: [00:00:01] Welcome to the Outcomes Rocket podcast where we inspire collaborative thinking, improved outcomes and business success with today’s most successful and inspiring health care leaders and influencers. And now your host, Saul Marquez.
Saul Marquez: [00:00:17] Welcome back once again to the outcomes rocket podcast where we chat with today’s most successful and inspiring healthcare leaders. I thank you for tuning in and I welcome you to go to outcomesrocket.health/reviews where you could rate and review our outstanding guests. Today we have an amazing guest. Her name is Anna Lorenz. She’s the Global Innovation Manager and grants for APS US program coordinator at Bayer. She’s doing some amazing things for healthcare. She’s really just such an open minded enthusiastic and amazing team player very curious on work and in new challenges very analytical and outcomes driven that’s why we have her on today’s podcast. Her background is in business and she’s also got a really awesome background. Half German, half Dutch. Now we get to have her here in the U.S. So I really want to open up the mic to Anna as a continuation of our previous guests that we had. Eugene Borukhovich and so Anna I just want to extend a warm welcome to you on the podcast.
Anna Lorenz: [00:01:23] Thank you so much for having me and for the amazing intro.
Saul Marquez: [00:01:27] Oh you’re an amazing person and an amazing person needs an amazing intro and. And so and you know you’ve got a business background but now you’re with Bayer you’ve been with Bayer for for a few years now. What got you into health care.
Anna Lorenz: [00:01:42] Yeah I was actually purely by chance to be honest. I spent some time in the automotive industry. I really loved it. I had a great experience there. But after I finished my university and everything I looked for something that was very operational focus position I looked for something more strategic and I found something at Bayer. And I just thought thought that was going to be a really interesting challenge to tackle and I dove into it. And I’ve actually come to love the healthcare sector very much because it gives you the opportunity you truly have an impact on improving lives are at you and working towards a better tomorrow. Instead of like yeah about a tomorrow compared to yesterday which was in the automotive industry. More of the fun aspect which was great and having a really nice more luxurious car is an amazing piece too but it just doesn’t have that feel of you’re providing something of value to society.
Saul Marquez: [00:02:45] Yeah you know and I share that with you too. You know I’ve been in health care for 10 years and it’s that impact right the things that you do are affecting lives and it’s so so powerful.
Anna Lorenz: [00:02:57] Yeah absolutely.
Saul Marquez: [00:02:59] Anna what would you say. You know you guys are doing some really interesting things that Bayer now. What would you say a hot topic that needs to be on every medical leaders agenda today. What is it?
Anna Lorenz: [00:03:10] Honestly exactly why what brought me into health care here is it’s creating a better tomorrow. And I think that right now we run into so many regulations and processes and all of these things that have been out there for for such a long time they’re somewhat antiquated compared like especially for the digital solutions that we work on. And it’s really is about pushing the boundaries as much as you can and pushing towards a more futuristic scenario and the whole frame that we’re operating in.
Saul Marquez: [00:03:47] Yeah and it’s definitely an interesting point right. It’s one of those things where you we have to challenge ourselves as healthcare leaders to think beyond the current health care box. And what would you say Bayer is doing today to do that within your realm of responsibility.
Anna Lorenz: [00:04:08] Yes so I think Eugene already gave a really nice overview of our T4A that stems from the grant frappes program is already doing and there’s a lot of activity there which is amazing to see and I feel really honored now to be part of our US part of this program. So we just launched our T4A generator it’s called the U.S. consumer focused one which is looking to advance healthcare together with a greater ecosystem. So we’re actually looking right now it’s open for applications for like minded health care innovators in this space and for challenge areas from self care in general nutrition support external pain management and skin and some protection to work with us and strike a tragic deal with Bayer to actually to gather advance self care and help fulfill the full potential of health care.
