Klick Health has a new CEO—in fact, it has had one for all of 2020, but you just didn’t know it. Back in December 2019, the Klick Group of companies announced that Lori Grant was named the new CEO of Klick Health during an internal Town Hall. The plan was to make a public announcement during the Klick Ideas Exchange event featuring President Barack Obama initially scheduled for May 14, but it was postponed due to the pandemic. But now, the company is finally making the appointment known to all.
“This announcement is just an articulation of our division of responsibilities that already existed before,” Leerom Segal, who now serves as the Chairman and CEO of Klick Group, said in an interview with PM360. “Lori has really been leading Klick Health for quite some time, but being the diligent and careful architect that she has always been, she wanted to ensure our culture and organization was ready before she took on the role. Obviously, she was right and timed it well because when we announced it, thousands of Klicksters gave her a standing ovation.”
“With Leerom and I, we naturally balance each other’s unique strengths and one of the reasons why our partnership works so well is we recognized early on that there needs to be this healthy tension between the here and now and looking to the future,” Grant explained during the same interview. “My priority is ensuring we are consistently and predictively executing for our clients with a time horizon of today to a couple of years forward. While Leerom’s focus is first and foremost on our award-winning culture and our people-first philosophy and principles, but also looking toward the future while overseeing growth of the other Klick Group companies beyond Klick Health.”
As the CEO of Klick Health, Grant says her vision and goal can be summed up in just a couple of words: “Scale the magic.”
“There really is something different at Klick and when you think about what we are hoping to achieve it’s an evolutionary curve versus a revolutionary one,” Grant says. “For us, it’s an evolution of preserving what we have, including our world-class culture, client experience, and the annual results you see year over year, while we continue to scale and grow. We expect the new practices we announced will help us scale that magic really spectacularly.”
A New Consultancy and Incubator
That’s right, in addition to Grant’s appointment, Klick also made a few other major announcements. The Klick Group launched two new businesses in Klick Consulting and Klick Ventures, and two new practice areas, Cross-Cultural Marketing and Government Policy and Advocacy.
Klick Consulting is led by Keith Liu, Managing Director and Alfred Whitehead, EVP of Applied Sciences, and includes a diverse team of medical, behavioral science, data science, engineering, business model, machine learning, and strategic design experts. The team’s mantra is “science at the speed of business,” which speaks to their focus of developing commercial solutions with real-world applications.
“In typical consulting workstreams your delivery tends to be a research deck, workshop, innovation theater, or some big binders of outputs,” Segal says. “But we purpose-built Klick Consulting from the ground up to differentiate it from your traditional consultancy by focusing on a rapid ability to deliver tangible prototypes and actual physical things that help accelerate a product to market, de-risk commercial issues, and can be tested and used in a real-world setting.”
Meanwhile, Klick Ventures is a health innovation-focused venture group led by Leslie Jamison that will partner with investors to get ideas investment-ready and create commercial upside. Partners could include life sciences companies as well as entrepreneurs. For example, Ventures played a foundational role in disrupting the non-emergency medical transportation model by co-founding and incubating Circulation.
“This is us deploying capital but also creating human capital in helping to scale up ideas, so we really need to believe in the ideas and that they are something that can improve patients’ lives,” Segal explains. “We tend to get really excited about ideas that are not sexy or obvious but ones we think can truly drive healthy change, including the modernization of certain business models and areas in healthcare.”
Segal adds that some clients have already benefited from the services of both Consulting and Ventures, but they decided to publicly launch these new businesses ahead of schedule due to a recognition of their clients’ need to rapidly adapt due to COVID-19. While Consulting and Ventures will operate as their own entities within the Klick Group of companies, the two new practices areas, Cross-Cultural Marketing and Government Policy and Advocacy, will serve as functions that can aid in the efforts of any of the companies in the Klick ecosystem.
Focusing in on Diversity, Cross-Cultural Marketing, and Government Policy
Amy Gómez, PhD, joined Klick as Senior Vice President, Diversity Strategy to help launch the new Cross-Cultural Marketing practice. Dr. Gómez was previously a partner at Revolución, a senior client lead at the UniWorld Group, and most recently led Cross-Cultural Marketing and Diversity & Inclusion at The Neighborhood, a WPP team serving the Johnson & Johnson consumer brands.
“We started to put this new practice in place in 2019, and here we are in 2020, and cross-culture marketing, diversity, equity, and inclusion all couldn’t be more top of mind,” Grant explains. “The way we approach Cross-Culture Marketing is as an insight-driven strategic discipline focused on uncovering cultural values, beliefs, and barriers that drive patient and caregiver behavior. That is different from what we’ve seen in many other companies and their approaches which tend to be more tactical in nature and late-stage execution.”
Additionally, David C. Bowen, PhD, was brought on board as Senior Vice President, Policy & Advocacy to lead Government Policy and Advocacy affairs. Dr. Bowen is a policy and public health specialist with over 20 years of experience leading change in health and health policy in government, at foundations, and in the private sector. He most recently served as the Head of Health & Wellness and Chief Policy Officer for the WPP Health & Wellness network at Hill+Knowlton, and was previously Deputy Director for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, CEO of Malaria No More, and played a crucial role as a policy director for the U.S. Senate health committee in writing major U.S. health laws, including the Affordable Care Act.
“Healthcare is uniquely, deeply affected by government decisions, things like reimbursement, access, scientific research, regulatory approval, etc.,” Grants says. “All of these decisions are affected by advocacy and that is why we’ve introduced Dr. Bowen as the lead for our new Government Policy and Advocacy function at Klick.”
“We feel like all of these things work together and in many ways the sum is larger than the parts,” Segal adds. “I think all companies are just a collection of people and principles, so there is something different here with our culture and how we continue to adapt and execute, but it’s also widens our aperture every single time we add one of these groups. Ultimately it sets us up to be a better commercial partner or be able to not just provide that single part of accountability, but also watch all of the blind spots of our clients in any capacity because we are able to bring all of these other lenses to bear.”