Tuesday, March 31, 2009

8-minute radio interview and an Oprah show about dystonia

Today, Oprah will have guests Dr. Oz and Beka Serdans to speak about the neurological disorder, dystonia.

We at STINSON have had the opportunity to work with Beka Serdans, who is an intensive care nurse who suffers from the disorder. She created the health organization Care4Dystonia, Inc to raise awareness and support for dystonia sufferers.

You can go to http://www.oprah.com/media/20080601_OAF_080227_OAF_MO
now and listen to an 8-minute interview with Beka. You’ll hear about her battle with the disease that she has fought since she was a teenager.

Make sure to tune into the full interview on the Oprah show today. For local listings: http://www.oprah.com/locallistings

Monday, March 30, 2009

4 hospitals that use design innovation to make it better

Under the headline "Make it better," the exclusive trend magazine Monocle presents Akershus University Hospital with a five-page feature in the February 2009 edition. The article emphasizes that the hospital is created on the principle that good design makes you feel better.

"Hospitals don't have to be cold, clinical places. Danish firm CF Møller Architects lifts spirits with this design for the new Akershus University Hospital, just outside Oslo. It features soaring ceilings, long rows of windows, bespoke furniture crafted in local wood and a collection of art. It's about as far removed from the sterile stereotype as you can get. With its innovative and considered design, Akershus promises to give architecture a healthier image."

Other healthy hospitals featured in Monocle include The Danube Clinic of Tulin, Austria; Tokyu Hospital of Okayama, Japan; and The Ravelo Clinic of Ravelo, Tenerife, Spain.

It's not all about good looks though. The Akershus Hospital is one of the most technologically advanced in Europe. Pills are delivered to wards via a series of high-speed chutes and a fleet of electronic robots zip around carrying cleaning equipment and medication.

Read more at the CF Møller Architects website: http://www.cfmoller.com/siteCFM/newsdetail.asp?x=&detail=12726&langcurr=2.1.1

And there's several books on Amazon, including one just published earlier this year Masterpieces: Hospital Architecture & Design by Christine Nickl-Weller.

Click on:

Saturday, March 28, 2009

2009 BioMedical Asia conference discussion: is Asia the key to developing affordable healthcare?

Here’s a note from the editors of PharmAsia News, with a closer look at important biopharma developments from China, India, Japan, and the Pacific Rim.

SINGAPORE – Our PharmAsia News team had a productive week in Singapore covering BioMedical Asia. If there was one recurring theme in Singapore – aside from the delicious food – and in conversation with multinationals that maintain operations at Singapore’s research and development park Biopolis, it was “affordable healthcare.” Big pharma is looking to reduce development costs while small biotechs look for complementary partners as venture funds dry up.

The Singapore government is offering companies incentives to draw them to the country, including providing services for operating at Biopolis or venture funding through Singapore’s venture capital investment arm Bio*One Capital, and in doing so is helping decrease the gap between early-stage research and proof-of-concept.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong is sitting on untapped reserves of novel research and intellectual property due to a lack of proper funding. Universities are developing interesting technology, but the government – unlike in Taiwan and Singapore – has yet to draw top investors to help translate academic research to product commercialization.

In South Korea, the University of Utah and South Korea’s Inha University finalized an agreement to create a joint pharmaceutical research and development center in Incheon. The joint center will initially focus on drug delivery systems, especially for cancer and pain management.

GlaxoSmithKline launched vaccine Cerverix in India for the prevention of pre-malignant cervical lesions and cervical cancer related to human pappilomavirus. After a drawn-out registration and approval process, GSK launched Cerverix six months after Merck brought Gardasil to India.

The 2009 BioMedical Asia attracted 1500+ senior industry executives from
30+ countries, representing pharmaceutical and biotech senior executives, regulators, investors and other industry stakeholders. Together, they explores partnership and investment opportunities and discussed best operational strategies and successful business models. The conference featured four conference tracks, enabling attendees to pick and choose topics most relevant to their business interests.

- BioManufacturing
- R&D Strategy and Partnering
- Clinical Operations and Partnering
- Investment and Financing

Friday, March 27, 2009

5 clinical articles on the effects of music on health

Researchers are finding that listening to music can benefit you physically and mentally.

In fact, listening to upbeat music that you like can actually promote the functioning of blood vessels. And it’s also to be a great motivator of physical activity.

So David Floyd asked my group to offers “your thoughts and knowledge on the role that music might play in maintaining and improving health. Am sure there is lots of information out there, so I am looking forward to your replies.”

David Floyd is Medical Communications Director at Flutter+Wow, a UK-based multi-disciplinary creative and strategic communications agency. They’re a team of talented people with two offices: the leafy Henley-On-Thames and White Roding, Essex. David joined F+W in November 2008 to help integrate top quality med comms into their existing digital and advertising offerings.