Saul Marquez: [00:05:01] That’s awesome. And listeners ears just perked up because you’re a startup that’s been working on something or for your company that’s already gotten off and running but something that that Anna said resonates with you and you want to participate. We’re going to be including the specs that they’re looking for on the show notes as well as a link so that you could get engaged with that and has been gracious enough to give us all that information and give that to you here so in the midst of your search and you know what what is it that you’re looking for in these in these these entrepreneurs. What characteristics. What types of things are you looking for?
Anna Lorenz: [00:05:47] So we truly look for ready to go solutions. So we’re looking more to more towards to towards more mature start ups that we can really work with and commercialize something really quickly to bring valuable new product solutions service model whatever whatever frame it or whatever. Whatever form it may take to to really help our consumers live a better and healthier life. So it’s about partnering and that’s set. So in those four challenge areas there are some really detailed outline for each of the challenges on our webpage Sonti for a generator dot com you can read up exactly what the team is looking for what types of solutions they have in mind and what specific problem and what is that they desire abilities they want to fall for the consumers.
Saul Marquez: [00:06:43] Beautiful and given that you guys are extending this program to the U.S. something that already was extended in Europe. Things are working sounds like. Can you give us an example of some of the results that have come out from the Europe Program.
Anna Lorenz: [00:06:59] Sure. So I think the biggest success of course right away was a pharma company opening up to this conversation and starting to engage with the ecosystem when Berlin started it which was believe it or it 5 years ago we were definitely the first one up there and the team did an amazing job until they we had in Berlin the biggest ever so healthy. And last year for example for the kickoff et cetera. So there’s been a lot of traction and connections that were made. And I think it took a bit of a time as well to really see where the value lies in actually working together and what kind of results and what type of outcome you can bring together and when you connect these to the big pharma company and the startup world. And we’re really seeing this take off right now. So it’s really exciting to see. They also just added a new program to the original accelerator which is much closer to where we base our generator on. It was cold or cold deal. It’s really about bringing in ready to go solution to work with and and start a project together collaborate and bring it to life or bring it to the masses. And I think that within other major staff and really seeing what could be possible if you bring the two to growth together.
Saul Marquez: [00:08:20] That is that’s pretty awesome. And you know I really appreciate the openness that that you your team Beyer’s is as is approaching the market with and just saying hey you know what we could come up with a lot of great things on our own but we’ve got to be open to the innovations. Others especially the smaller entrepreneurs already have up and running solutions that could be nimble and make changes because when you get into a bigger organization like like Bayer or a bigger organization you know the big names it’s hard to be nimble and. And so what would you say about that.
Anna Lorenz: [00:09:01] No absolutely. I think we we definitely realize that there are certain things that we’re just not past that. Then there’s also things things that we might not want to be the best at because there are others that can do it much much better much quicker much more agile. And I think that with the major learning from me personally as we coming into this world to see that there is really a huge amount of things that we can profit from each other from and instead of working in parallel on challenges where nobody really gets as quickly to help the consumer as we all want to. It makes much more sense to just really work together and help people live better lives. As soon as possible.
Saul Marquez: [00:09:45] Well there’s there’s no doubt and super insightful Anna and there’s absolutely zero doubt in my mind that Bayer is leading the way with this. You guys are doing such an amazing job is just creating these solutions. And so it’s exciting to see that you guys are expanding the program to the US. I’m thrilled to see this opportunity and listeners again you know make sure that you visit outcomesrocket.health/bayer it’s B A Y E R you’re going to find all the specs there with the link that Anna is going to share. now Anna, what would you say through the process the time that you’ve been in health a mistake or a setback that you had and what you learned from that.
Anna Lorenz: [00:10:32] Honestly there’s been multiple and I think yeah to be honest my biggest takeaway which I really love is seeing that at the end of the day they’ve all had some type of value either. iF there are so many things that we did now that we wouldn’t have been able to do if he hadn’t done that mistake. Way back when or if you had just tried and seen how it works. And I think especially now with the generator program he really went about it in an agile way. We we created it we went and basically prelaunch it and helped 2.0 last year in September before we even had a timeline or an exact concept nailed down. But really open up and talk to all the startup that were there and into other innovators and say hey let’s create it together let’s hear your thoughts on how how should we shake this up and what you need. What what do you need from us to say. And I think that that was one of my major experience to see in that process honestly we went from left to right and up and down and it was such an interesting and interesting process of creating it and what we thought it was going to be the whole page or the Web site tomorrow it looked completely different the day after that. And that was to me the major saying really take away and say at the end of the day every single every single failure made it made a shape the way it is right now and that wouldn’t have been as good if we hadn’t done that.
