Have you ever found yourself frustrated by the lack of accessible and understandable evidence when making critical health decisions for yourself or your loved ones?

Do you believe that as statisticians, we have the power to significantly influence decisions impacting patient lives, research, and healthcare investments?

Are you passionate about driving change within the statistics community to ensure decisions are based on robust data?

In this episode, I share my journey, motivations, and unveil a groundbreaking initiative—the Effective Statistician Change Agent Program. 

Let’s explore the key topics discussed:

  • The Motivation Behind The Podcast: Reflecting on my podcast journey and the evolving clarity on why I’ve been committed to sharing statistical insights for several years.
  • Navigating Critical Health Decisions: Drawing from personal experiences as a patient, brother, husband, and father, and the challenges faced when seeking understandable evidence.
  • Challenges in the Statistics Community: Addressing the gaps in influencing decisions, from research to healthcare investments, due to insufficient statistical understanding.
  • Unveiling the Change Agent Program: Introducing a transformative program designed for statisticians eager to make a significant impact and drive change in the industry.
  • Curriculum Overview: Delving into the comprehensive curriculum covering leadership, strategy, communication, and the art of leading change.
  • Building a Community: Exploring the importance of building a community of like-minded individuals to drive impactful change collectively.
  • Developing Products for Change: Understanding how to develop products—ranging from training to tools—that can be easily distributed to maximize impact.
  • Weekly Group Coaching Calls: Unveiling the magic that happens in the weekly group coaching calls, where change agents come together, share experiences, and support each other
  • How to Apply: Providing details on how passionate statisticians can apply for the Effective Statistician Change Agent Program and take the first step towards becoming a transformative force.

Are you ready to be a part of this transformative journey and shape the future of statistics in healthcare? Dive into the full episode to discover more about the program and how you can become a change agent in the statistical landscape. Let’s drive impactful change together!

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Transcript

Become A Change Agent and Influence the Industry

[00:00:00] Alexander: Welcome to another episode of the effective statistician. Today, I want to talk about something that is very, very close to my heart. I’m publishing these podcast episodes now for several years. This is podcast episode number 300 something and I am doing all of that for a specific reason. When I started with it, I wasn’t completely sure about this reason.

[00:00:38] But over the time, I got More thoughtful about it and understand now much better why I’m all doing this. I have three kids. I have a mother. I have a wife. I have a brother. I have friends. [00:01:00] And all of them have health problems. Oh, by the way. I have health problems as well. So I’m a patient. My brother is a patient. My mother is a patient. My kids are patients. And I very often get confronted to make decisions about health. Well, and sometimes it’s more than the usual cough.

[00:01:27] In these critical situations, when it’s about really, really severe diseases, I’m of course looking into the literature. I’m looking into the data, the evidence that helps me make a good decision. Of course, in collaboration with the physicians. But of course, they also need good evidence and I’m asking them about the evidence.

[00:01:58] And [00:02:00] there were several situations where I could not find good evidence. Or the evidence was reported in such a way that I found it really, really difficult to understand. Or I could not find the analysis that helped me answer my question. And I find this really frustrating. All my professional life is about Improving patient lives.

[00:02:35] Based on data, based on evidence, and so I think it’s really, really frustrating that we as a community don’t get into a position where we can better influence things. It starts already with making decisions within [00:03:00] research based on data. The people that make the decisions. don’t understand the data well enough.

[00:03:09] Or they don’t have a statistician that can explain it well enough. Or maybe they don’t even know the statistician. The statistician doesn’t have enough power or the stats community and that company doesn’t have enough influence to make sure that Decisions are based on good data.

[00:03:35] This is super frustrating because it means that things get delayed, that Investment decisions are made poorly and that patients ultimately don’t get medications early enough, fast enough, good enough. And that a lot of money in our overall [00:04:00] healthcare system is wasted. and not invested wisely to improve patient lives.

[00:04:07] And of course, money is limited. There is not endless money in the system. So, we need to make sure that we make the best out of the money that we invest.

[00:04:19] Then it’s about the regulators. Of course, they need to have the right evidence.

[00:04:26] And here also, I think we need to have more statisticians. We need to have better influence there as a stats community. Next step is about payers, insurance companies, national payers. We need to make sure that they have good statistical expertise and that they have the right evidence to make good decisions.

[00:04:57] And of course, it is about [00:05:00] the physicians, the patients, the healthcare providers in general. And all the people that, you know, surround the patients.

[00:05:13] We need to make sure that they have the right evidence in the right format to make good decisions for patients. And that’s why I’m publishing these episodes. That’s why I’m helping other statisticians to share their experience. That’s why I’m running the Effective Statistician Leadership Program.

