Service: Our Raison D’être
by Jenny Thayer, Head, Medical Writing and Scientific Communications
People may think of BioBridges as a consulting agency. We do in fact provide consultants—or professionals as we call them—to our clients for their projects. But internally, our main driver is service—we are a service-based company that also happens to provide consultants to clients.
Sound familiar? It should sound like Zappos, whose goal it is to “be the company that provides the absolute best service online.” And they also happen to sell shoes and practically anything else you need. Have you ever dealt with Zappos? I LOVE ZAPPOS. When shopping online, it is always a pleasure to buy from Zappos. They tell me that I am important. Then they let me know that I am important through their actions, such as surprising me by sending my order—for which I paid nothing for shipping—overnight as a joyous surprise the next day on my doorstep! This tells me that I am important to Zappos! But what does Zappos have to do with me or BioBridges?
I have been working in various capacities with BioBridges for about 7 years now, first as a client and later as a professional. I was first attracted to BioBridges because I loved the business model where internal folks really look after consultants—making sure that the professionals we represent receive the exciting work, development opportunities, compensation, and benefits they deserve. In fact, the Career Managers at BioBridges describe their role as similar to that of a manager for an athlete or actor. Athletes and celebrities engage managers to look after their careers so that they can focus on what inspires them. BioBridges’ professionals all have Career Managers to look after their needs so the professionals can focus on the work. This ensures that our clients get the best professionals available to support their projects.
Most recently, however, when BioBridges asked me to make a deeper commitment and come onboard as a “subject matter expert” in medical writing to help clients and professionals in defining their program needs, I came to realize that I was saying “yes” to BioBridges for a slightly different reason: the BioBridges internal commitment to service. We focus on being of service to our clients and professionals…and we are successful because of this model. This sounds great—but what does it mean? Here are a few examples of “service in action” at BioBridges:
- We are encouraged to support career development for anyone, not just our professionals. For example, on top of our “day jobs,” we provide resume reviews, we do career panels, we facilitate informational interviews, and we are educators in this space. We are invigorated by helping others in their career paths and this invigoration in turn helps us to thrive as a business.
- We are encouraged to respond to clients’ needs with what we think is their best path forward—which may or may not include BioBridges’ professionals. As a partner to our clients, we may actually tell a client that using a different provider is their best option. We are in this for the long haul not the short term. We are not afraid of our clients utilizing our so-called competitors—we don’t see them as competition, since we know that while we may be the right solution much of the time, sometimes another provider would be a better match for our clients at certain times. We don’t try to be “all things to all people”—which in turn conveys our honest commitment to their success.
- We are encouraged to think long-term in aligning our professionals to client programs—we don’t “match an open role to an available professional.” In looking at each project, we carefully consider not just the work itself but many other aspects such as the culture, the phase of development, tools available, the support or lack thereof the professional will have in each role. We then look at our professionals and determine who will provide the greatest impact and value; at this point, availability is only one consideration in the overall equation. We want our professionals and clients to flourish—and this starts with aligning the best professional with each project.
These are just a few examples of the ways in which we put service ahead of sales. Most importantly, we have found this model works: it works for us, for the clients, for our professionals.
So, merriam-webster.com describes raison d’être as “the thing that is most important to someone or something; the reason for which a person or organization exists.” At BioBridges, our raison d’être is service to our clients and professionals.
What is your raison d’être?