Money Inc.

Being in the Zone: When Work Just Goes So Right

By Jeffrey Whitford
Blog

I recently had the fortune to visit one of our customers, and this visit was unlike any other I’ve ever had. To understand how we got to this day in March, let me give you some flavor of how these experiences usually go for context. 

It Takes Focus to Grow and Maintain a Company Culture

by Jeffrey Whitford
Blog

I spend a lot of my time thinking about corporate culture. Since we grew the life science business of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany in 2015, through the acquisition of Sigma-Aldrich, we’ve been navigating that interesting space of culture creation. You’ve got the established culture of the acquiring company and then you’ve got the established culture of the acquiree. How are those two things supposed to automatically mesh or even mesh after several years?

Gut Check: Data is Valuable, But There’s Something Else

By Jeffrey Whitford
Blog

I recently had two pertinent reminders about my gut—and no I’m not talking about my microbiome, though this is an increasingly hot topic for us at the Life Science business of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germanyi.

I often have a continual, inner dialogue with myself. This may be a side effect of being an only child and figuring out how to entertain myself, or a sign of something else. A lot of that dialogue comes from an attempt to be better in practice at reflection and learning lessons as they’re happening—allowing me to implement feedback in real-time.

Getting Over the Hump

by Jeffrey Whitford
Blog

I recently had an unprecedented experience: I got to an airport early. Not “Jeffrey early” meaning the boarding announcement is beginning as I hit the gate, but “normal people early” — a la two hours early. This afforded a unique opportunity — I actually sat down and ate a meal rather than taking food and shoving it in my face while hot-stepping it to a departing plane.

All I’m Askin’ for Is a Little C.L.A.R.I.T.Y.

By Jeffrey Whitford
Blog

In the ’60s, Aretha Franklin created an anthem that still rings true today. She asked for something simple…respect. And just in case the receiver of that message didn’t get it, she spelled it out for them — literally. While respect isn’t my request today, it is for something in the same vein. Over the past few months, I’ve had several situations at work or in my personal life in which I’m left perplexed. Either I thought I knew what was going on or thought I was clear on what a frame was, but apparently not — so all I’m askin’ for is a little…clarity. 

Finding the Value in Iteration, Not Innovation

by Jeffrey Whitford
Blog

I have a vitriolic reaction to the word innovation. I’ve actively tried to scrub it from my vocabulary. I am also that painful colleague who raises an eyebrow when I hear the word—or even worse—forces the issue in discussion to really understand if we’re using the word correctly. There’s this expectation in the corporate world that innovation is the Holy Grail—the one and only path—but when you look at what actually happens in corporate land, innovation is scarce to be found. What’s even more disappointing is a sense of malaise when people hear the word volleyed about.

When the Message Doesn’t Land

By Jeffrey Whitford
Article

I recently had a moment that perplexed me. I was talking to some colleagues, and they asked me what we were doing. In this case, that “we” was our Corporate Responsibility department at MilliporeSigma, and that question was essentially asking about our strategy. After hearing this, I had an initial moment of frustration. How could they not get what we were trying to do? Wasn’t it crystal clear? Didn’t we literally spell it out? I had a one-page document on our method that my team and I spent a lot of time drafting, refining and refining some more.

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