For years working in a large Irish hospital as a clinical nurse specialist in Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), she provided support, encouragement, and advocacy for her many patients. More importantly, she was able to help empower her patients to actively self-manage their disease (where appropriate), as well as help them advocate for rapid access to necessary medical information and clinical care.
“As an IBD nurse specialist, the patient was central to the work I did,” O’Brien recalls. “Wanting the best for every single patient, I was an ambassador on their behalf to ensure my patients’ care package always reflected that.”
One of the biggest life lessons learned from her many years in the medical field: everyone has the power within to become an agent for cultural change. With a little passion, and a lot of determination, her years in nursing taught her to embrace her inner ambassador, resulting in positive change for those patients lucky enough to be in her care.
Currently spending her days as a senior brand manager of rheumatology at AbbVie, and extracurricular hours as an Ireland-based culture ambassador, she maintains this unique vision of being a devoted advocate for others. She continues to use her caregiving ‘superpowers’ to help guide and empower AbbVie employees to become the champions of culture the company aspires each to be.
How exactly do Loretta and her fellow culture ambassadors accomplish this seemingly daunting task? The company provides her and her colleagues worldwide with a unique platform to make possibilities real via the company’s AbbVie Way Ambassadors, advisors whose sole purpose is to ensure culture remains priority number one throughout the halls of AbbVie.
The AbbVie Way Ambassador (AWA) program provides an internal network across AbbVie with a unique opportunity to align, promote and nurture a foundation of culture and to reinforce the company’s core Principles. It not only provides insight into the diversity and culture at different AbbVie locations, but also helps to foster engagement and amplification of culture across the organization.
A global team of diverse, highly engaged employees, AWA’s are, at heart, champions of culture. Tasked with going above and beyond their busy day jobs, and armed with the necessary tools and resources, AWA’s are expected to assess gaps and define plans to execute the enterprise strategy of amplifying and driving culture at both the global and local levels.
To become an AWA is no easy feat. Candidates are assessed against a rigorous set of qualifications and competencies to ensure ambassadors are strong culture leaders and exemplars of the company’s core behaviors. Duties include anything from reinforcing AbbVie’s core set of behaviors; to partnering with leadership on localizing global initiatives; exchanging insights and best practices across the AWA network; and highlighting successes and elevating support needed to address challenges.
Currently boasting more than 140 members, with representation from 46 countries and across all functions, this group of qualified leaders serve as role models and catalysts on the ground (locally) to ultimately help drive the desired culture.
At AbbVie, how employees work to achieve results matters. Behaviors matter. The company’s cultural framework is not only rooted in who AbbVie is as a company (mission, vision, and core Principles), but is reflected in how each individual shows up to work every single day. The company culture is meant to guide the way 47,000 employees around the world work, innovate, collaborate, and treat one another; it reflects the company’s collective set of voices and enables the company as a whole to have a remarkable impact on lives of patients worldwide.