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Change and Thrive with Dr. Wendy L. Heckelman

Change and Thrive with Dr. Wendy L. Heckelman

By Wendy L. Heckelman, Ph.D.
Setting strategic goals and executing new operating models in this V.U.C.A. world has been challenging for many BioPharma and Life Sciences organizations, but it doesn't have to be! Rooted in the principles of organizational effectiveness, change agility, and inclusive leadership development, Dr. Wendy L. Heckelman and the WLH team present practical tips, tools and case studies to help any organization thrive through change. We invite you to join us every week, on your favorite podcast platform as we navigate through this new normal! Subscribe here: #changeandthrive
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Change and Thrive with Dr. Wendy L. Heckelman

In this week’s podcast, we at WLH Consulting and WLH Learning Solutions want to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving and share our appreciation for all of you! This past year has been challenging, and it can be hard to find gratitude in these times. That is why we took the time to reflect on the small wins we’ve had along the way and thought of you and how you have helped us transform tremendously. Your needs have inspired us to grow, think outside the box, and work beyond the status quo. We thank you for being part of the journey. In this podcast, we want to do two things: Reinforce one of our primary change and thrive principles, “effective change and transition needs are to be managed at the organizational, team, and individual levels,” and ask you to apply that principle when reflecting on this past challenging year. At the organizational level, think of your senior leaders and all of the tough decisions that rested on their shoulders this year. Thank them for prioritizing the safety and health of your employees and families in a tumultuous period. As an industry, take pride in how the life sciences field has contributed to caring for patients and supporting the development of a vaccine. At the team level, reflect on how hard everyone is working while adapting to new work environments and supporting one another. Lastly, at the individual level, acknowledge your own grit and determination and how you managed to work through problems this year. Know that you are appreciated and that we are wishing you a safe and restful holiday weekend!
November 25, 2020
A month ago, we introduced our ABCs of Leadership for all times to reflect leadership challenges in response to today’s turbulent climate. Thus far, we have discussed three non-negotiable leadership skills: Agility, Breakthrough thinking, and Collaboration that is bold and intentional. This week, we move into our fourth skill: Dare to Execute higher aspirations. We define this skill as the ability to overcome barriers to boldness, bring clarity to chaos to focus on the critical few with intensity, and build commitment and accountability to drive higher success. In this podcast, I speak with Dr. Loretta Cate, a member of the WLH team and co-leader of our WIL initiative. We discuss how the leader of a pharma company that we recently worked with set high goals and executed new operating models to reset how work is done throughout their organization, leading them to surpass 2nd quarter expectations despite the challenges posed by the pandemic. This leader’s success is echoed across other leaders who follow similar paths of questioning their assumptions, thinking bigger, and letting go of historical norms in order to find ways of making the impossible possible. In addition to setting higher aspirations, leaders must ensure everyone on the team has clarity around their role, responsibilities and expectations. When this happens, trust and respect always follow and organizational synergy is cultivated. Setting high aspirations is key, but leaders must cultivate other skills in order to ensure that their organizations meet these goals. In this way, each of our non-negotiable leadership skills builds on and reinforces each other, creating a complete toolkit with which leaders can address new challenges and succeed.
November 18, 2020
We know that the current pandemic and the impact to the economy is forcing organizations to revisit their business strategy and make in some cases small and in other cases, large, fundamental shifts in how they do business. I am pleased to be joined by Rich Smith who is a long-time client, trusted friend and VP of HR Strategy and Management for Kaiser Permanente, one of the largest healthcare providers and insurers in the US. Kaiser Permanente is at the forefront of all these challenges – delivering healthcare both for Covid and other pressing needs, concerned about the costs of care and policy shifts as a result of the pending election, financial implications of many people loosing coverage, all while creating a positive engaging workplace. Another trend impacting workplaces is the more heightened need to create a more diverse and inclusive workplace. As the leader for the people strategy and management of the HR function, Rich sits at the table with other executives grappling with these difficult challenges and seeking to chart a new path forward. Listen to today's episode now! #changeandthrivepodcast #wendylheckelmanphd
November 11, 2020
This week’s podcast is a continuation of our series on the ABC’s of Leadership for All Times. This framework applies our ongoing research to the unique challenges that businesses now face and are expected to confront in years to come. Today, I speak to Dr. Loretta Care, a member of the WLH Team and co-leader of our Women in Leadership Initiative. We will share key insights about the third facet of our paradigm: Collaboration that is bold and intentional! Leaders that collaborate in bold and intentional ways seek diversity of thought, capabilities, experiences, and resources. These actions spur creative problem solving and innovation in the face of unforeseen obstacles and unmet needs. These leaders also challenge each other to think beyond their typical boundaries and work with other leaders, functional groups, and peer networks to align their organizations across shared goals and accountability. When leaders boldly and intentionally collaborate, the benefits are seen throughout the entire organization, as the organization sets higher aspirations and achieves accelerated market performance, finding more resilient and efficient ways of leading and redirecting manpower and capital to address unforeseen obstacles. Collaboration itself must be accompanied by two other leadership skills: Coordination and Communication. Collaborating on solutions and strategies is of the utmost importance; however, the innovation that spurs from this act must then be coordinated and aligned to create synergy throughout the organization. Lastly, consistent communication including feedback and the exchange of ideas is the key to turning these processes into tangible success and driving the free flow of creative thinking. This process of the 3C’s is critical in driving success in today’s ever-changing world. 
