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Year End Social Media Cleanup & Projects for 2015

December 21st, 2014

Today, I’ve been taking some of the advice around the net – and cleaning up my social media profiles.

First, I see LinkedIn has changed its profile algorithm again – and one can only put in “supported provider” links to our profiles (boo, LI, boo…), so I’ll do a little shameless student promotion here (where I determine the ‘supported provider’ links). Second, (and I haven’t made a final decision on this just yet) I may resolve to get the heck out of faceplaceland for 2015.  Stay tuned on that one.

Several people in my tribe have been asking about the 2 interprofessional children’s books that students at Butler U have been working on this year.  Now, both may be pre-ordered:

1. The Gifts of Indiana – This is the children’s book that has Indiana history, targeting the 4th graders out there who learn about Indiana history, just in time for the bicentennial of the state in 2016. Until Jan 3, you can pre-order your copy that should be available this spring over at Indiegogo.  While I’ve not yet seen the final illustrations, I have read the manuscript, and even I learned a few things about Indiana that I didn’t know before (yes, as a native Hoosier).  They have a faceplace page too.

2. Max Greene and the Vaccine Team – Yes, I know that vaccines are riddled with controversy.  However, even though the influenza vaccine this year might not be a catch all, one only needs to go to the media to learn that deadly diseases, like measles, can spread like wildfire without children getting vaccinated properly.  This book tries to educate kids and their families about vaccines. You can pre-order it at the students’ Weebly site.  Their faceplace page is here.

Other stuff coming in 2015:

3. The BU Well project – We’ve got an award-winning rockstarian group of executive external advisors on board for this open access journal.  We also have a top shelf group of students lined up–I actually had the problem of too many students wanting in on this.  Have I ever built a journal before? Nope.  Have our students? Not yet.  But after the spring semester, they’ll be done with this experience, and I can say with great certainty that this skill set that students will acquire (by building a journal of their very own in healthcare) could be a once in a lifetime experience.

4. I’m joining Impact 100 of Greater Indy for 2015 – My friend Kelly Hartman never took no for an answer from me on this, so I’m joining this crew of women to pony up and put our money where our passions and mouths are for 2015.  They do cool stuff, which you can check out at their website, here.

Now, as for my other personal and professional projects for 2015–I can’t talk about them just yet.  They are top secret, and many depend upon things that are still pending.  I’ll know more soon.  But, as soon as I can talk about them, you’ll be the first to know, as always, my fab 13 – because the faithful readers of my microcosmic blog get my stuff first.  My only hint at this point is that the other night, I had a dream…of packing.  And, after looking it up – it means one thing: big changes are afoot.

What are you up to for 2015?  Whatever it is – I’m certain it will be awesome!

The Best Gift to Yourself this Holiday Season

December 20th, 2014

holidaze.I’m catching up on some much needed reading this holiday season – since I haven’t had a lot of time to do so of late.

One of the books I’m zooming through again (yes, I checked it out previously but no, I didn’t fully read it the first time) is Smart Tribes by Christine Comaford.  It’s pretty good, but what I really appreciate it is that it gives you a tool to discern how to improve your leadership/management skills.

This tool is not only important to learn about others–but most of all, to learn about yourself.

The particular tool in the book that I like thus far is the “Meta Programs” identification tool.  It has 6 different spectrums by which all US workers fall (for example, intrinsic vs. extrinsic motivation is one of the 6 – but she calls it internal vs. external).  I went through the tool and identified myself on each of the 6 spectrums, and now know what questions to ask others to discern where they fall on the spectrums.

And while I find that tool helpful, it’s not a book or a tool I think that is the best gift for you this holiday season.

My favorite and best gift for you this holiday season is this: to know and understand yourself.

Knowing who you are, and who you are not is one the best things you can do for yourself.  It can help you figure out where you want to go in life.  It will help you figure out how to better navigate there with your best skills, rather than your weaknesses.  It will aid and abet your best life–rather than anything less.

I’ve shared at this tiny blog several times that I keep a Know Thyself Kit on myself.  It’s a laundry list of all the tools, tests, and personality summaries I’ve done over my professional life.  And it’s probably even more valuable than my own CV or resume to me, because each time I have to make a key decision in my life, I bring out the KTK and remind myself on who I am–what I value–what my strengths and talents are–and THEN, I make my final decision based upon that list.  I’m going to even go a step further here and give you a list of my very own KTK tests right here.  (Trust me, you don’t want my results.)  Besides, this post isn’t about me – it’s about YOU!

Santa won’t bring this to you – but I will.  Start collecting anthropology on the biggest and best mystery of all this holiday season: you.


