From the Editor in Chief: Humanity in Winter

Jan 01, 2006
Volume 19, Issue 1

Laura Bush
Sometimes, being human is a drag. Especially in winter. The days are short and cold; the nights are longer and colder. In the gray light of midday, it's tough to be enthusiastic about anything.

Squirrels, by contrast, don't suffer these motivational challenges. Undaunted by seasonal change, they relentlessly scamper to and fro, gathering food. They don't say, "Aw geez, it's too cold to leave the nest today." Or, "Why bother? It's just acorns, acorns, acorns. Can't we move to an almond grove?" No, the squirrels don't complain. They forge ahead.

At a recent course on strategic thinking, we discussed these realities — not squirrels or acorns, but the way humans pursue goals on a daily basis. Ideally, we should analyze the alignment between our actions and our vision. If what we spend time doing doesn't move us closer to our organization's vision, we should stop doing it.

This approach highlights the significance of what we do, reminding us that even our small, daily tasks can support our vision. In many job functions, though, people feel disconnected from the larger goal. At a biotech company, the guy in the mailroom might look skeptical if you tell him he helps treat disease. But indirectly, he does. When he sends the mail out on time and distributes incoming packages properly, invoices go out, money comes in, and the staff receives needed materials and equipment. The business functions smoothly, and the research and manufacturing staff can focus on discovering and producing drugs. Imagine if the director of manufacturing had to sort the mail. It would be, simply, a case of, "For want of a nail..."

Okay, so this can get a little hokey. But for someone who works not for a biotech company, but for a publication about the science and business of biopharmaceuticals, the connections matter. Suddenly, my job is not just about correcting grammar or producing another supplement. It's about sharing useful information that helps readers run their manufacturing operations effectively to produce quality drugs that, yes, treat and cure diseases.

Sometimes, being human is exhilarating.

Laura Bush

lorem ipsum