Here’s my reply --

When building a health science and technology brand, I encourage our teams to appeal to all the senses so that the brand becomes memorable. Too often, branding initiatives can get stuck on just the visual details -- but what about going beyond visual branding to sonic branding?

The element of sound could connect a brand to enjoyable (and now, more healthy) feelings.

For your further reading about music effects on health, begin with these links...

1. Music, immunity and cancer

2. The effect of music type on running perseverance and coping with effort sensations

3. Music Therapy: Notes from Research and Clinical Practice

4. Adjuvant and alternative analgesia

5. Through the Lens of the Artist-Scientist: Reflections for the Pediatric Oncology Nurse

Thursday, March 26, 2009

100s of thoughts on Sci-Fi Channel re-brand to SyFy – “Did They Make It Better Or Worse?”

The Sci-Fi Channel has announced a re-branding to SyFy with the tagline "Imagine Greater". The PR said it wanted to "develop a brand we can own, like Coke or ESPN."

Did they make it better or worse?
Will SyFy stand the test of time as a great brand?
Can you compare a niche media brand to a cultural icon like Coke?

Read on – then click through to the dozens of intergalactic comments.

In some universe, the name “Syfy” is less geeky than the name “Sci-Fi.” Dave Howe, president of the Sci-Fi Channel, is betting it’s this one.

To that end, the 16-year-old network—owned by NBC Universal—plans to announce that Syfy is its new name March 16 at its upfront presentation to advertisers in New York.

“What we love about this is we hopefully get the best of both worlds,” Mr. Howe said. “We’ll get the heritage and the track record of success, and we’ll build off of that to build a broader, more open and accessible and relatable and human-friendly brand.”

Sci-Fi is coming off the best year in its history. In primetime it ranked 13th in total viewers among ad-supported cable networks in 2008. It’s a top-10 network in both adults 18 to 49 (up 4%) and adults 25 to 54 (up 6%).

During its fourth-quarter earnings call, parent General Electric said Sci-Fi racked up a double-digit increase in operating earnings despite the beginnings of the recession.

Nevertheless, there was always a sneaking suspicion that the name was holding the network back.

“The name Sci-Fi has been associated with geeks and dysfunctional, antisocial boys in their basements with video games and stuff like that, as opposed to the general public and the female audience in particular,” said TV historian Tim Brooks, who helped launch Sci-Fi Channel when he worked at USA Network.

Mr. Brooks said that when people who say they don’t like science fiction enjoy a film like “Star Wars,” they don’t think its science fiction; they think it’s a good movie.

“We spent a lot of time in the ’90s trying to distance the network from science fiction, which is largely why it’s called Sci-Fi,” Mr. Brooks said. “It’s somewhat cooler and better than the name ‘Science Fiction.’ But even the name Sci-Fi is limiting.”

Mr. Howe said going to Syfy will make a difference.

“It gives us a unique word and it gives us the opportunities to imbue it with the values and the perception that we want it to have,” he said.

In terms of television, the new brand better reflects that the channel has programs that are not about the typical sci-fi themes of space, aliens and the future.

“We really do want to own the imagination space,” Mr. Howe said. “We want to get the credit for the range of content that we already have on our air and that we’ll be doing more of in the future.”

Mr. Howe said Sci-Fi looks at its branding every couple of years. He added that when new executives join the network, they usually ask if it has ever thought about changing the name.

The network worked with the branding consultancy Landor Associates and went through about 300 possibilities before selecting Syfy.

“When we tested this new name, the thing that we got back from our 18-to-34 techno-savvy crowd, which is quite a lot of our audience, is actually this is how you’d text it,” Mr. Howe said. “It made us feel much cooler, much more cutting-edge, much more hip, which was kind of bang-on what we wanted to achieve communication-wise.”

The network plans to make the changeover July 7, when it will launch the new series “Warehouse 13.”

The series, about a secret government facility in South Dakota where all mysterious relics and supernatural souvenirs are housed, is emblematic of the channel’s programming direction.

“It is a dramedy and it is set in the here and now. It’s a kind of an Indiana Jones meets ‘Moonlighting’ meets ‘The X-Files,’” Mr. Howe said. “This is a very accessible, relatable, fun show.”

The network will begin briefing cable operators about the transition this week and plans a trade ad campaign in April as part of the upfront. The new campaign will use the slogan “Imagine Greater,” which Mr. Howe thinks will resonate with both consumers and media buyers.

“It’s a call to action,” he said. “Look at the everyday and how you can turn it to the extraordinary. It’s an inspirational, optimistic message about enhancing people’s lives.”

Mr. Howe said the international Sci-Fi channels will transition to the new name over the next six to 12 months.

Web site SciFi.com also will make the change to Syfy.com.

Sci-Fi has been working to branch out from being simply a linear cable network to become a hub of businesses operating in the imagination under the Sci-Fi Ventures banner.