December 19th, 2014

There’s been a lot of buzz this week about how Stanford has announced their new “open loop university” where undergraduates can take more than 4 years to loop in and out of the university between school and work to earn their undergraduate degrees.  While I think this is a cool idea – and I hate to steal Stanford’s thunder, (along with the Chronicle of Higher Education, that loves to focus mainly on undergraduate education), both and all have been ignoring the fact that many of us…have already created our own open loop university situations on our very own.

What I mean by this is – there are tons of professionals in the U.S. workforce that have been going back to school on a part time or full time basis while working.  I’ve been back to school since undergrad 3 times now.  I work with a lot of colleagues, and most of my friends in law school, were in this exact situation.  They worked and they went to school at the same time, re-tooling their skills and their careers.

So, kudos to Stanford for putting a label on this.  However, what I think smart colleges and universities should do is create a massive, open online university – a MOOU (yes, I ripped this off from MOOCs), and create students for life. 

How might this work?  Well, let’s begin with what happens now.  You go to a 4-year undergraduate program.  You graduate.  Maybe, just maybe if the university has a decent alumni affairs office, you join the alumni group and then receive propaganda from the university (typically in the form of a slick glossy quarterly book on all the wonderful things happening at the university, with a section in the back for alumni updates).  If you have a bad university alumni affairs office, you don’t even get that.  Maybe you just get called incessantly during the annual capital campaign to give give give, but get nothing in return for it.

What I propose instead is the college or university creating a culture of students for life.  That could mean a closed portal of opportunities for alumni to get engaged with the university – as in, come back and guest lecture, come back and interview students, come back and be a part of campus.  But even better, I think the university could offer the following: “If you’re an alum of our university, come back and take a new class in 5 years of graduation.”  No silly paperwork, graduate entry exams, or even dollars associated with it.

Wait. What? A free class within 5 years of graduation?  Yes.  This will re-engage the alums to experience the cultural changes at the university.  Then, you offer it again at 10 years.  Then 15, 20 and so-on!

But what about costs?  Well, if you have a course that’s completely maxed out, maybe not.  But if you have open space in courses, why not?  Does it really cost more to let someone audit a course?  And, if this is truly something that is a cultural change, universities should charge more at the undergraduate level, and ensure that students are aware that they aren’t students just for 4 years – they are now students of the university FOR LIFE.

Furthermore, if a university really wanted to create students for life, they’d have a graduate funnel and plan to turn those graduates into advocates for the university, and ultimately students AND teachers on campus.  A certain percentage of grads should come back and run the institution to some extent.  Part of this development plan could include furthering one’s education.

As an alum of 4 different universities now, I have to say that none of the 4 has ever offered me the option to return to campus and take a class for free to polish my skills.  They haven’t even marketed this stuff to me, even for a discount.  There is so much opportunity here, and with the average human living until age 80 now, there’s absolutely no reason why universities can’t focus on alumni engagement and create MOOUs and students for life moving forward.  In fact, I no longer think this is a nice to have, but a MUST HAVE for universities if they wish to survive in the 21st century.

I’m glad someone at least is thinking about it.  I predict the schools that get more creative with alumni engagement will be successful in the long run, because they’re re-engaging with their best customers.

2015 Annual Meetings for Pharmacy Organizations: Game On

December 16th, 2014

I got an email today that said: “You’re awesome!”

But that wasn’t the email that inspired this post.

Another email came in that said, “Hey, Albert. Dug your list of pharmacy orgs.  But–why didn’t you just include a list of each org’s annual meeting and location for planning ahead–if, in fact, planning ahead was your goal in creating the list anyway?”

To that I say, GAME ON.

Tonight when watching TV/listening to Stitcher, I took this exact challenge.  I even prepped the list of annual meetings for you in two ways – I’ll embed below from Slideshare (totally downloadable – I know the font is small, but I wanted to keep the info to one page), or you can reach a Google spreadsheet at this link if you want it in a spreadsheet instead.

Enjoy – and I hope you find this list useful – but be warned – I’m only going to keep this info up for a limited time – you’d best grab it NOW while you can!

If You Want to See Change, You Have to Be The Change

December 15th, 2014

This moment is sponsored by Monday, Tony Robbins, all the other self-help coaches, and yours truly! Now, I just posted on Faceplace that a group basically had to stop whining, so I have to practice what I preach.

Look, I love a good whine session as much as anyone.  However, whining and complaining without any solutions, suggestions for change, or ways to make something better – is just whining.  Whining never got anyone anywhere.  Your boss doesn’t want to hear about problems without solutions, either – neither do the rest of us.