Saul Marquez: [00:12:10] Now that’s a great great story. I had the opportunity to run in a couple of your folks out at the Health 2.0 meeting and it was definitely interesting to see you guys in action. Listeners you got to just do it. Get out there. Work it out. Find a solution. Don’t let perfection drive your solution. Perfection is the lowest standard you can have and if you take the words of wisdom from Anna here you know what they did with their program as they went out there they got feedback and in the end their website was completely different than what they thought it was going to be. And that’s oftentimes what happens when you get that candid feedback from the users. Anna tell us about one of your proudest leadership moments to date at Bayer.
Anna Lorenz: [00:12:59] Honestly is that that’s working in this specific program. So working to bring a program like g4 generator to life has been really my proudest moment so far maybe I’m biased because I’m currently still in it.
Saul Marquez: [00:13:13] It’s great to see though.
Anna Lorenz: [00:13:15] Yeah I know it is. It feels like you actually create something that’s that consumers react to positively just as much as the startup world does. And it’s back to this. That’s my first sentence earlier. It feels like you’re actually creating something impactful and that’s really what I love about it so much.
Saul Marquez: [00:13:35] Well it’s definitely something to be proud of Anna. You’re leaving your fingerprint on the lives of the people that are gonna use whatever comes out of this and that’s pretty amazing to have been part of something like that and I’m excited to keep up with where this goes and listeners you’ll you’ll definitely have to keep up with where the program goes. Get involved if you if you fall into the qualification specs of it because these folks are definitely doing some interesting things in health care. The focus right now is obviously the program in the U.S.. Anna what about that program are you looking to focus on here within the next six months.
Anna Lorenz: [00:14:17] So we’re open right now into March 23rd. So that’ll keep us busy right now getting the word out. Then of course we need to evaluate pick our finalists that will be invited to that they kickoff event in New York in May we’ll pick the winners there. And they get to xey. Well everybody who comes to the event gets to meet all of the final FXE and talk to the startups there. But of course the winners will also automatically get a letter of intent and a cash prize to really strike this project dealing get get Alpha get started right away basically and writing. Yes so that that will be my main focus for the next weeks and months to come let’s say and then we’ll of course have to work on on making these these partnerships and collaborations as impactful as possible.
Saul Marquez: [00:15:07] Wonderful. So it’s so exciting and you guys are moving so fast so end of March the applications are due and may. You guys are going to be moving and shaking with some decisions and some cash prizes. It’s just I love the speed at which you guys work it’s so so inspiring.
Anna Lorenz: [00:15:27] We definitely try to be quick.
Saul Marquez: [00:15:30] You sure are. So. So again we’re launching this episode immediately listeners. Make sure you take advantage of this. OK. And let’s pretend you and I are building a medical leadership course on what it takes to be successful in medicine. It is the 101 of Anna Lorenz. And so we’re going to write out a syllabus for questions lightning round style followed by a book and a podcast that you recommend to the listeners. You ready.
Anna Lorenz: [00:16:00] Sure.
Saul Marquez: [00:16:01] Awesome. What is the best way to improve health outcomes.
Anna Lorenz: [00:16:06] So there is such a such a basic response but I feel at least from my own experience we’ve not really inherited it yet. It’s really to get out there and understand your consumers. So somebody really interesting we sat just yesterday to me if you want to know the life of the alliance don’t go to the zoo go to the Safari or go to like go to the actual and make their actual place where they’re free. And it’s the same with the consumers. I think if we spend way too much time in the past focusing on assumptions and watching our consumers and focus groups or other ways ways where it’s just bias and it’s not the real life situation and you really don’t see what their day to day pain and what keeps them up at night. And I think that’s one of the main things if you truly understand that only then you can also really react and work on these issues.