[00:05:40] That’s why I’m running the conference that is coming up mid of February. By the way, if you haven’t registered then please do that. That’s why I want to help everybody in the stats community [00:06:00] to be as effective as possible and effective I mean to be innovative, to have good knowledge, to be excellent and also to lead Things to lead change.

[00:06:18] This is why I’m doing all of that. And now there is one further thing that I’m doing and that I haven’t talked so much about yet, but, but I think this is something that is really, really important.

[00:06:35] I’ve created a new program, the Effective Statistician Change Agent Program. This program is specifically designed for people who really want to make a difference. If you want to have a really big impact, you want to drive the topic forward, you love, you want [00:07:00] to make sure that you are seen as the expert for this topic within our industry.

[00:07:06] If you want to build your team around it, if you want to build a department around it, if you want to build a business around it, then this change agent program is for you. So, what will we cover in the program? In this program, you will learn. All about leadership,

[00:07:31] of course, much deeper than in our standard leadership program. We will go much more deeply into strategy, how you can drive change for from yourself, from your team, from your department, how you can develop a strategy. So said. With the resources you have, you have the [00:08:00] maximum impact and yes, this is not so much about how many people you have, how you leverage all these people, how you leverage the resources that you have.

[00:08:16] And by the way, this is not just about. Your people, your money. It’s about your network, your collaboration. You can have so much more impact. You won’t believe it. I already had the first couple of these discussions and when other people came out of the strategy discussions, and these were senior statisticians. They had a completely new insight into how they can have an impact. They saw that they can 10, 100x their impact [00:09:00] if they have a good strategy.

[00:09:03] So we will work a lot on creating a strategy for your business. Of course, we will go into Communication, trust, teamwork. All these kind of different things. And then we will also dive deeply into leading change. If you want to drive change, and this is what we really need. Now we need to have a a better leverage of all the different statistical tools we have.

[00:09:36] It’s really not that that we are lacking statistical tools. What we lack is the implementation of these tools. I talked about this with Kaspar and Mouna in an episode last year. Innovation is about Invention and commercialization. In our program, this is not so much [00:10:00] about coming up with new statistical ideas.

[00:10:03] You probably have all the experts. These, or you have access to the experts or I can help you get access to the right experts. It is about making sure that all these different ideas are actually put in place and sooner than later. Think about Bayesian designs. Well, Bayes isn’t surely not a new topic. Yet, it takes ages to put it into practice.

[00:10:39] Think about multiplicity. Well, surely not a new area of research, but it took decades to make sure that we have more advanced techniques in our phase 3 programs. Think about adaptive designs. [00:11:00] There are so many opportunities with adaptive designs. Do we leverage them all the time? No. Think about the typical early phase area.

[00:11:14] How many studies are still run with this 3 plus 3 design? I can’t believe it. So it is about leading change. And for leading change, you need to understand that the biggest problem of leading change is taking the people with you. And so in this change agent program, we will go deeply into Creating change.

[00:11:39] This is within your department. This is your company within the industry. If you really want to drive change, this program is right for you. We will talk about different steps of driving change. We will talk about how you can [00:12:00] effectively delegate change management activities. How you can Keep a good project management across all your different change agent teams and how you can effectively train others.

[00:12:19] Because training others is of course one of the most fundamental things. You need to help others understand How would things work? Where are the benefits? This is why we need to invest a lot in training. This is why I invest a lot in training myself.

[00:12:40] In order to lead change, you need to communicate. This is pretty clear. And now communication is a very, very interesting thing because it depends on how many people [00:13:00] you reach. If you always talk one to one, well, you can reach, let’s say, 40 people per week. If you go to conferences on a regular basis and speak there, well, at a conference, maybe you can reach 50, 100.

[00:13:21] If you’re a keynote speaker, maybe 400 people once a year, twice a year, maybe a couple of more times a year. It is pretty limited. However, with our different social media platforms, with a podcast, with a blog, with email, with all of these different things combined, you can build a platform to reach many more people to drive much more change within your company.

[00:13:56] and beyond your company. And yes, [00:14:00] a lot of people within your company that you want to reach, you can actually reach easier via external media, via LinkedIn, via podcast, via blog, via the email lists, all these kind of different things. If you also want to drive change internally, of course you can also build internal platforms.

[00:14:24] You can build internal communication. All of that will help you to build a community around the topics that you want to drive forward. And yes, a community is always needed to drive change. This community consists of different circles. You will have your most inner circle. A couple of different people you will work more or less daily together with to drive change forward.

[00:14:58] People that [00:15:00] are 100 percent or close to 100 percent dedicated to moving this forward. And by the way, I will show you how to get to these people and how to get funding for such people. You will have others that are advocates that maybe work 5 or 10 percent of the time on driving the community forward.

[00:15:23] These will be the people that will talk about the change and scale your communications. And then you will have many more people that will benefit from the community, that will be a little bit active or passive members of your community. All of these will help you to drive change.