So, in that vein, here I am to ask the next Indiana General Assembly legislative session for the following PROBLEMS to be FIXED with a SOLUTION around each. Ready?

In the 2015 Indiana General Assembly, may we please have:

1. Sunday alcohol sales – I know, this one sounds weird coming from a healthcare professional.  But hey, Jesus, allegedly, turned water into wine, and wine in moderation can be good for you.  Besides, Sunday is the 2nd busiest shopping day of the week in Indiana.  Not to mention, we’ve been talking about this like at least the last 10 legislative sessions.  This is commerce, people, and commerce flowing is good for economies.  Can we please just get this done this time?

2. Naloxone sold OTC – state of Indiana (and everywhere, frankly, for that matter) has a big opiate abuse problem.  Whether it is the prescription opiates or straight up 100% illegal heroin are being abused, people are dying from drug overdoses that could be solved at least temporarily with access to naloxone.  25 states have passed this – can we please be the 26th?  I do think that pharmacies should be selling them, though, so some counseling can happen around naloxone.  It’s not just a pill one pops.

3. Pseudoephedrine (PSE) sold by prescription only – If you think we have a heroin or opiate problem, we in Indiana have the dubious honor of an even bigger problem with: methamphetamine (meth) abuse.  A major ingredient of meth is pseudoephedrine.  This, along with ephedrine, needs to be at least prescription only in IN, if not a controlled substance and prescription.  There’s too much “smurfing” going on and meth, from what I’ve heard, is even harder to break as a habit than heroin.  People, this is not good.  We have to clean this up, and other states have had dramatic change for the better by making PSE prescription only.  I wrote about this one in law school.

4. Benefit corporations as corporate entities – I’ve been beating this dead horse now at least 5 years, but one more time.  We desperately need social entrepreneurial business forms in this state.  Over half the states have them now.  Let’s please not be last here.  My arguments on why we need these are here.  There are hundreds if not thousands of articles on why we need to arm our new and budding social entrepreneurs with these business entity types – Flexible Purpose Corporations, Low Profit Limited Liability Companies (L3Cs) and benefit corporations.  Don’t listen to me – just google them and learn more. This is my wish list from IGA in 2015.  Maybe Santa is listening.   And while I am complaining here, I think I’ve also provided a few solutions too.

2015 Pharmacy Organization Listpalooza

December 14th, 2014

I’m not at my best today.  I don’t think I’m at my best any Sunday.  There is a reason they’re made for rest.  So, I’m resting. With my laptop on top of me. Thinking about – my organizational membership renewals for 2015.  ‘Tis the season.  Most of my memberships expire at the end/start of the calendar year.

I started digging around to see what pharmacy organizations are out there.  All I can say is–wow. There are tons.  Is this part of the problem with the profession?  I don’t know.  I’m not feeling like a judge today.  But instead, I thought I’d share the orgs I found, and some others for you, so if you’re a pharmacist like me, maybe you can find an organization or two that really scratches your own professional niche itch. (Don’t say that fast 3 times.)

Let me start with a disclaimer or two:

1. I am a member of some of the organizations I’m about to share.  I’m also a FORMER member of some of these organizations as well. I’ve also NEVER been a member of some of the orgs I’m about to share.  I’m not here to rate or again judge any of them today – this is merely a list. No endorsements, just indexing.

2. I’m not including very many international pharmacy orgs, nor any pharmacy fraternities or sororities.  I didn’t include the state and US jurisdictional pharmacy associations.  I didn’t include any accrediting organizations for board certifications for pharmacists, and I didn’t even touch on organizations for certain therapeutic areas or disease states unless the org was specific for pharmacists.  You can Google the other stuff. Here and here are pretty comprehensive lists of pharmacy organizations too (although, honestly, even they may not be fully inclusive).

3. I’m about to list orgs that members may join.  The types of members may be different (most accept individual members, some only accept corporate members, and some do both.  Some only do certain types of corporate or org members.  Every org is different – get the hint?)

4. These are “official” in the sense that they have their own websites and have either all or nearly all pharmacists.  Some may have some pharmacists, and let in other healthcare or industry professionals.

Pharmacy and Pharmacist Professional Organizations I’ve Found in Existence for 2015:

AACP – American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy
AAPA – The Arab American Pharmacist Association
AAPCC – American Association of Poison Control Centers
AAPS – American Association of Pharmaceutical Sciences
ABHP – Association of Black Health System Pharmacists
ACCP – The American College of Clinical Pharmacy
ACCP – American College of Clinical Pharmacology
ACPE – Accreditation Council for Pharmaceutical Education
AHLA – The American Health Lawyers Association
AIHP – American Institute of the History of Pharmacy
AMCP – Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy
APhA – American Pharmacists Association
ASAP – American Society for Automation in Pharmacy (awesome acronym, BTW)
ASCP – American Society of Consultant Pharmacists
ASCPT – American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics
ASHP – American Society of Health-System Pharmacists
ASOP – Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies
ASP – American Society of Pharmacognosy
ASPL – American Society for Pharmacy Law
BIO – Biotechnology Industry Organization
CPS – Controlled Release Society
CPNP – College of Psychiatric and Neurologic Pharmacists
DIA – Drug Information Association
FDLI – Food and Drug Law Institute
FIP – International Pharmaceutical Federation
HBA – Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association
HDMA – Healthcare Distribution Management Association
GPhA – Generic Pharmaceutical Association
HOPA – Hematology/Oncology Pharmacy Association
HIMSS – Healthcare Information Management Systems Society
IPhO – Industry Pharmacists Organization
ISOP – International Society of Pharmacometrics
ISOPP – International Society of Oncology Pharmacy Practitioners
ISPOR – International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research
NABP – National Association of Boards of Pharmacy
NACDS – National Association of Chain Drug Stores
NADDI – National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators
NASPA – National Alliance for State Pharmacy Associations
NAWP – National Association of Women Pharmacists (UK)
NCPA – National Community Pharmacists Association
PCCA – Professional Compounding Centers of America
PDA – Parenteral Drug Association
PhRMA – Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America
PPAG – Pediatric Pharmacy Advocacy Group
SIDP – Society of Infectious Diseases Pharmacists
TPA – The Pharmacy Alliance
USP – U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention

As I said, this is a lot of organizations that are national in scope.  I’m starting to see why pharmacists struggle with joining groups, organizations and societies, when there are so many to choose from.  It’s probably a mixed blessing.  All I do know is, one could make joining these and attending their events and meetings a full-time job now.

It’s complicated.  Just like healthcare.

A Few of My Favorite Things…in 2014

December 13th, 2014

As I’ve previously stated, 2014 was not my best year.  However, there were a few magical moments in it.  In an effort to record what those were, below I throw down a few of my own favorite things that I either discovered, read, or found in 2014.  These may not be new to the rest of the universe, but they were new to me this year, for the most part…

A Few of My Favorite Things in 2014:

Favorite new cityBilbao, Spain.  Best blend of the old and new I’ve ever witnessed in a city. Seriously, I can’t shut up about how cool this town is…if you ever get to go, GO!

Fave new social media platform – Props to YikYak.  God bless all the college students who use it to perfect their jokes and praise when it comes to college life.

Fave book – of my own? Easy. STEM Princess.  Of someone else’s? Hmm…I’d need to go with The Alliance by Reid Hoffman.  Not so much for the riveting stories or grammar, but because in this book, he’s marking a new trend which I think is going to be one, if not THE key to the future of work: affiliative work.  If you haven’t read this one and like to learn about trends before the rest of the universe, read it.  He’s on to something.

Fave projectCarrying on the #SMDames brand.  I think we’ve done a good job in establishing this brand unique to Indiana.  And while I’ve loved being a co-founder and starter of this project, I will not be participating as a planner in 2015 and beyond.  It has been an honor working with the amazing social media whiz herself, Ms. Amy Stark on this project, and I’m glad she’ll be carrying this brand’s torch forward in 2015 and beyond…it’s in good hands.  I also had the chance to start BU Well at work – I think that’s going to be a goodie for 2015. Stay. Tuned.

Fave changing of the guard – Easy. David Muir taking over the news desk at ABC.  You already know this if you follow me on Faceplace – lol! Seriously – dig their 1:30 minute face casts.  Brilliant.  It’s the one thing that may keep me on Facebook in 2015.

Fave training for the year – Tough call, and a tie here.  It’s between Mayo Clinic’s Social Media Residency and the ACE Women’s Leadership Forum.  Both were good, for different reasons.

Fave STEM areaQuantum physics – Working on STEM Princess this year got me beyond my four walls of science and forced me to learn more about ALL the areas of STEM.  And while computer science and engineering are the big pushes, props to quantum physics for being both the most fascinating and enigmatic areas of STEM for me personally.  That, and I still want. A. Teleporter!  Get on it, girls!

Fave talk of the year – Wow. This one is tough.  I really enjoyed talking about STEM at several venues this past year–at TechFest in Ft. Wayne, at an Indy Chamber panel, at Centric Indy, and Rotary in Indy as just a few examples.  There were also some awesome work talks too–social media, and why pharmacy students need to be involved in advocacy.  But I think my favorite talk this year wasn’t really a talk–it was a workshop.  A workshop on how to write books.  I loved this one the most, because I can help empower OTHER people to share their stories.  It’s just me if I’m writing a book.  But if I’m sharing how to write with others, the impact magnifies.  Shout out to NaShara Mitchell over at Studio B for making this one happen for the Indy community.

