Magazine Article | September 28, 2012

Harvesting The Network For Great Editorial

Source: Life Science Leader

By Rob Wright, editor in chief, Life Science Leader

The month of October in the northern hemisphere is typically associated with the end of the growing season and the process of gathering mature crops — it’s harvest time. In this month’s issue of Life Science Leader magazine, I did my own form of harvesting, that is, the harvesting of people I met while attending conferences and trade shows and getting them involved in our editorial process. The business term we use to describe meeting people at events is networking. I find it interesting that the definition of networking — the cultivation of productive relationships for employment or business — includes the farming term cultivation. So let me share with you some of the relationships I was able cultivate and harvest for this issue through networking.

The Leadership Lessons article on page 58 is written by Mark Scharenbroich. He is the author of the award-winning book Nice Bike – Making Meaningful Connections on the Road of Life. He is also an excellent keynote speaker, whom I met at the 2011 Emerson Global Users Exchange in Nashville, TN. Mark came up to me before his talk and told me how he always gets nervous presenting to groups of smart people. He needn’t have worried. Just my being in the audience skewed the IQ curve back toward the mean. His presentation was so good, I pestered him for months to put together an article for us.

On the cover of this month’s issue is Genzyme CEO David Meeker, M.D., whom I met at this year’s Bio International conference in Boston. I met Philip Haydon, Ph.D., at the state of Wisconsin’s Bio networking event. Haydon and I discussed the challenges around the uphill battle one faces when going against established thinking. “Stay close to the literature,” your Ph.D. advisor will tell you, when you are working on your dissertation. Doctoral training programs are one of the reasons I think researchers can get stuck in the rut of incremental innovation. As I listened to Haydon explain his work to me as president and founder of GliaCure, I was convinced we had a story (see p. 36.).

I am looking forward to continuing the cultivation and harvesting of people from upcoming networking opportunities for future editorial in Life Science Leader. For example, this month I am planning on attending CPhI in Madrid, Spain, as well as AAPS in Chicago. Now, some people have told me they have trouble networking. It is hard. They are shy. Well, the word does have the word “work” in it. So here’s a tip. If you find networking difficult, make the time to read Thom Singer’s book Some Assembly Required: How To Make, Grow And Keep Your Business Relationships. It will walk you through how to network. In case you are wondering, the answer is yes, I also met Thom while out “harvesting” at a show.