Saul Marquez: [00:17:00] Love it. What is the biggest mistake or pitfall to avoid.
Anna Lorenz: [00:17:05] Perfection. We talked about that earlier and I’m totally with you on that.
Saul Marquez: [00:17:09] Yes. How do you stay relevant as an organization. Despite constant change of changes everywhere.
Anna Lorenz: [00:17:18] You should go with the change and not just go with a change shape the change. Be the one who does the change.
Saul Marquez: [00:17:25] What’s one area of focus that should drive everything else in your organization.
Anna Lorenz: [00:17:32] So our I think our mission assigned for a better life right. So to me it’s really innovation in all areas to create better tomorrows and improve the lives that we have today.
Saul Marquez: [00:17:45] Beautiful what book and what podcasts would you recommend.
Anna Lorenz: [00:17:51] So this may be really people will be surprised but I absolutely recommend Lean In which is from Sheryl Sandberg a book about women and leadership. But that’s why it’s so interesting it’s baffling not just for women and it’s not just about leadership. I mean the title already says that lean in and it’s inspired me. I’ve read it five times at different stages in my life and I’ve learned. Every time something new and at the end of the day like the title says that lean men change your environment and play things that new you think need changing speak up and dare to be that person who pushes the boundaries.
Saul Marquez: [00:18:32] I love that line and listeners lean in to health care and what podcasts would you recommend.
Anna Lorenz: [00:18:40] Honestly I have. That’s one of the things I have. There’s so many interesting things out there. I would just take your main topic. What keeps you up at night like right now and that may change next week. So definitely just go look and pick that one. And there’s so many good things out there and we’re listening to one right now I hope.
Saul Marquez: [00:19:03] Thank you Anna. Yeah and you know the reason why I put this question in here it’s a newer one Anna about the podcast is because I definitely believe that podcasts have the potential to provide inspiration resources and and the reason why we started outcomes rocket is to just just get rid of the silos and open up the conversation so to Ana’s point listeners whatever your cup of tea is or whatever your challenges go to your Google podcasts or go to your apple podcasts or just google a podcast about whatever it is that you’re looking for and I promise you it’s probably out there or there’s somebody talking about it and it’s the best way to find your tribe. It’s the best way to find the people that are that care about what you care about and do what you do so. And I love that response is just such such a great great insight for the listeners to approach podcasts with.
Anna Lorenz: [00:19:56] Absolutely.
Saul Marquez: [00:19:58] Anna before we conclude I would love if you could just share a closing thought with the listeners and then the best place where they could get in touch with you or follow you.
Anna Lorenz: [00:20:07] Sure. So I had to write a little innovation story for our internal page two years ago and I was thinking about so many there are so many amazing quotes out there and so inspirational and I had to pick one right and I picked the one and I still love it. Two years later. Every accomplishment starts with a decision to try. So just go out there and try and push it and keep going. And I have it up on my desk and I look at it every day and I still still follow it. I hope you read the best. I think I’m all of the social media these days. But I think my best the best bet will be Twitter. I’m there as an AnnaLe299 and tweeting a lot about digital health and topics a topic that keeps me up at night right now.
Saul Marquez: [00:20:57] I love it and there’s no doubt that you have inspired and encouraged the listeners to lean in and were excited to see what happens with the decision that you guys make there at Bayer so Anna we’re going to keep up with you guys and I really appreciate the time that you’ve carved out for us.
Anna Lorenz: [00:21:15] Thank you so much for having me.
: [00:21:20] Thanks for listening to the Outcomes Rocket podcast. Be sure to visit us on the web at www,outcomesrocket.health for the show notes, resources, inspiration and so much more.
The Best Way To Contact Anna and the Bayer Team: