CD1: on EMBL’s brand

The word “brand” has become a common word in our daily language, but it is used in different contexts with different meanings. The word has its origin in ranching, when branding marks were seared into an animal’s skin to identify its owner. Television and print advertising saw the word being used more broadly and branding has now come to denote all the features that can distinguish an organisation or product as distinct from its rivals.

There are different types of brands, and the type that EMBL chooses to be will affect almost all levels of its communications.
Continue reading “CD1: on EMBL’s brand”

Why design matters

In the 20th Century the Modernists believed that good design was about usefulness, how well an object performed its function. For others, good design is more subjective, it’s about style and taste. I see it a little differently: I define design as the deliberate creation of value for an organisation. Good design fosters more dynamic and purposeful cultures within an organisation, stimulating higher visibility and delivering tangible bottom-line results.
Continue reading “Why design matters”

Start up life science

Sometimes it takes someone to ask the right question to arrive at an important piece of information. And often these questions are asked by new people, who challenge the assumptions you take for granted about the place where you work. Shortly after Dan and I started working together to lead strategy and communications he asked me what I thought was special about EMBL. Like most other people that he had asked before, I struggled to distill the gist of what EMBL is down to one sentence. But he continued asking and after several rounds of ‘I don’t buy it’ and ‘you don’t get it’, we arrived at something we both thought was a very powerful concept. EMBL is an incubator. It recruits the very best scientists worldwide and gives them almost complete freedom and the conditions to do something great … after they left EMBL.
Continue reading “Start up life science”