Monday, October 30, 2017

'Invisible Work' and the California Stem Cell Agency

At one point in its history, the $3 billion California stem cell agency had only about as many employees as a 24-hour Burger King, probably fewer.

Today it is has 46 workers, most of whom labor behind the scenes, rarely visible to the public. They do what I call "invisible work." That means you only see it when it goes away. Then the job that once was performed very well with little notice draws great and sometimes anxious attention because the work -- all of a sudden -- is not getting done.

Last week the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), as the agency is formally known, to its credit moved to recognize some of those workers, which the agency calls team members.

Todd Dubnicoff, CIRM's multimedia editor, posted an item on the agency blog, The Stem Cellar, headlined,
"Meet Team CIRM: The People Behind the Mission to Save Lives."
Dubnicoff wrote,
"I don’t have the word space in this blog to introduce you to them all so, for today, say hello to a few of our 2017 CIRM Game Ball winners. At our quarterly Team meetings, we honor and celebrate members whose efforts reflect our 'All In' culture with this award."
They ranged from Lilia Leal, a finance officer, to Paul Webb, a senior science officer. Webb received his game ball for completing 40 of the important clinical advisory panel sessions in less than six months. Leal won her ball for reducing grant payment time by 30 days. 

We recommend the Dubnicoff item if you want to improve, however slightly, your understanding of CIRM and how it tries to make science happen. And congratulations to all the Game Ball winners. 

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