concentration of expertise in health, research and digital/mobile technologies. The whole concept of precision medicine relies heavily on shared data moving quickly away from protected silos.

Healthcare is ripe for disruption. A consistent theme across the presentations was how the use of technology can cut through duplication, waste and bureaucracy.  The stats on current drug efficacy, for example, show that at best any number of them fall off before the 50% mark for a variety of reasons that also includes “failure to take as directed.”  Would you invest in something that only has a 25% chance of being successful? Perhaps you might when it comes to cancer treatment but not in most other areas of health. Yet, patients are forced to play healthcare roulette every day.

Who do we trust most? Who do we trust least in the health arena?  For many, Facebook holds greater sway over us than our health insurance providers.  Yet, it is these very same providers that are driving Telemedicine.

What does it say about our society when we appear comfortable sharing our personal HIPAA confidential information freely on social media channels but run into roadblocks due to regulatory or HIPPA compliance threats.  Is there a misplaced sense of trust as we share personal aspects of our lives on the very networks that are scraping this information for future use?

Because of the constraints on information flow between researchers, attending physicians and patients (and exacerbated by vested profit centers), we overspend and under deliver on health outcomes.  The patient, of necessity, became the keeper of all data. How good are you at maintaining the continuity of your health records?

How about a different approach? One where patient outcome is the measure that provides payoff to all involved?

Check out Iora Health and its Co-Founder and CEO Rushika Fernandopulle. Rushika Fernandopulle CEO of IORA HealthHe imagined and has delivered Patient-Centric Healthcare and the results are impressive.  I met Rushika when he first started out –nearly 7 years ago. His small team was looking for business cards and print communication tools for his fledging organization. Now there are more than 22 practices, spreading across the country with hundreds of employees and thousands of patients served. Trust runs high when you know your physician’s compensation is based on your health outcome. Decision making and health coaching are in sync. Trust takes time and relationship nurturing.  The results are real with documented reduction in cost and better health outcomes.

Build trust for your business and use new approaches.  Imagine ways that your smart device can help build that trust. It’s important to do so. Tools like Skype and Zoom can put you face to face with a client and eliminate the issues of distance in real time.

One note of caution. Trust is hard to earn and easy to lose.  Don’t let it be damaged by failure to be vigilant in protecting your reputation. Address issues immediately.  Build a community of supporters around you and share openly and timely. You can’t orchestrate a business plan in a real time world. Be flexible, transparent and authentic. Always.  The media landscape has changed dramatically. The old ways of old school PR and marketing and master planning are overrun daily by the instantaneous nature of communication across individuals not hindered by editorial boards, rules or restraints. Consider your past achievements but grow your real time resources.

from my recent series of posts:

Inspiration + Communication + Validation + Trust = A Seat at the Table