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Nodes: A Culture of Flexibility and Entrepreneurship in Times of COVID-19

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Nov. 17 2020

ARTICLE

Flexibility and Entrepreneurship
in Times of COVID-19

The current global pandemic has forced businesses around the world to rethink strategies and the way they operate their businesses. Companies, both big and small, have been compelled to become more agile and flexible. The most successful ones are those that have been able to successfully pivot and channelize their efforts and resources to be in sync with the new paradigm, while not compromising on their core ethics.

How a holistic Employee Strategy
helps Businesses Pivot Successfully

An unwritten rule that most employers seem to believe in is that making their salaried employees work as much as possible enhances corporate productivity. The truth is far from it – with long work hours, employees not only get physically exhausted and mentally stressed, but also feel unmotivated and make more mistakes.

However, organizations that proactively support a healthy work life balance are few and far between, but they are the ones who are able to pivot operations and reallocate resources swiftly when a situation like the present one arises.

How Nodes Reimagined its Strategy

The COVID-19 pandemic has sent seismic economic shockwaves across the globe, and the competitive landscape is nothing like it was even a few months back. As many businesses were forced to navigate crisis conditions in the most unprecedented manner, typical boundaries and silos have been done away with, decisions and processes have been streamlined, technology and data have become mainstream, core processes have been reinvented, and new collaboration tools are being deployed everywhere.

Every tragedy has always brought opportunities – opportunities to reduce the burden of the tragedy as well find better avenues to better the status quo. Nodes, like many businesses that have found ways to pivot successfully in these difficult times, has been at the forefront of using technology and some creative strategic decisions to make their operational activities more streamlined. Even with the entire team working from home remotely, Nodes deployed methodologies that helped them function seamlessly. This helped them take decisions faster, without bottlenecks, and continue their work without any hurdles.

As far as its employee strategy is concerned, Nodes has always believed that an empowered employee is accountable. If an employee is truly empowered with the right tools, work ethics and development-focused guidelines, they become more responsible and accountable towards their duties and ultimately towards their goals.

As an organization that truly values its employees, Nodes proactively offers a flexible work environment to ensure that their employees are at their productive best. When the management allows the employees to manage their time and employees are also aware that their organization cares for their professional as well as personal growth, it builds trust and motivates employees to be more innovative and put their best foot forward at all times.

Take Marc Teitelbaum for example – a Senior Associate at Nodes, who says working with Nodes Advisors has been catalytic to his own professional and academic growth. His career with Nodes has not only been a professionally rewarding one so far, but a personally satisfying one as well.

How Nodes Practices Empowerment

With a degree in Biology and minor in Biotechnology, Marc worked first as an intern in business development and commercialization at Kashiv Pharma, and later as an associate in Life Sciences at Charles River Associates. He joined Nodes when was looking into companies that work with early stage biotech and digital health companies. After joining Nodes, he was given the responsibility of working on both the scientific and investment side of companies that Nodes deals with. His first role in Nodes was to work with Sensulin, a state-of-the-art diabetic company that seeks to use a “Smart Insulin” or Glucose-Responsive Insulin to help alleviate symptoms that diabetic patients deal with when blood glucose levels fluctuate.

In the present times, there are a handful of organizations that are setting the benchmark for flexible corporate culture. In such organizations, communication is established as the key factor to build trust and create accountability. They have clear objectives; their focus is on quality instead of quantity, and it is simple for the employees to understand how their tasks are related to those of the management.

In Marc’s words: “A regular challenge I face is communication. Since we are geographically spread out, sometimes our timing doesn’t align so we must align effectively early on to ensure we get all of our deliverables on time. Another challenge is determining the right companies to work with and allocate our time effectively to ensure Nodes is growing as a business and partner.”

It is rare to find an organization that lets its employees also pursue what they are interested in or excel at, while working there, Nodes is proving to be blazing the trail in this matter as well. Marc is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences from Rutgers University. The open and progressive culture at Nodes provides Marc the opportunity to create a business model that can be funded in-house. It may well become the next big business venture.

The fact that he is able to fulfill both his professional and academic interests speaks about the flexibility he has while working with Nodes. In fact he even got a lot of useful advice and resources here to boost his academic pursuit. To work in such an environment must be the dream of many aspiring business partners. Nodes even goes to the extent of guiding and investing when an employee wants to start his/her own venture and can project a sound roadmap for the same.

The Culture of Creative Liberty at Nodes

Marc has great plans and hopes about the way Nodes is slated to contribute to the future of biotechnology and healthcare. He says, “I think the future of the sector is changing at unprecedented rates. With the shift to data analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning deployed in this sector, we are looking at an exciting phase in the biotech sector. I believe that the way Nodes has leveraged technology to come out strongly from the economic downturn forced upon the globe by the pandemic has helped us to find new opportunities in these troubled times.”

Marc believes that newer molecular tools combined with AI and ML will create a synergy of interdisciplinary innovations in biology, chemistry, hardware, and automation, leading to acceleration of the future of synthetic biology. Synthetic biology can then be able to fulfil its promise of programming living cellular machines as therapeutics.

“I think that personalized medicine will be better understood and deployed for each patient, whether it’s for allergy medication or a type of cancer that needs to be treated,” says Marc.

Mark Holding Lab Equipment

Marc at Rutgers Lab utilizing a micro pipette to titrate a solution in order to run an immunohistochemistry assay to look at Bone regeneration

Incidentally, Nodes has also partnered with Travera, a biotech company that is in the process of developing a refined personalized medicine solution with a universal marker to find the best and most suitable candidate for treating cancer that is set to revolutionize cancer treatment and in turn benefit millions of patients across the world.

Tailoring the Employee Experience

Marc’s vision and his words are matched by the actions he takes at Nodes, and he thinks it is the work culture at Nodes that has propelled him to take a more entrepreneurial and proactive approach at work. He has found his calling and is able to use his knowledge and expertise in an environment that offers him new and exciting opportunities every day.

At Nodes, Marc works on both the scientific and investment side of companies. When looking at potential companies to work with, Marc conducts due diligence into the company to make sure their science, strategy and operations are in line with the company’s mission.

“After understanding the mission and goal of the company we are working with, I then work to raise capital and determine viable investments for partnering. In the past months of COVID-19 restrictions, I see many companies pivot their resources and strategies to create opportunities out of troubled times. They are the ones I see succeed in the future. The fact that this is exactly what we did during these times makes us both in sync and our alliance will go a long way in benefiting both of us equally well,” he concludes.

The unique employee experience at Nodes is unmatched. It has become even more robust during the pandemic. Remote working blurs the lines between work and life, and employee experience is even more critical in such a case. An organization like Nodes, where the mantra is to create great moments for everyone, every day, is where passionate and creative individuals like Marc have the perfect opportunity to fire their imagination, use their skills and fuel their entrepreneurial drive through an inclusive work culture and support through advisory and financing capabilities.