Advice to Innovate by: Feeling stuck? Make something better

Laura Huenneke, PhD,  Vice President for Academic Affiars and Provost of Northern Arizona University, recently shared a great post for students titled “Feeling stuck? Make something better” on her NAU Blog.

It’s a message that can benefit all of us.

Dr. Laura Huenneke, Provost, Northern Arizona University

Dr. Laura Huenneke
Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost, Northern Arizona University

As the end of the year seems to approach at an ever increasing rate, students are not the only ones that can get a case of the “winter doldrums.”  In the bioscience industry we live in a world of “big projects” many of which take years of effort to complete.

Going the distance and staying true to our vision and our goals can as Dr. Tom Grogan says “change the human experience” but from time to time we all need an infusion of energy to get things moving forward faster again.

Here’s what I took away from Dr. Huenneke’s post:

We can all we feel “stuck” only partway through the projects that seemed so exciting back at the start…  but take so long to finish.  Too frequently, when the “doldrums hit”  we interpret the feeling as a personal failure—“my fault that I’ve run out of enthusiasm and momentum”—when in reality it is a common phenomenon.

Huenneke offers great advice on how can we keep moving through these doldrums:

First, it helps to formally take stock of one’s progress. What has been launched? What has succeeded? What new habit or technique has been incorporated?….

…Second, this is a great time to think about the big tasks that have not yet moved along. To which of these might you recommit, perhaps with some adjustments, in order to make progress by the end of term?….

…Third, take the opportunity to make something better, even if only by expressing an informed opinion or taking a few moments to offer feedback.


Our industry is one of innovation and that by definition is doing something in a new way to make something better.

At AZBio, we are here to help you do big things.  Let us know how we can help.


— Joan Koerber-Walker, president and ceo, the Arizona Bioindustry Association (AZBio)

Posted in AZBio News.