My name: LuLu Yang
My company: Genentech/Roche
My title: People & Organization Capabilities Strategy Leader
My location: South San Francisco, California
Best business advice I ever received: To build a high-performing team, you’ll need to work together, play together, and break bread together. This advice has served me well, as you get to know who you’re working with and create a shared sense of accountability to one another on a personal level that builds real trust to accomplish great things.
Most daring personal career move: Taking a two-year break from the corporate world and then starting a consulting business with my husband that ran for 16 years. Both of us were working crazy hours on executive teams of two different dot-coms. When we were able to have dinners together, they were at a restaurant named Oliveto’s at 9:25 PM, before the last call. We knew our priorities were totally screwed up when during one of these late dinners I realized that I had not seen my parents for over six months! They lived just five miles away ... not 5,000 miles away! We were so caught up in chasing the financial dream that we lost sight of what was really important in life.
What I’m most proud of: Taking the two-year break to travel/sail the world with my husband, and having a son during that time. During our dinners at Oliveto’s we started to dream about sailing around the world. After many brainstorms we decided to fly around the world with six boat charters for a year, calling our adventure “The Best Way Going Upwind Is on a 747.” Right after we paid for everything we found out that I was pregnant! So the updated plan was three sailing destinations for six months instead. My parents, relatives, and friends were able to join parts of our adventure along the way. I stayed home after my son was born and didn’t have to worry about rushing back to work. It was the best decision ever!
Current workplace challenge: Acceleration of changes from digital/disruptive technologies and companies. We’ve developed a strategy to meet evolving business needs and be future-ready, but words are easy. Now the hard work starts as we actively prepare the workforce/organization with the right skills, knowledge, behaviors, and mindset to meet the challenges along the way.
Something people don’t know about me: I was on Food Network’s Food Fight, a show that lasted only one season in the early days of reality TV cooking competitions.