November 4, 2020
Two weeks ago, we kicked of our series on the ABCs of Leadership for All Times, a set of research-backed guiding principles for leaders to elevate their capabilities both now, when they face unique challenges caused by the pandemic, and in the years to come. Last week, we dove into “Agility” and its importance in the leadership context. This week, Loretta Cate, D.Ph., CPCC and I will move into “Break-through thinking” as a method for effective and innovative leadership. #changeandthrivepodcast #leadership #organizationalculture
October 28, 2020
Last week we introduced our ABCs of Leadership for all times in response to our ongoing research and the pandemic which has created business challenges unlike any we have ever faced. Add to this the massive humanitarian challenges and up swelling of social justice, this unique moment requires a new set of leadership imperatives with great potential beyond this crisis. The opportunity is now for re-calibration, with profound implications for the organization on how they identify and develop leaders for the future and beyond. As a result, we have a new leadership paradigm: The ABCs of Leadership for All Times! Collectively, these behaviors enable leaders to inspire followership that drives the organization’s strategic and cultural priorities to achieve financial outperformance now and in the future. They inform and expand each other in a way that although alone they are important, together they are powerful! Today’s I am pleased to have Dr. Loretta Cate, who is the member of the WLH team and co-leader of our WIL initiative. We'll discuss AGILITY! #changeandthrivepodcast
October 21, 2020
In today’s podcast, we are going to focus on a new leadership paradigm that is required for today and beyond. Today’s I am pleased to have Dr. Loretta Cate, who is the member of the WLH team and co-leader of our WIL initiative. #changeandthrivepodcast
October 14, 2020
In this week’s episode of Change and Thrive, we will be focusing on women in leadership and how leaders are uniquely positioned to play a critical role by providing direction during times of personal and professional transition. Specifically, leaders can empower their female employees through Coaching, Mentorship, and Sponsorship. I will be speaking with Lisa Brooks-Greaux, a trusted client, friend, and colleague who has been named one of the “25 Most Influential Women in Business,” and is the author of “Don’t Abdicate the Thrown,” where she shares tips on how women can to take control of their lives to grow and develop. Lisa will share her experience with leading women, as well as working alongside women leaders. She explains how women are uniquely exceptional leaders as they are able to balance a strategic mindset with creative vision and have the ability to execute on their plans. She explains that these skills are increasingly important in a time where uncertainty demands inclusion of all perspectives and collaboration, as well as strong agility in order to overcome unprecedented obstacles. To highlight this point, Lisa notes how women leaders of countries around the world have had success in navigating these new challenges by mitigating the spread of COVID-19. We then move into the specific process of Coaching, Mentoring, Sponsorship, and the nuanced differences between these three actionable steps. As Lisa explains, coaches offer a formal point of contact for providing individuals with constructive feedback on their performances, as well as equipping them with tools to fix or fill in gaps so they may improve and avoid future obstacles. Mentors are experienced members of an organization and are able to provide insight into how to navigate specific organizational cultures, as well as give general career advice. Sponsors possess social capital, influence, and power within an organization and will advocate on an individual’s behalf when decisions are being made regarding positions, projects, and promotions. These people can be key for empowering women to realize their full potential and providing them with support throughout the process of climbing the corporate ladder and reaching positions of power within an organization. #changeandthrivepodcast
October 7, 2020
