In this episode, Thad Davis, Senior Managing Director, interviews Dr. Nadine Hachach-Haram, CEO and Founder of Proximie. We learn about her formative years in post-civil war Lebanon, how that sparked Nadine’s love for medicine, and the future of surgery.Read Transcript
Welcome to Perspectives, SVB Securities’ signature podcast, where we share our insights and interview leaders across the industry to get their perspective on how they’re driving innovation. We’ll also be digging into the backstory to learn more about what has most influenced their success. Be sure to check out all episodes by SVB Securities.
Thad Davis: Hello, I’m Thad Davis, senior managing director here at SVB Securities, and it’s my pleasure to be joined here by Nadine Hachach-Haram. I’ve been excited to speak to you because I ran into Proximie and you years ago, and then I’ve spent a little time with your team, and I think this is one of the most amazing companies I’ve seen in a long time. You’re actually one of the most successful, most innovative companies in the, in this category, but we’ll get to that. I can geek out about the company all day. I wanted to understand a little bit more about your formative experiences, how that’s sort of driven the need for innovation. You’re one of the most international like people I’ve run into. You’re in the UK currently, but you also split time between there and Lebanon as well. Walk me through that. You grew up in Lebanon and then UK and then US? How is that bridged?
Dr. Nadine Hachach-Haram: So, I was born in California, lived there until I was about nine or ten, and my family’s originally from Lebanon. A story for another time is I actually have Spanish heritage as well. My, my grandmother’s Spanish. But, uh, for today’s focus, we’ll, we’ll talk about, you know, the, the bulk of my family’s from Beirut, Lebanon, and, and the south of Lebanon. And I grew up in San Diego. It’s, it’s gorgeous, uh, great place to grow up, but my family and parents always felt that they wanted us to move back to connect with our culture, with our, you know, with our extended family and, and really get some time getting exposure to that part of the world. So, we were about ten or eleven, uh, when we moved back. Moving to, uh, postwar Lebanon in the early nineties is quite a culture shock. It was just emerging from the Civil War. Lots of challenges with the basics, you know, getting access to electricity and water and medication.
Thad Davis: That was a time of like infrastructure rebuild, it was like a reformed government, you know, substantial large international presence there to basically reprop up the country and you move there during this, that is the time that the family’s like, “We’re going back now”.
Dr. Nadine Hachach-Haram: This is the time to go back. Exactly. In hindsight, I thank them every day for doing that. I’m one of four girls and we’re moving back into this environment where it was really challenging, but it taught us so much. With all those hardships that I described. There was also so much joy and so much opportunity. The family infrastructure and network is very strong there.
Thad Davis: That’s like an overlook thing about sort of just the, the Lebanese culture. Despite the difficult times to say the least of the war, its geopolitical place, that culture has mustered through because of that sort of warmth and community.
Dr. Nadine Hachach-Haram: And I think that’s why they’ve survived so many, so many ups and downs, civil war, neighboring wars, financial crises, one after the other. It continues. But there’s an incredible resilience. And so, moving into an environment where you are surrounded by people that are resilient, that are family first, people focused, was fantastic. And you know, I, I loved growing up there. I, I learned a lot. I took a lot of things, you know, you start to value things that you take for granted. I can’t ignore the fact that I saw things that probably most young teenagers didn’t see. There were times within the nineties where there was stability and there was times where there was no stability. You look at 96 and the Grapes of Wrath War, those moments where you know it was life or death, you know, you didn’t know if you were gonna make it till the next day. Um, my mom was from a very small town in the south of Lebanon called Qana. It’s a very well-known village, and so you see those disparities and I think it, it, it makes you think about your purpose in life and the role you wanna play in the world.
Thad Davis: How did that come about? Because exposure to this sort of environment of need and help kind of gets embedded into you. How do you drive that forward into, “I’m gonna go be a doctor at that point?” Did you have that thought where you’re like, you’re sitting around and you’re like, “I’m 17, and I’m like, Yeah, I’m gonna be a doctor?” Or was like, “I know I want to do something to help?”
