What’s Your CorePurpose? How will you achieve it?


This week, Tuesday in fact, I have my first BIG meeting as the President and CEO of AZBIO, the Arizona BioIndustry Association.  It’s probably the most important meeting we will have all year – the first phase of our strategic planning process.

There will be other important events and meetings through out the year, but this one lays the foundation for what we will do and who we will do it for.

You see, unlike a for-profit corporation who can choose who they serve, (customers, employees, or shareholders) our CorePurpose is clearly defined.  As a 501c6 membership association – we have one prime directive – to serve our members.  They are why we exist – thus Creating Value For Our Members Is AZ Bio’s CorePurpose.

Who we are.

AZBio is a community made up of member organizations in business, research, government, and other professions involved in biosciences from across the state of Arizona and in partnership with leading organizations across the country.

What we do. (Our Mission)

As the unified voice of the bioscience industry in Arizona, AZBio strives to make Arizona an environment where bioscience organizations can grow and succeed.  We…

  • create a forum for the bioscience community to join together
  • educate policy makers and the public
  • advance the economic interests of individual organizations as well as the sector as a whole

How we do it. (Our Values)

  • Listen to our Members
  • Communicate with Policy Makers and Key Influencers
  • Connect organizations and resources across the state, the country and the world
  • Take Action to meet Member needs
  • Measure Results

Getting Ready for the BIG meeting

An evening at US Airways Center cheering for the Phoenix Suns

Since coming on board on March 21, 2011, I have been visiting with Members (and potential members too) and listening to what they can teach me about how AZBIO can serve them better.  Sometimes it was a formal meeting  with one of our committees or groups.   Others times we got together in a less formal setting like when a friend of AZBio lent us their box at the Suns game and I got to spend the evening  learning from 11 different people from across our community including  John Hoffman of QMR. (People love to be listened to.  See how he is smiling in the picture above.)  I have a lot more learning to do.  In these early days, I have been listening to the key players on the court, our Board of Directors, incredible supporters like The Flinn Foundation and BIO and others that are close in.  Tonight, on the eve of the BIG meeting, I get to meet with many more as we host An Evening with the BioSciences at the Arizona Science Center and get the latest update on our Arizona BioScience Roadmap from Walt Plosila of Battelle. So far I have just gotten a taste, there is lots more listening to do.  With over 800 bioscience companies in Arizona, not to mention even more across our ecosystem – the people I need to listen too would overflow the US Airways Center and then some!

It’s almost time

As a leaders, we never stop listening.  But after listening comes planning and action.  That’s why Tuesday’s meeting is so BIG.  Together with AZBio’s leaders we are mapping out our plan of action for the days ahead and getting ready to execute on that plan.

We’ll be asking and answering  7 key questions to identify any critical gaps in our strategy execution processes, focus on the most important choices we must make, and understand what’s at stake so we can get everyone across our ecosystem on the team.

And, through it all, we will be keeping one thing top of mind –  Creating Value For Our Members Is AZ Bio’s CorePurpose.

So that’s what I have planned for this week.  What’s on your calendar?

Thanks for stopping by.  Stay tuned…

Joan Koerber-Walker



Joan Koerber-Walker is President and CEO of AZBio, the Arizona BioIndustry Association.  A two time Stevie Award National Finalist and former Fortune 500 executive, she is also the  Chairman of the Board of CorePurpose, Inc. and the Opportunity Through Entrepreneurship Foundation and serves as Executive in Residence for Callaman Ventures.  As the former CEO of the Arizona Small Business Association and a past member of the Board of Trustees of the National Small Business Association in Washington, D.C. she has worked with hundreds of small businesses and on behalf of thousands.  Chat with her on Twitter as @joankw, @JKWgrowth, @JKWinnovation, @JKWleadership and @CorePurpose or at her blog at www.JoanKoerber-Walker.com.

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