I want to ask you a question: What challenges has your organization had around diversity, equity, and inclusion? Let’s do an exercise together… Get out a sheet of paper and a pen. I want you to write down the DE&I challenges you've seen and/or experienced within your workplace. Write down your emotion regarding these challenges. Then ask yourself: What solutions can I offer to make things better? This simple exercise will help you start the conversation. Let’s be honest, we live in a V.U.C.A. world. Things are not easy and can often discourage our progress. However you have the power to equip yourself, your team and your organization. In today's episode I share about WLH Consulting, Inc.’s newest eBook: Creating A Culture of Inclusion.You can download it directly by visiting here: Thanks for tuning in! #wlhconsulting #wendylheckelmanphd #changeandthrivepodcast
September 30, 2020
Our recent conversations around Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion have highlighted the fact that people want to be heard and need the proper support to thrive within an organization.  Otherwise, there is an abundance of research that cites African American women and people of color are leaving their organizations and starting their own businesses.  If leaders want to create a unified culture that drives organizational change and retention of high performing talent, they will have to take action on behalf of their employees and teams. This will require listening to individuals and their assessment of their work experience and environment. I have some questions for you to consider: 1. How many times have you felt unheard and unwanted on the job? 2. What actions did you take that helped to start your personal transformation? Those are two hard questions, but very important. Most organizations have a difficult time introducing and navigating DE&I conversations that will help them achieve the desired results of an inclusive culture that retains talent. In today’s podcast we continue our series on Applying Lessons Learned From the Arts to Create a More Diverse, Equitable, and Inclusive Workplace by speaking with Linda Antwi of LINDA IS SO GIRLIE. #changeandthrive #podcast #wendylheckelmanphd
September 23, 2020
Last week, WLH wrapped up our podcast series on what organizations can do to create a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive culture. This week, WLH is kicking off our next three-part series on applying lessons learned from the Arts and Sports worlds to help create a more diverse, equitable and inclusive culture. In this first installment of the series, I will speak with Maya Lawrence, a member of the Alliance Theatre. Through the Alliance, Maya has leveraged the medium of theater and the skill of storytelling as a way of driving progress in the DEI sphere throughout the Atlanta area. The Alliance has done groundbreaking work by using theaters as a means of offering skill-building workshops to business leaders with the ultimate goal of addressing systemic racism and pervasive biases. Maya and I will further discuss how she has used the three-step process of Awareness, Assessment, and Action in her work in theater and then how she translated the skills using the “Actor’s Toolkit” that allows corporations and organizations to tailor their DEI practices to what their employees specifically need. Theater offers a unique perspective on business operations, as actors must react to the changes that happen on stage and be tuned into the moment. Similarly, leaders cannot expect results by using old frameworks on new problems — they must react to specific issues that arise in their organizations and create space for their employees to be their unique and authentic selves. This podcast will provide clarity on how organizations can achieve that end. #changeandthrive #podcast 
September 16, 2020
THANK YOU FOR TUNING IN! Thank you for tuning into the Change and Thrive with Dr. Wendy L. Heckelman Podcast. I've enjoyed our time together these past few months. Can you believe we've been together for twelve weeks?! If you're new to the community I invite you to review some of the practical considerations and tips I've shared about addressing the impact of change. One thing is certain the global pandemic is placing pressure on life sciences businesses to react to a rapidly evolving economy and constantly changing consumer demands––now more than ever. Organizations must institute structured plans and improve change agility capabilities on every level to overcome the ever-increasing obstacles to successful change. This is why WLH Consulting, Inc. launched Change and Thrive. I've worked with leaders across the industry and gained expertise in change agility by working on hundreds of large-scale consulting engagements spanning nearly 30 years. In today's episode, I invite you to continue listening and growing with us! And please share your situation so we can help your organizations, teams, and individuals Change and Thrive during these difficult times.