[00:15:49] I will also help you to develop products. And when I’m talking about products, [00:16:00] this is not necessarily just, you know, tools like let’s, let’s say software tools. These can be all kinds of different things. A product is something that is already created and that you can easily distribute. These things are, of course, interesting for zeros.

[00:16:22] Or for freelancers, for small organizations, because they can sell these products. Products are also really interesting for you internally. Because a predefined product is much easier to implement and to distribute. A product could be, for example, a specific training. That you deliver again and again. When I was working for a bigger company and driving forward around change around data visualizations. [00:17:00]

[00:17:00] My data visualization training was such a product. Of course, I delivered the product myself. Here is the data visualization training. And I also trained others to deliver this product, this data visualization training. And because it was packaged up, it was clear what is inside, what are the benefits, what are the features, how long it takes, how many people can participate, all these kind of different things, it was very, very easy to get others to basically purchase this internally.

[00:17:41] Of course, there was. No bigger many transaction in it, but it was something that I could scale. Something that I could scale by just having it prepackaged. Yeah, don’t need to do it again and again, like every [00:18:00] new paper and things like this, but also by delegating it to others and making sure that others can deliver the training.

[00:18:09] Of course, there were some customization features in it but generally, the training was always the same. I can help you develop such products for your team, so that you can drive the change that you want to have. In a similar way, this could be trainings, this could be certain tools, all kinds of different things.

[00:18:38] It really depends on the topics that you want to try forward. And then I will help you to show you how you can make sure that as many people as possible get their hands on these products. So that everybody in your organization knows about it. [00:19:00] Set everybody beyond your organization, maybe not everybody, but a large number of people so that it can have a maximum impact.

[00:19:11] So at the end of the program, you will have really insight on what leadership is, strategy, leading change, and you will have started to build your own platform. With your own products, so that you can drive the change that you want to see within our industry.

[00:19:42] This program runs over a year, because you will need at least a year to get going. And in this program, we have both focused trainings that are 2 3 days [00:20:00] trainings both in person and online. We have a whole series of webinars that you can attend and of course you will have one to ones with me.

[00:20:13] And then there’s one thing that I really, really love. These are the weekly group coaching calls that we already have. This is where a lot of magic happens. Because there are also different change agents come together. And they help each other. They learn from each other. They have similar challenges. They have Similar experiences and this is really the area where people help each other, build collaborations together and, and learn from each other.

[00:20:51] I absolutely love it. Of course, you will need more than a year to drive change. I understand [00:21:00] this and after the one-year program is over, you will have the opportunity to stay in the program and become an alumni and that alumni version will help you to get going. You can then still attend all the events and come to the group coaching calls.

[00:21:28] We’ll surely have further one to ones. Because I want you to win. I want you to make sure that your ideas, that your topic of interest, gets the attention that it needs.

[00:21:46] This program is specifically for those who really, really burn for that topic. So if you’re a statistician that really wants to drive a [00:22:00] specific topic forward, and I’m not just talking about, well, I also talk about things like I want to make sure that everybody has a good understanding in terms of statistics and what it’s needed.

[00:22:22] In early phase, or maybe you want to make sure that statistics are much more used with in preclinical, or maybe your topic is about medical affairs and you want to increase the data literacy within this area. Or maybe you want to drive things around payers and shape the industry there. Then this program is for you.

[00:22:54] This is not a math program where, you know, hundreds of people get into the [00:23:00] program. This is a program where you have a lot of, you know, direct time with me. And so I can’t kind of manage endless amount of, of people here. So, the application for this. Is goes through a call with me and if you’re interested, just reach me via LinkedIn.

[00:23:23] Send me an email to alexander@theeffectivestatistician.com and we can have a chat about it, whether this program is right for you and whether you are right for the program. So have a great start into this new year. I hope you had a great vacation time and if you love this podcast, then please recommend it to others. If you want to drive change, then reach out to me via LinkedIn or send me an email to alexander@theeffectivestatistician.com.

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I want to help the community of statisticians, data scientists, programmers and other quantitative scientists to be more influential, innovative, and effective. I believe that as a community we can help our research, our regulatory and payer systems, and ultimately physicians and patients take better decisions based on better evidence.

I work to achieve a future in which everyone can access the right evidence in the right format at the right time to make sound decisions.

When my kids are sick, I want to have good evidence to discuss with the physician about the different therapy choices.

When my mother is sick, I want her to understand the evidence and being able to understand it.

When I get sick, I want to find evidence that I can trust and that helps me to have meaningful discussions with my healthcare professionals.

I want to live in a world, where the media reports correctly about medical evidence and in which society distinguishes between fake evidence and real evidence.

Let’s work together to achieve this.