Life Sciences Consultancy Leadership and Career Advice
By DT editorial staff
DT Consulting’s Hannah Price has worked with commercial and technology leaders on digital and customer experience (CX) transformations for more than a decade.
In her current role as DT’s Senior Director of Customer Experience, she guides the world’s largest pharmaceutical firms towards creating deliberate, holistic experiences for customers that leverage digital channels and deliver business value.
We sat down with Hannah to find out how she approaches her transatlantic management responsibilities, learn how her leadership style has evolved and hear about the career advice she would give to those just starting out in life sciences consultancy.
You manage teams for DT that are based in the US and the UK, can you describe your leadership philosophy and style?
My leadership philosophy is twofold; 1, Never ask your team to do something that you wouldn’t be willing do yourself. 2, When facing challenges, or diversity of teams, apply internally the same CX principles we use working with clients.
Tell us about a book, TED talk, or podcast that had a profound impact on your leadership journey, and why?
For me it’s a book – Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap, by Jim Collins. His concept of ‘Level 5 leadership’ really resonated with me – it is the idea that leaders should be ambitious, but that ambition should be firstly and primarily for the organization and not themselves.
How do you apply your ambitions for DT to its talent development?
I have been fortunate to have great people within the teams I have managed, and to help support them in their development cultivating leadership is an important focus area. I start by establishing integrity and autonomy, if people understand the values that we want to live by as an organization, and feel empowered to make decisions against that framework, leadership development has a strong foundation.
As a senior director at DT, what advice do you have for aspiring leaders, particularly women, looking to reach similar levels of success in their careers?
There are many times in my career that I have been in situations where, although I had a ‘right’ to a seat at the table, either due to my age or gender I wasn’t sure I had the ‘right’ to offer an opinion or to counter a decision or thought process. In those situations, the usual advice is to speak up, but my approach has always been to listen and only weigh in when you have something of value to add. The best leaders, both male and female, that I have worked have always been the ones who don’t fight to dominate the conversation, but instead prove they have opinions worth listening to.
If you could have a conversation with your younger self, what advice would you give her?
Don’t be afraid to ask why a task needs to be done, too often as leaders we request action without providing context. If you understand the bigger picture that sits around an activity, you increase your likelihood of not just performing the task successfully but proactively improving its outcome.
Beyond work, what are your other passions and interests, and do they influence your leadership approach?
I have always enjoyed going to theatre, and when I was growing up, I did exams with The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, studying acting, improvisation and speaking – not to mention being heavily involved in school productions. Although now I only have the time to go to the theatre two to three times a year, it has influenced my leadership approach. You have to recognize that even if there is only one person on stage it takes a whole production team with wildly different talents to put the show on – and you need to be able to coordinate a disparate group to deliver one unified vision.
Finally, in your demanding role, how do you recharge and relax?
As a typical consultant I love to travel to both visit friends and family and to explore new places. Being able to spend time with loved ones, and being able to disconnect from work, is how I recharge.
Hannah has more than a decade of experience working with commercial and technology leaders focused on digital and customer experience transformation. She advises organizations on how to evolve their customer offering to take advantage of digital capabilities and develop the internal competencies required to effect this transformation.