September 9, 2020
We like to think of organizational commitment to DEI on a spectrum that starts with awareness of individual and group biases then move into assessment of organizational practices and culture and based on these insights more to deliberate action. When we think about Taking Action, it needs to occur across 3 levels: Organizational, Manager/employee, individual This episode will break down how to create genuine change and support DEI across these 3 levels. #changeandthrivepodcast #wlhconsulting #wendylheckelmanphd
September 2, 2020
As the second installment of WLH’s four-part series on the steps that organizations can take to address DEI practices, today’s podcast will focus on the second step of DEI transformation: Assessment. We kicked off the series by first discussing Awareness, which involves taking the time and space for all members of an organization to reflect on their own biases. After completing this process, it is time for organizations to systematically assess their work practices and how they impact organizational culture. In today’s podcast, I will talk with Stephen Kontra, a trusted member of the WLH team. We will discuss the forces that are driving the need for organizations to reexamine and assess their talent management practices, such as the increasing rate of organizational change standards, as well as an increasingly dynamic workforce that seeks transparency and equitable opportunities to manage their careers. Steve and I have assisted many companies in assessing their organizational practices and are therefore able to speak on the target areas that companies should assess, as well as the best practices for carrying out these assessments and moving forward with the information that is collected. Though many organizations strive to be equitable and inclusive, leaders are often unable to discern whether these goals are actually achieved in practice. Assessments provide employees with a forum with which they can honestly express their experience with specific practices at the organization as a whole, allowing leaders to pinpoint what is working well and what needs to be improved upon. If this step is properly executed, leaders have the capacity to move forward with actions that will appropriately address their organizations’ DEI blind spots. #wendylheckelmanphd #changeandthrivepodcast #culture #diversity #equity #inclusion
August 26, 2020
This year has been a year of national reckoning. Instances of police brutality against African Americans and the systemic inequities that have led to the effects of COVID-19 falling disproportionately on people of color have been brought to the forefront of our national dialogue. Though these injustices are by no means new, 2020 has ushered in a new wave of civil rights activism and has demanded that leaders look inwards at the ways in which their organizations have played a role in perpetuating injustice and exclusion. Many businesses have begun the process of reflection and are moving toward actionable steps in order to transform their organizational culture and cultivate inclusivity. Today’s podcast will kick off a series in which I discuss the practical steps that business leaders can take in order to strengthen their DEI practices and address their organizational issues head-on. As a culture change expert, I have developed a three-step plan to address DEI practices: Awareness, Assessment, and Action. Today, I will interview WLH Team Member, Tianna Tye whose academic background in Industrial Organizational Psychology provides her with expertise in human behavior in the workplace. We will be discussing the ins and outs of Assessment.  Tianna and I will share the three types of biases that impact organizational culture: conscious biases, unconscious or implicit biases, and second-generation biases. We will also discuss why it is so imperative that leaders and individuals reflect on their own biases, even our unconscious biases can have tangible and detrimental impacts on our coworkers and general feelings of belonging. As we move through the three steps in this podcast series, we hope to equip leaders with the tools necessary for organizational reform and progress. #changeandthrivepodcast #wendylheckelmanphd
August 19, 2020
We know that many organizations are going through large, fundamental transformation and in other cases, smaller shifts in how they do business. As organizational strategies shift, it is critical that leaders understand those changes and the impact on their teams and individuals.  Often times, these strategic shifts require new capabilities and skills. In today’s episode, my guest Loretta Cate and I are going to share some tips and best practices to COACH direct reports through transition. Thanks for tuning in! #changeandthrivepodcast #wlhconsulting #wendylheckelmanphd
August 12, 2020
A lot has and continues to happen as a result of the pandemic… many organizations are fundamentally revisiting their strategy and implementing changes to their vision and goals. This has resulted with changes to team structures. Whenever there are new leaders, new teams and new ways of working, leaders need to re-evaluate how they engage their teams. This challenge is amplified given that everyone is still working virtually with continued variability when teams can get together again. Andre Carnegie is quoted as saying “Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision, the ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.” In today’s episode, I am going to share some tips and best practices to CREATE a high performing team to deliver results when undergoing organizational change or as we say when there is transition from what is old and familiar to something different and new. Tune in! #changeandthrivepodcast #wlhconsulting #wlhlearningsolutions 
August 5, 2020
We know that the pandemic and the economic impact is forcing organizations to transform their strategy and ways of working. Michael Porter is quoted as saying “Risk is a function of how poorly a strategy will perform if the ‘wrong’ scenario occurs’.  As part of our approach to change implementation, we believe it is critical for organizations embarking on their change journey to CONSTRUCT A PLAN TO ADDRESS BUSINESS IMPACT AND RISKS. In today’s episode we are going to talk about the importance of Planning for Risk when inside your change journey. I’ve had the privilege to work with Kerry Clem, Senior Vice President, Sales and Payer Relations for Acorda Therapeutics, Inc. over 13 years through several transformations to join our conversation and offer valuable insight on how leaders can proactively plan for risk and engage their leaders at all levels.
