As a reader of The Genetic Link blog, you are likely aware that DNA Genotek (and our sister companies Diversgien and Novosanis) are subsidiaries of OraSure Technologies Inc., a Bethlehem, PA based leader in point-of-care diagnostic tests. I interviewed Steve Tang, President and CEO of OraSure and its subsidiaries for our Molecules, microbes and multiomics podcast where he spoke about how he fosters a culture of innovation across the entire organization. In the podcast, he discusses how innovation helps the organization respond to change, how developing people and creating opportunities for them makes them more innovative and how he ensures innovation is not a one time project. This blog features a few highlights of the interview and you can listen to the full podcast below.
Why is it important for you, as the CEO, to make innovation a priority?
“Our world is constantly changing and there’s great evidence of that with new technology, new regulations and more. The only way that a company can respond to all that change is by being prepared and that means infusing the organization with innovation. At OraSure, DNA Genotek, Diversigen and Novosanis, we do that by implementing our innovation-based growth strategy.”
How do you foster a culture of innovation; not only in R&D and the boardroom, but in front line employees as well?
“Innovation is about insight and process and naturally we’re trying to find the brightest ideas across the company and finding pathways to implement them. At the most basic level, it starts with the individual and the culture. Each of us has the ability to think creatively and innovatively but we have to feel like there’s the opportunity to think differently and in some respects, to fail in what we’re doing as we pursue innovation. That’s an entirely different mindset than the one that we have for executing and delivering for our customers which obviously has to be flawless.”
Innovative companies involve customers throughout the process – what ways do you use to gather customer intelligence?
“We have great people in all the companies that are part of the OraSure universe and part of our success is due to the fact that we’re very close to customers and their evolving needs. I think that’s clearly the first pathway we take to make sure we are solving customer needs and challenging ourselves to think differently.”
Innovative companies move fast. How do you balance this while operating within a regulated industry?
“A regulated environment is as much a part of our culture as innovative thinking. Part of the creative process is thinking expansively without limitation and without putting constraints on it. That’s part of the overall ecosystem we are trying to develop across all our companies.”
Innovative companies treat innovation as a continuous process. How do you ensure innovation is not a one-time project?
“There’s an old saying that culture eats strategy for breakfast. If part of our culture is to become more innovative, and if indeed strategy is consumed by culture, then it’s to the benefit of innovation. It’s part and parcel of developing people and creating opportunities for them that make them more innovative and at the same time, they’re delivering on all of our promises to our customers, our investors and our stakeholders. That’s all part of the continuous process.”
For more information on how DNA Genotek’s innovative products and services can help you with your genomics or microbiome projects, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org