“We need an umbrella brand we can attach to new businesses: Sci-Fi games, Sci-Fi kids. It does no use to attach ‘Sci-Fi’ because there are hundreds of sci-fi Web sites and sci-fi publications. So it’s changing your name without changing your name,” Mr. Howe said.

Sci-Fi also will be unveiling some of its programming and development plans at its upfront.

But one key venture it won’t discuss is its work with Trion Worldwide to create content designed from the beginning to work on multiple platforms. Mr. Howe said the network is close to announcing a title and description of the project, which will launch as both a subscription-based, massively multiplayer online game and a television series.

A writer has been assigned to the project. The idea is to have the show completely synchronized so that when events happen in the show, they are reflected in the game, and vice versa.

“Because it’s a server-based game, as the storylines evolve in the TV series, so the game echoes that,” Mr. Howe said. “It’s a completely, uniquely interactive 24-7 immersive entertainment experience.”

He’s seen some “amazing demos” from Trion of the graphics and how the world will be built out.

“What that launches, it truly is the next evolution in dynamic storytelling,” Mr. Howe said.

Comments posted on LinkedIn

Comments posted on TV Week

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

24 planned cost-saving measures anticipated by research labs: highlights from “Prospering in a Down Market: Strategies for Life Science Suppliers

The life science industry is not immune from the global financial crisis. Pharmaceutical, biotechnology, academic and government labs are bracing for budget freezes and staff reductions.

During this tumultuous time in our industry, the opportunity for life science suppliers to thrive — rather than survive will be predicated on a detailed understanding of how labs will allocate 2009 funds. A new report just released this week provides guidance on how scientists plan to cut corners, modify experiments and change purchasing behaviors in response to shrinking budgets.

The report from BioInformatics, LLC is entitled Prospering in a Down Market: Strategies for Life Science Suppliers and it analyzes the broad scope of how scientists plan to control lab costs, what products will be affected, and the degree of concern scientists have about the economic climate.

Providing a roadmap for the life science supplier, this study compares and contrasts FY2008 (actual) and FY2009 (projected) budgets, revealing anticipated trends and changes. Expenditures for capital equipment (greater than $25k), instrumentation ($25k or less) and consumables are detailed, and sources of funding for research and drug discovery are listed for both years.

Some 14 product categories are examined using multiple variables, including current suppliers, price points that increase likelihood of switching and projected expenditures through FY2010. Additionally, the respondents will provide insight as to how their labs are adapting to this crisis through hiring freezes, modifying or delaying experiments and calculating ways to make resources go farther.

Quick responders will win in this tight economy. “Prospering in a Down Market: Strategies for Life Science Suppliers is not only a compilation of how life science customers are planning to allocate 2009 budgets; it also outlines in detail how scientists expect suppliers to respond. Scientists share their opinions about how suppliers can differentiate themselves, and what types of incentives, discounts and packaging would entice a lab to purchase more. The study also includes feedback as to whether or not scientists will turn to vendors for advice on how to conserve reagents, how to preserve the shelf-life of instrumentation and how to go green,” thereby counting on suppliers to become more involved in promoting efficient operations in the lab.

Specifically, the report covers 24 planned cost-saving measures anticipated:
1. Bulk ordering
2. Change direction of inquiry
3. Conservation measures
4. Decrease/stop long-term experiments
5. Defer capital equipment purchases
6. Delay/cancel nonessential purchases
7. Downsize staff
8. Halt new initiatives
9. Increase energy efficiency
10. Increase the use of core facilities
11. Lease instrumentation
12. Outsource work
13. Participate in “reagent rental” programs
14. Postpone or suspend projects
15. Postpone or suspend specific experiments
16. Purchase through alternative channels
17. Purchase/acquire used instrumentation
18. Purchasing groups
19. Reduce/cease experiments with animals
20. Rent instrumentation for the duration of a project
21. Reuse products
22. Share resources with other labs
23. Standing orders
24. Switch to less expensive alternatives

Beyond these steps, there is interest in used lab equipment, service contracts, special offers, assistance and advice from suppliers, more credibility of supplier advice, and environmentally friendly products.

"Nearly half of respondents surveyed said they are VERY worried that a recession will make it difficult for them to conduct their research and close to two-thirds indicated that their research has already been affected by the current economic recession," notes Tamara Zemlo, Ph.D., Vice President of Advisory Services. According to Zemlo, life sciences will likely fare better than other sectors of the economy, but she points out that scientists are employing a variety of ways to stretch their budgets. “Understanding how and where scientists intend to cut back will be essential for suppliers developing effective marketing and sales strategies.”

To learn more about this BioInformatics report, a complimentary Executive Summary of Prospering in a Down Market: Strategies for Life Science Suppliers is available at http://www.gene2drug.com/reports/200/

Or contact me to review the specifics findings and implications for your health, science, or technology brand.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Great Disruption demands we make innovation a strategic priority: now is the time for N-of-8

The world of innovation is going through important changes. A generation ago, many thought innovation was unpredictable and random. Those with this perspective would either leave innovation to "creative geniuses" or seek to intentionally insert unpredictability into their innovation efforts (imagine those old unfocused brainstorming efforts with attendees dressed in ridiculous costumes).

This is the view of Scott D. Anthony, president of Innosight, an innovation consulting and investing company. With offices in Massachusetts, Singapore, and India, Innosight has consulted with Fortune 500 and start-up companies in a wide range of industries. Anthony is the lead author on The Innovator's Guide to Growth: Putting Disruptive Innovation to Work. He previously coauthored (with Clayton Christensen) Seeing What's Next: Using the Theories of Innovation to Predict Industry Change.

Over the past generation, path-breaking academic research and work by companies like Procter & Gamble and IBM has shown how innovation can be managed like any other corporate process.

"We're not yet at the point of perfect predictability, and there still are many important innovation questions that are difficult to answer," Anthony writes. “But innovators have a playbook that can help them even in these highly uncertain times.”

This is just the reason why I'm accelerating the publication schedule of my next branding book, N-of-8®: A Creative Group Innovation Model for Health, Science, & Technology Brands.

I've just posted a preview of the book in white paper form. A free copy is available for download at www.StinsonBrandInnovation.com/brandthinking

The innovation genie isn't going back in the bottle. Entrepreneurs and corporate innovators will continue to introduce disruptive innovations that transform existing markets and create new ones. In fact, the Great Disruption demands that companies make innovation a strategic priority. . .or suffer the consequences.

Monday, March 23, 2009

20 reasons why Tokyo for the 2016 Olympic Games -- and what Chicago is competing against for athletes and spectators alike

While we were in Tokyo earlier this month, we experienced that city's Olympic movement in full swing.

And on the way home, I read a feature in Monocle magazine promoting Japan's urban champion position. You can read it at http://www.tokyo2016.or.jp/en/whytokyo/

And consider joining me as a member of the Chicago2016 Supporters group on LinkedIn

Sunday, March 22, 2009

2 nuevos marcadores detectan precozmente el 70% de casos que afectan a los ovarios -- Avance en terapias personalizadas para menores con cáncer

I'm pleased to post this research news from the School of Medicine at University of Navarra, Spain. Important clinical research is being conducted there with interdisciplinary groups of medical doctors, biologists, pharmaceutical specialists, engineers, nurses, among others. This research is primarily carried out within the context four distinct lines: Genetic Therapy, Physiopathology, Oncology, and Neurosciences.

This particular report is relevant to our client, Fujirebio Diagnostics, and its advanced marker HE4.

I made the decision to post in the original Spanish language to preserve the authenticity of the news report from El Correo Gallego (http://www.elcorreogallego.es/gente-y-comunicacion/ecg/avance-terapias-personalizadas-menores-cancer/idNoticia-395717/)

Un equipo de expertos de la Clínica Universidad de Navarra ha comprobado la existencia de variantes genéticas que hacen que algunos pacientes infantiles con osteosarcoma presenten mayor resistencia y menor tolerancia a determinados fármacos, un descubrimiento que profundiza en los mecanismos de esta enfermedad y avanza en el camino para la obtención de una terapia personalizada para los niños.

En concreto, la investigación, que se publicará en la revista científica The Journal of Pediatrics, se ha centrado en el análisis de los efectos secundarios del metotrexato en 100 pacientes, una de las mayores muestras del mundo dada la escasa incidencia de la enfermedad, estimada en una persona por cada millón de habitantes al año. Según la doctora Ana Patiño, investigadora principal del artículo, "el medicamento elegido para tratar el osteosarcoma infantil se administra dosis muy elevadas, cuantificadas en gramos, lo que significa multiplicar por 1.000 las dosis de metotrexato que se aplican en otras enfermedades oncológicas más frecuentes, como puede ser la leucemia". "Unas dosis tan altas pueden provocar efectos tóxicos muy importantes; de ahí la necesidad de conocer los mecanismos genéticos que intervienen en la resistencia al tratamiento y en la tolerancia al fármaco", apuntó la doctora.

Por otra parte, más del 70% de los cánceres de ovario se pueden detectar precozmente en mujeres propensas usando dos marcadores tumorales, según se anunció en el Simposio Internacional sobre Biología y Utilidad Clínica de los Marcadores Tumorales en Barcelona.

El doctor Rafael Molina, jefe de la unidad de Oncobiología del servicio de Bioquímica Clínica del hospital Clinic de Barcelona, y uno de los organizadores del encuentro, señala en un comunicado que este hallazgo es importante porque el cáncer de ovario es un tipo de tumor que no produce síntomas, por lo que suele diagnosticarse tardíamente, y presenta un nivel de mortalidad elevado.

Añadió que, combinando dos marcadores, el HE4, muy reciente, y el CA 125, se mejora la detección, permitiendo que los resultados y posibilidades de curación se incrementen.

To learn more about monitoring recurrence and risk stratification of ovarian cancer, visit http://taketherightpath.com/

Friday, March 20, 2009

700 Boise creatives ignited by 15 presenters with only 20 slides and 5 minutes of stage time each

The great industrialist and tire magnate Harvey Firestone once said: "Capital isn't that important in business. Experience isn't that important. You can get both of these things. What is important is ideas."”

Following Harvey's advice, more than 700 geeks, techies, artists, philosophers, bankers, lawyers, writers, marketers and other characters converged on the Egyptian Theater last night for the first Ignite Boise event-- a 3-hour series of presentations meant to excite, intrigue, educate and entertain.

Armed only with 20 slides and 5 minutes of stage time, 15 presenters held forth in double-time on topics that included the business lessons of Star Wars,”the importance of public art, e-mailing effectively, commercializing your ideas, the wonders inside useless things--and how our lives are affected by ever expanding communications technology.

Zach Hagadone of Idaho Business Review (http://www.idahobusiness.net/) reports that the mood at the Egyptian was a mixture of a comedy club, a pep rally and a variety show, as total strangers mingled in the aisles, sipped beer and wine in the lobby, chatted in their seats, and laughed and clapped along with presenters.

Inspired by similar events in places like Seattle, Portland and Boulder, Ignite Boise was free and open to all and put on by a group of volunteers. Sponsors were as diverse as the subjects discussed and included: Boise Valley Commercial R.E., the Boise Weekly, BrightPath, the city of Boise, Hawley Troxell, Idaho TechConnect, iQuestions, rizen creative, T.V. Consultants’ Network, Tablerock Printing, TechBoise, The Invent Blog, and Valitics.

Far from the typical business or networking presentation, audience members were told not to turn off their iPhones, cell phones or laptops -- and they were encouraged to text, tweet or blog the event as it happened.

"Do that," said Jeff Reynolds of Rizen Creative as he warmed up the crowd. "Whatever the kids are doing today, do it. It's working.”

Sure enough, Twitter was alive with a play-by-play of the event, and on this Friday morning more than a few blogs are carrying a re-cap of the night:


There's even a flicker page with photos from the event:


The common theme: Bringing together a couple hundred fast talking, big thinking members of the creative class”is sure to result in at least one or two next-big-things.”

Thursday, March 19, 2009

9 Cool Millennials: a generation of dorm room brand innovators

INC. magazine decided to try a new approach to reporting on promising start-ups founded by college students. They turned to their very own student journalists.

Assignments and deadlines were set via Twitter, and drafts were traded and edited over Facebook. INC reported on the future, by using the future – and discovered some very exciting up-and-coming businesses that grew amid the craziness that is college.

Go to “The Coolest College Start-ups” to read more about these innovative ideas: http://www.inc.com/magazine/20090301/index.html

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

3 years instead of 10: BioMarin accelerates drug development process

Yesterday, Jeffrey Cooper, Senior VP and COO of BioMarin, presented a company update at the Cowen and Company 29th Annual Health Care Conference in Boston.

In his twenty-minute talk, Jeffrey offered up a wide variety of insights about this successful pharmaceutical company.

He highlighted the fact that BioMarin has been extremely successful at getting products to the market quickly. He attributes this success to reducing overall R&D cost by minimizing time and development and starting revenues sooner. Specifically, Kuvan reached market within 3 years – while it usually takes an average 10-year process to get drug approval.

For more on Jeffrey’s update on BioMarin, and their products follow the link and click on Replay Webcast:

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

8 brand case studies of social media practices

Today at noon, Michelle and I attended a very informative presentation on social media at a luncheon meeting of the Capital City Communicators.

Sara Prentice and Ethan Huffman of the Idaho National Laboratory were the speakers. They are from the public affairs and strategic communications groups at INL (operated by the US Department of Energy).

Sara and Ethan said their research began with the use of social media in emergency management. It developed into a complete overview of the trends and best practices.

A definition by the Web Content Report says social media is “web users generating their own content in a collaborative, community-driven way.””

It’s an important topic for many reasons:

• Audiences changing
(77% of GenX, GenY, and Millenials would rather give up newspapers and TV rather than computer and internet access)
• Not just a trend -there are now 130 million blogs
• News media are looking at blogs as much as traditional sources
• Global shift in communications practices
• Corporate distrust (only 17% of people believe what CEO says)

So, what organizations are capitalizing on social media?

1. Goodwill
A fashion icon for Goodwill stores? Check out: “DC Goodwill Fashion Blog

2. LA Fire Department
The fire chief blogs about training, awards, and programs. They even Twitter about every call & response and post on YouTube & Flicker.

