How Success Happened for Wendy Lund, CCO of Organon
Lund discusses her mission to fight the inequities women face in healthcare.
From an early age, Wendy Lund's entrepreneurial mindset was inspired by her father, a CFO of a major retail chain in New York, who taught her about the power of building something from the ground up. Her dad showed her that companies aren't built by one person, but by teams of people working toward the same vision.
While Lund hasn't officially started a business of her own, she has always used the tenets of entrepreneurship with the companies she's worked at throughout her career. By embracing the values of "intrapreneurship," she's been able to focus her energy on innovating and building in an area she's extremely passionate about, women's health.
The spark that ignited when Lund was an undergraduate student in history and women's studies at the University of Albany and then a graduate student in women's history at NYU brought her to the National League of Nursing, where she championed the lives and livelihoods of nurse educators, who were predominantly women at the time. It was a role that later led her to Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA), where she became VP of Marketing. There she put her passion to work to advocate for what she believes in while applying her entrepreneurial spirit through a focus on positioning efforts, conceptualizing and launching groundbreaking women's health licensing programs and uncovering ways to build a base of new kinds of funding and resourcing, while supporting the marketing needs of PPFA's 1,000+ healthcare support centers.
To drive her love of commercial growth and competitive spirit, Lund went agency side to apply her expertise to erasing stigma in various areas like HIV, Hepatitis C, sexual health, erectile dysfunction, diabetes, breast cancer, and more. She strove to be a true thought partner for healthcare organizations across the private and public sectors.
Driven by purpose
Now all roads led to Organon, where Lund is Chief Communications Officer, the largest women's healthcare company of its kind. Born a little over a year ago on June 3, 2021, Lund is channeling her energy into addressing the inequities women have faced in healthcare for far too long. Her choice to take on this role was inextricably linked to the company's vision of "creating a better and healthier every day for every woman," the calling she's had all her life. This was her chance to focus all her intrapreneurial know-how to advance this singular purpose with a company born to disrupt the status quo and bring about change.
"I knew I was going to be in the right place to really make a difference for millions of women," she said. "Everything we've built at Organon has been from the ground up, which has been so exciting. We had the proverbial opportunity to take a mound of clay and shape it into something that's meaningful."
Lund leads her team with the understanding that the company's commercial success and its purpose are interconnected– one cannot be achieved without the other. And it's just the beginning of how the company is realizing its commitment to be #HereForHerHealth.
Listen, learn and then lead
Launching a new company to disrupt the women's healthcare space in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic did not come without challenges. Through research, her team quickly learned that they needed to connect with women to understand the biggest unmet health needs facing women.
Listening to women is fundamental to Organon's approach because while women have been doing a lot of talking — often quietly behind closed doors, she explains — their concerns haven't been heard or understood nearly well enough.
In her first year as CCO, Lund has made breaking taboos and busting myths about everything from menopause and period pain to infertility central to Organon's culture. She's especially proud that the company has adopted a microphone as a global symbol of its commitment to listening to women and subsequent efforts to reframe how people think about women's health.
Based on global listening efforts in 140 markets, she and her team were able to guide the communications strategy to move beyond reproduction to address the real health needs of women across all life stages.
Take a look at Organon on LinkedIn, and you'll see content that shines a light on the critical voids in women's health. These campaigns have also inspired a huge amount of talent to pursue the company, an impressive indicator that purpose moves people, especially in today's tight labor market.
Don't sweat the small stuff
As an intrapreneur, Lund has learned that persistence and optimism are key to success. Her dad and other mentors taught her the importance of having a vision, working side by side with a strong leadership team to shape a strategy to realize that vision, and using setbacks to fuel progress instead of derailing it.
"Not everyone will support you, but you have to keep pushing yourself to find the right allies to make it all happen. I really believe in the idea that as one window closes another one will open. If something doesn't work out, I allow myself to take some time to think, reset and come back with a new plan. You have the right to be disappointed, but it's a matter of how you pick yourself up after the disappointment that matters most," she shared.
Lund is driven by the possibility of making a difference in the world. By "not sweating the small stuff", which her father instilled in her, she's been able to stay laser-focused on driving forward Organon's vision of creating a healthier every day for every woman. By harnessing the power of entrepreneurship in-house, she is proud to be part of building a new future for women's health, step by step.
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