Today was a pretty crazy day.
I wasn’t able to attend the video shoot of the VP, but I did send him last night a list of questions that he might get from the director. I heard it went really well- he really delivered. Which is amazing and awesome. I mean, to think that we have someone like him doing a video on Green Chemistry? I had only learned about it formally about 13 months ago (he was familiar with it from his previous company: Green Chemistry has been around almost two decades, and present in the traditional pharma industry that relies on chemical synthesis. Green BioPharma is new and what we call our program, and applies to biopharma = biologics + traditional pharma). It’s really amazing how far we’ve come. It’s beyond my wildest dreams, really.
In the meantime, I was presenting to colleagues a new idea on how better to communicate changes in policies to our clients, i.e., the employees in labs and manufacturing. After lots of discussion, the concept morphed into a more general management of change process. Often, the interpretation of regulations change- maybe yearly. We then have to respond, and come up with a formal, transparent way to let people know, adjust to the new policy, and be held responsible to it. Up to now, we haven’t always done a good job of this.
So the new management of change procedure would go like this:
- An event occurs that causes a potential policy change (e.g., regulator comes in and tells us we have to do X now)
- Company decides whether to accept change (almost always we do).
- We communicate policy change to clients.
- We implement any tools (training, posters, etc.) to help our clients adjust to new policy.
- New policy goes in effect; clients are hereafter held responsible.
- External or internal confirmation that new policy is being followed.
It was really neat how this evolved into something better than what it started as. I love that about collaboration.
I then had a conference call with the corporate types from one of our big vendors. It was our quarterly business review, to see how things were going. It was good in that I came up with a number of items that I plan to ask them to pursue for improved efficiency and cost savings. For instance, is there a way we could keep organic solvent waste streams from becoming diluted in order that we are charged less for their incineration? Usually solvent waste streams have lots of BTU (heat content), and if we prevent them from being commingled with other waste streams, we’ll keep them pure enough so that the incinerator will require less added energy and thus lower cost. They also brought up some work regarding sustainability, and I asked them (as I did in the past) to see if they could start building more data for us so that we know the carbon footprint of our waste disposal. I told them how I like to let people in my waste training class know what exactly happens to their waste when it’s picked up from their labs: where it goes, where it’s incinerated. I would love to let them know what their carbon footprint is.
Next, I headed over to the outdoor location where my shoot was to take place. It got cold, and I was almost shivering toward the end. Planes flying above would interrupt us, and I’d have to start my spiels again. I think we were at it for almost an hour. At the time it felt like a lot of the footage wouldn’t be usable. But the entire clip is 3 minutes long, so my share of it will be pretty small, and they should be able to find something useful- I hope. Because we don’t have a lot of time, we needed to be particularly expressive, emotional or passionate. Hand motions and all.
Lunch with the videographers, talked about politics, then K and I did some B-roll stuff; standing at a white board, jotting things down, appearing to be coming up with great ideas. Funny.
I had a very short meeting with my contractors to plan exactly how much we’d be spending for the next two months. For my boss. I’m lucky- these people are good, and were able to pull the figures together quickly. I jotted them down onto the white board, took a couple snaps with my iPhone, and that was that.
Since it’s Thursday I had to sign hazardous waste manifests. This is a big part of the regulatory requirements of properly managing hazardous waste. And it’s straight out of the 1980s- nothing automated- all done in triplicate, no, make that quadruplicate. This is the paper trail that establishes exactly where the parcel of hazardous waste came from, where it’s going, how it’s classified. And I sign all of that. Friday, the shipment goes out, with more people signing (the driver, the receiving facility; and finally a document that certifies the waste has been properly disposed of).
The Director of my management group was next up for filming. He had a similar reaction to the camera that I had, trying hard to speak clearly and being overly aware of the camera. In hindsight, it’s much better to find a thread that you’re really passionate about and just let it come through. Again, 3 minute clip, almost an hour of shooting- should be quite fine.
I’m still baffled. I had the same experience downhill skiing. It seems like you really don’t struggle or put in lots of effort, and suddenly everything is flowing and moving on its own. And I feel completely engaged at the same time. That’s how this feels.