3. JetBlue Airways
Shape public perception with its Customer Bill of Rights. Two full-time employees follow social media. And now the airline is also tweet-ing deals: http://twitter.com/JetBlue

4. Comcast
Turning around customer service by responding to complaints online. Now they have a comcastcares twitter

5. Blendtech
A $400 blender? Supported by a award-winning “Will It Blend?”series on YouTube with CEO Tom Dickson.

6. Southwest Airlines
Nuts About Southwest gives their side of the story faster.

7. Deloitte

Built company morale across all its offices with an internal film festival. Employees made their own videos about why they liked their jobs. Some 350 were submitted -employees voted the winner "The Green Dot

8. Idaho National Laboratory
Dave & Juan’s blog for employee relationships. INL@Work promotes its workforce community. Check out the YouTube video of the INL glass blower. www.youtube.com/idahonationallab

Overall, here is what Sara and Ethan say works:
• Conversational dialogue
• Corporate transparency
• News not found anywhere else
• Personal stories
• Live or first-hand accounts (red cross chat)

They also offered these 7 tips to get started:
1. educate yourself
2. be a change agent
3. put together a plan
4. adapt your content
5. identify and develop relationships
6. being monitoring the networks
7. be disruptive

3 Leadership Lessons to Push Through Tough Times

These times demand more of a leader (of a company, a team, a brand, a nonprofit group, whatever you’re leading). And we can all learn from others’ successes and failures.
So I’m pleased to share How Not to Succeed in Business from Businessweek, which offers these three cardinal rules of leadership:

1. First, business leaders gain nothing by showing uncertainty and indecision.
Every leader grapples with a monster of a challenge at some point, and may feel unsure or overwhelmed by complexity. The problem is taking those feelings public. As a leader, your job is to steer and inspire. First thing you need to do is huddle with your trusted advisors, discuss the challenge, probe it, debate it, and formulate the best plan to move the business forward.

2. Second, Business leaders undermine success by talking about the risk of failure.
The best kind of leadership can be found by putting yourself in a can-do mindset. Business leaders know that any strategy they adopt holds the risk of failure-but you can’t win unless you believe you can.

3. Finally, Business leaders cannot indulge bureaucratic data dumpers.
If you want to build leadership in your ranks, make sure your managers don’t bring you stacks of PowerPoint slides describing their problems in bone-crushing detail. Demand that they sort through the data with their team and deliver a decision with their rationale for it in unambiguous terms. If you’ve got a manager working for you who is paralyzed by information, options, and obstacles, you can be sure his people are confused. The only way to break the cycle is by not tolerating leaders who obfuscate with data to avoid taking action.

As a leader at STINSON, I want us to aspire to be trusted advisors – to our clients and to each other. Collectively we know we can win-and that mentality keeps us moving forward, fast-no matter what challenges we face.

Monday, March 16, 2009

2 kinds of organizations

In Seth Godin’s book “The Big Moo,” he shares inspirational words from 33 of the world’s smartest business thinkers.As he suggests (and offers permission on his website), I’m sharing with you a chapter from the book. Check our library or call me to get a copy. I’m glad to pass one along to you.


Have you ever seen a recumbent bicycle? They look sort of like Easy Rider-style chopper motorcycles, but the seat is even more reclined and there’s no engine, except the driver.

It turns out that recumbent bikes are faster, more comfortable, and more fun to ride than the bikes we all grew up with.

Speed aside, for anyone with back trouble, neck trouble, or the need to make a spectacle of himself, a recumbent bicycle is a great choice. There are more than a dozen “major” manufacturers of the bikes, each producing a few hundred or a few thousand recumbents a year. In total, the industry accounts for less than 1 percent of all bikes sold.

Here’s the surprising problem: Recumbent bikes are taking off. At InterWest 2005, the giant bike show held every year in Las Vegas, all the major traditional-bike manufacturers were showing off bikes that are beginning to look more and more like recumbents.

They’re just responding to the changing market. Aging baby boomers don’t want a Lance Armstrong bike—instead, they want to be comfortable. So brands like Trek and Giant (which sell, in one day, as many bikes as most recumbent companies do in a year) are starting to push their designs in the recumbent direction.

So why is this a problem? Why isn’t this great news for the existing recumbent manufacturers? After all, they’re already good at building the bikes people want.

It’s a problem because the long-suffering existing manufacturers are delighted that the marketplace has finally seen the light.

“We were right!” they’re thinking, and they’re responding to the competitive pressure of traditional-bike manufacturers’ going after recumbents by making their recumbent bikes more like traditional ones. In essence, they’re emulating Trek while Trek is emulating them.

They’re going to get crushed.

There are two kinds of organizations. One kind likes to be on the cutting edge, to do what hasn’t been done before, to embrace the new. The other kind fears that, and holds back to allow someone else to go first.

The United Way is facing tough times because they’re afraid to change. The Saddleback Church in California is doing wonderfully (10,000 percent growth over the last few years) because they love to change.

