The earlier the better, because while there are things in the plan you have control over, there are several you don’t—product readiness, regulatory approvals, reimbursement—even budget at times. You have to expect the unexpected and be able to respond.
You need to assess whether your in-house resources or current agency have the launch expertise and multi-channel experience to get you from A to B when the stakes are high and your career is under the magnifying glass. You’re looking for talent and launch specialization, with a high trust and likability factor. Speaking from experience, working with a good launch agency is like continuing education. Not to mention you sleep better at night.
First of all, they have to be on the launch team from day one. When the voice of the customer includes sales, and the goals are aligned with sales up front, the launch planning process is not only efficient but fun. When it is time for execution and measuring success there is true team camaraderie and accountability.
I’m a closet introvert. I love being alone in nature or out on a paddle board with some loons and turtles at sunrise. Don’t get me wrong, I love a party and connecting with people. But I prefer one-on-ones.
I have been very involved in doing equine and leadership training workshops, and Elmer, who is the first horse I’ve been honored to care for, is a teacher above all. Elmer, like other horses, is a sensitive, intuitive emotional detective. That’s what makes horses such effective partners in coaching leaders who are trying to overcome challenges or accelerate breakthroughs. Elmer will officially join the coaching herd this summer.
I actually didn’t—the guy who trained him as a yearling thought it was a good noble name. He’s no Elmer Fudd, but a handsome kind boy, calm and steady. I consider the reference to Elmer Glue a positive—I take it as being glued in the saddle! By the way, they stopped using horse hooves for glue a long time ago.
Since I was about 10, I knew Captain Kirk was the sexiest man alive. Throughout his career I watched him excel in all his acting roles, and at age 90 he is still working on going where no man has gone before by immortalizing himself with help of AI. Not to mention, he is a real horseman and understands that horses are spiritual beings on the journey with us.