July 29, 2020
Successful change does not happen if leaders are not on board!  They need to Commit by owning the change and preparing to lead. Since commitment establishes the correct psychological infrastructure, it may take time to cement it! The business case for change, which is paramount, requires explicit information on what is changing and the reasons behind it. Commit accounts for funneling this information properly. In today’s episode I want to talk about the importance of Leadership commitment when inside your change journey. I’ve had the privilege to work with Kyle Jenne, Chief Commercial Officer for Akcea Therapeutics for over 13 years through several transformations from very different companies to join our conversation and offer insight on how leaders can commit during change. Tune in! #like #share #comment #changeandthrivepodcast #wendylheckelmanphd #wlhconsulting #commit
July 22, 2020
As L&D professionals we know your daily mantra is “I am resilient, I am agile, and I am here to help!”  Supporting your organization with the resources and learning assets that develop agility and resiliency falls on your shoulders. Leading through change is not easy under regular business circumstances, let alone during a crisis. As change experts we know that living in a VUCA world, characterized by Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity is the backdrop for what motivates strategic change and the need for leadership agility.  In today's episode my guest Phil Sigler and I share some ways you can equip your team to lead during crisis and these difficult times. Listen and/or Watch the episode and feel free to share some ways your team is thriving during change in the comment section on our Vimeo channel.  #like #share #comment #changeandthrivepodcast #change #leadership #agility #wendylheckelmanphd #wlhconsulting #wlhlearning 
July 16, 2020
DRIVING CULTURAL CHANGE: CULTIVATING AND MAINTAINING A DIVERSE AND INCLUSIVE WORKPLACE If leaders would like to thrive during this COVID-19 Pandemic maintaining a diverse and inclusive workplace is of the utmost importance!  In response to the national dialogue on racism and social justice, the business community is actively taking a role.  CEOs and professional societies are issuing letters of support and acknowledging the need to be reflective and do more to overcome institutional racism.  As experts in organizational culture and talent retention, WLH is asking the critical questions and leveraging our experience to support moving the dialogue forward. What steps can companies take to ensure the inclusion and retention of their diverse talent? Diversity allows for innovative brainstorming and problem solving, a truth that is empirically supported by the fact that ethnically diverse organizations are 35% more likely to outperform their peers. In today's episode I talk about Driving Cultural Change. Listen to the episode and feel free to share how your organization is addressing diversity and inclusion in the message box simply click +Message. #changeandthrivepodcast #diversityandinclusion #diversitytraining #culturalawareness #leadershipdevelopment #wlhconsulting #wlhlearningsolutions #wendylheckelmanphd
July 8, 2020
The very essence of change is that it can happen quickly, right before your eyes. By its very nature, change is disruptive and can throw even the most skilled leaders and individuals off balance. Fortunately, with proper planning and preparation, leaders can not only handle change, but can thrive during change! In today’s episode, my guest Sheryl Unger and I want to introduce you to a validated change management framework called the 5C’s of Transition Leadership and discuss the critical role effective communication plays throughout the process. Listen now on your favorite podcast platform!  #changeandthrivepodcast #changeandthrive#changeleadership#changemanagement #wlhconsulting#wlhlearning #wendyheckelmanphd
July 1, 2020
SUCCESSFULLY DRIVING CHANGE AND THE ROLE OF A TRANSITION LEADER The Covid-19 Pandemic, the economic devastation and push for social justice is forcing organizations to fundamentally revisit their business strategy. We know that change is difficult and 70% of all change initiatives fail. In today's podcast episode I address these challenges and give you some tips to re-define your role as a transition leader to successfully drive change! Listen and subscribe to never miss an episode! - Wendy #changeandthrivepodcast #changeandthrive #changeleadership#changemanagement #wlhconsulting #wlhlearning #wendyheckelmanphd
June 24, 2020
Leading change is an essential leadership capability, especially during these unprecedented times. Your leaders play a critical role in dealing with this crisis across their organization, and within their teams. As change experts we know that living in a VUCA world, characterized by Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity is the backdrop for what motivates strategic change and the need for leadership agility. COVID-19 (Coronavirus) is testing leaders’ agility on multiple levels, but I have some tips that will help you lead during these difficult times. Grab your lunch and notepad so we can get started! - Wendy Are you ready to lead your team into success? Register for our Live Virtual Workshop, “℞ for Leading During Difficult Times,” on June 19, 2020 at 2PM EST. Visit us online to download our one page resource to learn more℞-for-leading-during-difficult-times/ #watchthevideo #wlhlearning #wlhconsulting #wendylheckelmanphd #lunchwithwendy #businesstips #lten
June 5, 2020
Everything we know about healthcare and the way it is delivered has changed forever, forcing organizations to re-evaluate their ecosystem for impact. Leaders need to be equipped for this new normal and I have some quick tips to help you create a re-entry strategy that will help your organization thrive during change. Grab your lunch and notepad so we can get started! - Wendy Are you ready to re-calibrate, re-engage, re-imagine and re-define your team? Register for our LIVE Virtual Workshop, “℞ for Leading During Difficult Times,” on June 19, 2020 at 2PM EST. Visit us online to download our one page resource℞-for-leading-during-difficult-times/ #watchthevideo #wlhlearning #wlhconsulting #wendylheckelmanphd #lunchwithwendy #businesstips #lten
June 4, 2020