The recumbent-bicycle companies aren’t organized to compete on price and distribution and consistency. They should let the Treks and the Giants of the world teach everyone what to buy, while they keep making the expensive, quirky stuff for the real aficionados.

As the market gets bigger, they’ll thrive. They’re good at staying on the edge, and they should stay there.

Companies that are good at being edgy will always find a way to thrive. The sure way to fail, it seems, is to attempt to compromise that affinity for edginess for the mass market. It’s harder than it looks.

But what if your organization embraces its stuckness? What’s it going to take for you to start changing? What do you do when the market is moving away from you, not toward you? It seems to me that if you wait too long, it’ll be too late to do much of anything at all. Instead, recognize that change is coming, that the reality you operate in is dying out, and start practicing how to do the next big thing.

Betting on change is always the safest bet available.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

2009 AAAAI presentation on C1-Esterase Inhibitor Concentrate -- rapidly relieves acute swelling attacks across all body sites in patients with HAE

And it improves health-related quality of life measures.

Nancy Burgess from Stinson Brand Innovation is attending the 2009 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) Annual Meeting, and she reported on some important data presented today about C1-esterase inhibitor.

According to the study, C1-INH concentrate is an effective, well-tolerated therapy that rapidly relieves acute swelling attacks at any body location in patients with hereditary angioedema (HAE), a rare and serious genetic disorder.

Interim results from the ongoing, prospective, open label International Multi-center Prospective Angioedema C1-Inhibitor Trial (I.M.P.A.C.T. 2), showed a median time to the onset of symptom relief of 16 minutes for laryngeal attacks, 23 minutes for abdominal attacks, 28 minutes for facial attacks and 31 minutes for peripheral attacks, such as attacks in the hands and feet. In total, 57 patients who experienced 640 HAE attacks in any body location were studied.

"This study shows that C1-INH replacement therapy is highly effective for the treatment of acute HAE attacks and it dramatically shortens attack duration," said Timothy J. Craig, D.O., Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics at Penn State University in Hershey, PA. "The I.M.P.A.C.T. 2 results underscore the versatility of C1-INH and validate the long-standing observation that this therapy effectively treats HAE attacks at many different regions of the body."

HAE is a genetic disorder affecting approximately 6,000 to 10,000 Americans and is caused by a deficiency of C1-INH, which is inherited in an autosomal dominant manner. Symptoms include episodes of edema or swelling in the hands and feet, the face, the abdomen, and/or the larynx. Patients who have abdominal attacks can experience episodes of severe pain, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting caused by swelling of the intestinal wall. Attacks that involve the face and larynx can result in airway closure, asphyxiation, and, if untreated, death. Diagnosis of HAE requires a blood test to confirm low or abnormal levels of C1-INH. Hereditary angioedema attacks cause considerable morbidity and can be disruptive to patients' daily life activities for several days, requiring trips to an emergency room and hospitalization. Recognizing an acute attack in its early stages is vital in successfully managing the disease.

In parallel with the I.M.P.A.C.T. 2 trial, a patient-driven automated survey was conducted with a subset of 27 patients to assess their views of HAE treatment before and after C1-INH therapy. Following treatment with C1-INH approximately two-thirds of patients reported "much better" physical and emotional health and change in outlook, while half of the patients reported feeling more secure in leaving home and returning to their normal daily activities.

"The patient survey findings highlight the unmet medical need in the HAE community and the positive impact that a treatment for acute attacks can have on quality on life," said Val Romberg, Senior Vice President of Research and Development at CSL Behring. "CSL Behring is excited about the prospect of meeting that need with C1-INH and is committed to improving the lives of patients with HAE and other rare disorders."

Currently, there are no approved therapies for acute attacks of HAE in North America. CSL Behring manufactures and sells C1-INH concentrate in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Japan, and several other countries.

About I.M.P.A.C.T. 2

Findings of I.M.P.A.C.T. 2 were based on treatment with 20 U/kg bodyweight of C1-INH in 640 episodes of HAE attacks at any body location in 57 patients. The main study end-points were: time to onset of symptom relief; complete resolution of all symptoms, and safety.

The median times to complete resolution of all symptoms were reported as early as 8 hours for laryngeal attacks, 11 hours for abdominal, 24 hours for facial and 25 hours for peripheral attacks. No drug-related serious adverse events have been reported to date, nor were any rebound effects observed following C1-INH administration.

About the Patient Survey

Twenty-seven participating patients at seven sites reported 273 attacks over 16 months, with a median of 3.0/patient (range 1 to 70). Approximately 68 percent of the attacks were treated with C1-INH, 98.7 percent of which were reported by patients as responding satisfactorily. The average time from C1-INH administration to symptom relief onset was 1.3 hours and an average time to resolution was 1 day, 9 hours. According to the patients surveyed, if C1-INH was not available, 47 percent would have deferred medical therapy, 33 percent would have sought emergency care, and 7 percent would have self-treated with analgesics.

