|20th April 2016
At Blue Latitude Health, we pride ourselves on being a people business at the heart, and our way of working reflects that. We believe that we are stronger together, that when we collaborate and share ideas, we make decisions that are right for our clients and their customers as well as our business. And we strive to provide a truly supportive and inclusive working environment.
But doesn’t every company say these things? How can you trust us when every consultancy and agency out there talks a good game about culture, collaboration, and inclusiveness?
Don’t take our word for it. We talked to Senior Consultant Jenna Earl and Account Director Dolan Desai to get their take on what makes working here different. They’ve both worked in other businesses similar to ours, and had a lot to say about the Blue Latitude Health difference.
One of the biggest differences Jenna described was the way we approach our work. The proportion of strategy to execution that we do really sets us apart.
“As a consultancy, we place as much emphasis on strategy as we do on execution. If you are interested in strategy, you will be exposed to the whole planning process here.” She added, “Our clients often have broader responsibilities crossing multiple disciplines of marketing, medical and market access. This enables us to develop a holistic strategy that will deliver a real impact for the brands and companies we work with”.
With 20 people on our consulting team and counting, strategy is at the heart of everything we do.
“We have a very collaborative culture here – everyone’s opinion counts,” Jenna said, “We avoid following standard approaches for the sake of it but make conscious choices as a team to approach each challenge in a way that will deliver the best result.
“We’re also not afraid to try new things,” Dolan explained, “We’re continually testing our approach to refine it, trying new approaches in the process – whether it’s scrum project management, or an MVP iteration process. And we’re continuously developing our capabilities and hiring people with new specialty skill sets to bring us forward in new areas.” He continued, “We also actively encourage feedback across all levels of the team. We’re not stabbing in the dark with new approaches, we’re looking for new perspectives; leveraging the different altitudes that each team member is working on within a project. We want to get the job right, so everyone’s opinion is valued.”
Dolan continued, “Process at Blue Latitude Health is defined by the people using it. We hold workshops to develop process, and that’s rare. I can’t think of another company that has held workshops to develop the server folder structure to ensure we got it right the first time. Everything we do, from high level strategy right down to things like our folder structure is done with attention to detail.”
Dolan explained, “Blue Latitude Health values us as people – we’re not just resources here. People are valued for who they are, not just what they produce. We’re very big on T-shaped skills; we develop people broadly across our core focus areas (insight, strategy, customer experience, and creative services) then help them realise their core specialty, helping them become an expert in that area.”
It’s why we offer all employees a £1000 individual training budget to spend on developing their skills. That’s in addition to group training that we book to support the development of leadership, negotiation, confidence and communication, digital marketing, and management skills.
Last year, we sent a group on a “Confidence and Communication” course with stand-up comedian Neil Mullarkey at the Comedy Store. Dolan was part of that group, and had this to say about his experience: “Neil is passionate about improvisational acting, and he used that passion to help bring out our presentation skills. We learned some interesting ways of using drama and theatre techniques when presenting. It was a lot of fun, and it helped me get to grips with co-presenting as a team.” Following the success of this style of training, we’ve revamped our training scheme to include RADA courses and other, innovative sessions.
We also have a development management system, where every employee is assigned a Development Manager to help them chart their training and career development within the company.
And we hold weekly morning knowledge sharing sessions to discuss how teams have tackled big challenges, learn more about the science behind a therapy area we work in, or to showcase the work our internal teams are doing behind the scenes to the wider business. The bacon rolls are just a lovely bonus.
We talk a lot about collaboration on our website, and we really mean it. From the way we structure our project teams (cross-disciplinary) to how we seek advice on challenges we’re facing, we don’t silo ourselves. With that comes a culture of valuing diversity – both people and opinion.
“Culturally, we’re a really welcoming group. This industry can be pretty highly pressurised – it’s normal to only think about the next ten minutes at a time – but here, even when it’s high pressure, we take the time to nurture and collaborate so we can be sure our solution is right, not rushed,” Dolan said, “and when the work comes in hard and fast, we muck in together to get it done right.”
Something else we believe in at Blue Latitude Health is maintaining a good work/life balance. Whilst inevitably there can be the occasional late night in the office, we always try to ensure that pitches and projects are set up and delivered so that it’s the exception rather than the rule.
We pride ourselves on our difference as a business, and equally, as an employer. Every company out there talks a good game about collaboration and values, but we’ve put our money where our mouth is by investing in our Talent team and their initiatives to make Blue Latitude Health a fantastic place to work.
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