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A day in the life: Lance Hill, CEO at Within3

Published on 17/05/19 at 09:23am

Could you give a short history of how you came to be in your current role?

I've spent my entire career in technology.  My passion is how technology is applied to change the way we work and live.  When social media technologies emerged, I became very interested in how this new technology paradigm would change the workplace.  That led to Within3, where we focus on improving communication throughout all the stakeholder groups within healthcare. 

What are the key lessons you’ve learnt during your journey? Looking back, would you do anything differently?

The most important lesson I've learned is to surround yourself with amazing people.  If the people are around you are driven, smart, and passionate you can achieve great things.  If the people around you are average, you will achieve average things. Looking back across my career, I would have been more focused on this and would have likely avoided early mistakes.

What keeps you motivated on a day-to-day basis?

Our company has amazing potential to become very important in the industry.  On a day-to-day basis, working to realise this potential is highly motivating; every day is an opportunity to help client teams achieve their goals, help patients derive better outcomes, and help employees within our own company grow in their careers.

What do you find to be the biggest challenges in your current role?

Within3's culture attracts highly intelligent, motivated people.  A challenge is continuously working to maintain a culture that can integrate everyone's views, listen and react to the marketplace, and innovate within our products.  Balancing all of this can be difficult, but highly rewarding. 

Which of Within3’s ongoing projects are you most excited about?

I'm currently most excited about the innovate work we are doing in the publications support and R&D/clinical areas of the life sciences market.  Many companies large and small have already standardised on Within3 as their solution for engaging external stakeholders for medical affairs and commercial functions.  However, our innovation around document collaboration and authoring are being very well received in additional parts of the organisation, and this represents a large opportunity for us. 

When looking back at your career to date, are there any particular moments or successes that stand out to you?

A few successes come to mind.  Early in the company's history, our first Top 20 pharmaceutical client was AstraZeneca.  When we first won business there, this was a huge success.  More recently, five of the top 20 pharmaceutical companies have won internal innovation awards for programmes based on Within3.  This recognition of our clients by their own management teams is hugely gratifying and inspiring.

Who has proven to be an inspiration during your time working in the industry?

I've been fortunate to have had access to great advisors and mentors over the years that have helped me personally as well our company.  Additionally, I enjoy speaking with other CEOs in different industries to understand their keys to success, think through differences in their approach to business, and to determine areas where I can improve what I am doing. 

What advice would you give to someone finding their feet in the industry?

Healthcare and life sciences are wonderful because, at the end of the day, the work that you do saves and improves lives.  However, the industry can be entrenched and slow-moving for many reasons – some completely appropriate for a regulated industry, and some based on inertia.  If you are looking to make a difference in how business is done, perseverance and patience are crucial – things will take longer than one might expect.  Second, I would advise someone entering the industry to surround themselves with great people.  Third, I would recommend a hyper-focus on listening to customers and all other stakeholders involved with what you are doing. Especially with technology, life science is about how one applies new ideas in innovative ways, not just the ideas themselves.  The best way to determine how to apply technologies that can make a real difference is to listen.

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