2nd I.M.P.A.C.T. results in HAE attacks -- treat rapidly at onset of prodromal symptoms

The importance of recognizing prodromal symptoms and treating acute attacks of hereditary angioedema (HAE) at the onset of these symptoms was highlighted in a survey presented Sunday at the 2009 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) Annual Meeting.

Nancy Burgess from Stinson Brand Innovation is attending the AAAAI conference and let us know about this paper on Sunday. HAE is an area we’ve been interested in for several years, and we’re interested in new medical treatments for this disease.

While symptoms of acute HAE attacks include episodes of edema or swelling in the hands and feet, the face, the abdomen, and/or the larynx, prodromal symptoms, which occur before an attack, are often non-specific and highly-variable, according to study findings. Treatment at the onset of these early symptoms can decrease morbidity and mortality associated with this rare and serious genetic disorder.

The prodromal symptoms companion survey, administered in parallel with the ongoing, prospective, open label International Multi-center Prospective Angioedema C1-Inhibitor Trial (I.M.P.A.C.T. 2), was designed to assess prodromal symptoms at the time of treatment of HAE attacks. Twenty-seven different patients were surveyed, representing 273 attacks, two-thirds of which were treated with C1 esterase inhibitor concentrate (C1-INH) at the time of their attack. The most commonly reported prodromal symptoms across all types of attacks were fatigue (27.83%), nausea (19.41%) and flu-like feelings (13.19%). Other prodromal symptoms included bowel movement change (7.33%), rumbling (5.86%), urticaria-like skin eruptions (6.54%), non-itchy rash (5.38%) and tingling (3.30%).

"To date there has been very little research into prodromal symptoms associated with HAE attacks," said Timothy J. Craig, D.O., Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics at Penn State University in Hershey, PA., and one of the study's investigators. "This survey underscores how important it is for patients to recognize the early symptoms of an HAE attack, as rapid treatment and resolution at this stage can reduce the impact the disease has on their quality of life."

HAE is a genetic disorder affecting approximately 6,000 to 10,000 Americans and is caused by a deficiency of C1-INH, which is inherited in an autosomal dominant manner. Patients who have abdominal attacks can experience episodes of severe pain, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting caused by swelling of the intestinal wall. Attacks that involve the face and larynx can result in airway closure, asphyxiation, and, if untreated, death. Diagnosis of HAE requires a blood test to confirm low or abnormal levels of C1-INH.

About I.M.P.A.C.T. 2

Findings of I.M.P.A.C.T. 2 were based on treatment with 20 U/kg bodyweight of C1-INH in 640 episodes of HAE attacks at any body location in 57 patients. The main study end-points were: time to onset of symptom relief; complete resolution of all symptoms, and safety.

The median time to the onset of symptom relief was 16 minutes for laryngeal attacks, 23 minutes for abdominal attacks, 28 minutes for facial attacks and 31 minutes for peripheral attacks, such as attacks in the hands and feet. The median times to complete resolution of all symptoms were reported as early as 8 hours for laryngeal attacks, 11 hours for abdominal, 24 hours for facial and 25 hours for peripheral attacks. No drug-related serious adverse events have been reported to date, nor were any rebound effects observed following C1-INH administration.

Currently, there are no approved therapies for acute attacks of HAE in North America. CSL Behring manufactures and sells C1-INH concentrate in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Japan, and several other countries.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

5 great sites on our tour of Tokyo

On our tour of Tokyo, Melanie and I had a wonderful local guide who helped us navigate the streets and subways – and even took us “behind the scenes” in a few places.

We had a great time visiting five major areas:

1. Tsukiji Fish Market (inner market for a wholesale and outer market for retail)

2. Ginza (Mitsukoshi department store and Kyukyodo for paper shop)

3. Asakusa (Sensoji temple, Nakamise street and neighborhood)

4. Imperial Palace (walked from Tokyo station)

5. Akihabara (electronic town) and had sushi for lunch

6-hour tour of Tokyo with our friend, Junko

Junko Matsuda was a fantastic hostess to us in Tokyo. She was more than just a tour guide; it was like spending a day in the city with a friend. She even took us to a great little neighborhood place for sushi.

We had a great time visiting five major areas:
1. Tsukiji Fish Market
2. Ginza shopping district
3. Asakusa and the Sensoji temple
4. Imperial Palace
5. Akihabara (electronic town)

If you plan to visit, I highly recommend Junko. You can contact her at Junko's Tokyo Discovery Tours.

5 great places in Tokyo for signs and outdoor ads

While in Tokyo, we were amazed at the variety of advertising. In fact, since I didn’t
know the language, I found myself on the train considering the visual communication
power. (I also pondered how many people must see these signs everyday.
Tokyo is a true mecca for branding.

1. Electronics & Games

2. Restaurants

3. Buildings

4. Street Banners

5. Subways

Read more about advertising in and around Tokyo trains at