Fave failure – let’s end on a humbling note, shall we?  There are a LOT here to choose from (mountains, literally), but I’d have to say my favorite failure this year was Kickstarter campaign #2 for STEM Princess. Although, I’m not totally sure classifying this as a failure is entirely accurate…because it will not deter me from continuing the books along the STEM Princess story lines…

Let’s see what 2015 brings!

Social Media Dames (#SMDames14 #Indy #FAIL): The Results Are In!

December 10th, 2014

I was a pretty good kid today and got most of my homework done.  So, I wanted to put a post out from results of our exit survey from #SMDames14 #Indy #FAIL – because I’m a data nerd. Like. That! I have two slides for you.

Social Media Dames Unconference Indy FAIL 11/20/14 Exit Survey Data on Social Media Platforms from Erin Albert
The first one above is merely a polling of the audience about what they are already using in terms of social media platforms, those that they were willing to try now after the conference, and those they just haven’t decided to play in quite yet.  It’s fascinating to me why people choose what social media platforms to play in. Take for example the new college phenomenon, Yik Yak.  The women from Dames aren’t really going to use or try that platform; however, I know the college set is flocking to it, Instagram and Snapchat like the holy trinity. FASCINATING!
Now, the second slide, which looks specifically at crowdfunding:

Social Media Dames Unconference 2014 Indy FAIL 11/20/14 – Exit Survey on Crowdfunding platforms used from Erin Albert
It appears that Indiegogo may have the corner on the market with our audience, but I find it interesting that many women won’t even be “going” towards crowdfunding.  Sad, considering that this method of raising funds for business and projects is a place where women entrepreneurs actually beat the boys in many cases.  And, honestly, I myself never even heard of Plum until this conference, and I’ve now chugged through 2 crowdfunding campaigns of my own (1 success, 1 failure).
What did I learn from all this?  Well, the same problem I find with most new items I learn about–I just have more questions.  But that’s OK.  In the interim, enjoy this data – and think about your own social media policies.  Where are you going to play? Where are you not going online, and most fascinating of all–WHY are you making the choices and decisions you are making in the first place?

&*$@ Yeah!

December 9th, 2014

YESNo, the front end of this blog post is not a typo.

And those of you who know me well that when I get the hint from the universe 3 times, it’s time to post on something. So here it is!

I was reading just this week a friend’s faceplace post (BTW, thanks, faceplace, for stating that you have post search now, but it isn’t working very well yet), of an article entitled F*** (henceforth &*$@) Yeah!  Since the friend is not someone who normally posts blogs with obscene words in the title, I was intrigued enough to read it.

The article talked a lot about how people make decisions whether or not to be part of something.  The poster of the blog argued that, if deciding between doing something and not doing something, it shouldn’t just be a yes or no.  It should be a resounding, unequivocal &*$@ Yeah! before saying yes to something.

This morning, I got dressed.  Today, I fully committed to wearing all red.  I tried other combos – but I wanted to be 100% rocking red pretty much from head to toe.  Maybe it was the season or holiday coming up, but regardless, I was fully committed to the color.

Third time I received the message today – when one of my friends from law school and former EIC of law review, Melissa K. came in to talk to the BU Well students, she basically told them her best advice was to do soul searching over the holiday break to make sure they really wanted to participate in healthcare review, because it’s not something you half-do.  You have to fully commit to it.  You’re either 100% in, or you’re out.

The more I think about it and thought about it all day, the more I agree.  If faced with an opportunity, is the answer to “Do I really want to do this?” a

  • no,
  • a yes, or
  • a &*$@ yeah! ?

If you’re on the fence, remember–life is short.  Time is finite.  Why would you do something you’re lukewarm about? Lukewarm feelings translate into lukewarm results.  And who wants tepid results? Do you want to choose your friends or your significant other based upon tepid feelings?

As I plan ahead for 2015 – I’m going to trifurcate my opportunities moving forward using this advice.  And, while sometimes we don’t get to pick whether or not we’re in or out on something, moving forward, if it’s an optional item in my life AND  if it’s not a &*$@ yeah! in my mind, I’m just not going there.

I challenge you to consider the same.

The LinkedIn/Slideshare Professional Journey

December 7th, 2014

Anyone else tried this yet? Not sure about it. You can create your very own here.

Professional Journey – Erin Albert from Erin Albert