Dr. Nadine Hachach-Haram: So, I grew up in a very matriarchal household. My grandmother was a very strong voice. She was a big philanthropist, did a lot of work helping women and children, widows from the war, helping families that couldn’t even get enough food and, and all those different things. So, you saw that every single day. So, it starts to influence your, that empathy muscle that helping others muscle. So, at that point, I started to think to myself, well, I, I really wanna help others. It, it really feels great when you see others doing well or doing better because you were able to sort of influence their life, and I think it was largely influenced by her. I’m so proud that I’ve been able to pass that on to my kids as well. I think it’s a really important thing to be able to do when you expose your family, and she was exposing us to just the variability of lifestyles that people have and, and removing us from a perhaps some more supportive bubble that, that we were in. And, and so she exposed us to a lot of that. And it was, I was 14 when the Grapes of Wrath War happened, you know, I was 14 and I saw firsthand the blast injuries, the trauma, the deaths, and I, I was traumatized. I still remember watching it on the TV, seeing what’s happening, it’s my mother’s village in the 96 Qana Massacre and it’s an, you know, there’s moments in your life that just stick with you and the sad part is when you grow up in those environments, the death is awful, but you become a bit numb to it. It’s so awful to say. But perhaps those who’ve grown up in those environments may also agree with me. I think the bit that really hurts and you kind of like it, it, it sits with you. It, it stops you from sleeping, from eating is when you see the morbidity. The people who have survived those blast injuries and those traumas but are, are still alive, but they’re missing limbs, they’ve got burns contracture.
Thad Davis: That’s kind of the interesting thing. It’s, there’s two ways to approach service and empathy, in my view. You can either go bulk or you can go individual. I think that you’ve expanded through what you’re doing with the company, et cetera. You’ve expanded the capability to scale and transport delivery so there’s kind of a thread here, but the initial thought for you was, “I’m going to go be”, becoming a doctor is no small task. And so, you’re like, “How do I help this person?” And you, you can do that, but it’s a time boxed format, so you’re a smart person. Why not go into like policy, government, other sort of bulk economic capabilities? Why doctor, at that point?
Dr. Nadine Hachach-Haram: It’s a great question and I think the journey from kind of from the one to one to one to many is almost the evolution that I’ve gone through in my career. And that’s why I still practice medicine because there is an element of the satisfaction of the one to one, but there is a moment where you are sitting in a clinic or in an OR and you have that one patient that you are solely focused on helping that one individual. And there’s something incredibly satisfying about that selflessness of, “I’m here to serve you and I’m here to help you have a better outcome.” I love it. It’s so satisfying. It’s a selflessness that is just beyond explaining. Now, when I was 14, that was like my dream in life. Like nothing is gonna give me more joy than that feeling every single day. I went to medical school, I started to work in global health because I wanted to help more people.
Thad Davis: Already, you were beginning to sort of scale at that point were you thinking, “I like this feeling, I need to multiply this feeling?” You could’ve gone hardcore into being a doctor and gone like, deep technician, “I’m going to be the number one world expert in surgical procedure X, and that will deliver incredible value to people one by one.” But you went the other way, “I need to scale or distribute this feeling and this ability to provide service.” Was it, is this just sort of like; this is how it was? Or was there like a catalytic moment?
Dr. Nadine Hachach-Haram: I like the way you frame it because it was never about me. It was never about, “I need to be the best at this, or I need to be the best about that.” It was never, ever, and has never been about me. It was always about, and maybe that’s because of my upbringing, maybe it’s because of the environment I grew up in where you think, “I don’t know how much time I have on this world.” You end up building this kind of framework in your mind that, you know, every day could be my last, So I need to make as much impact and help as many people as I can in whatever short period of time I have in this world. So that was, I think, probably what was going on in the back of my mind. And so, for me, as I started to do global health, as I started to work within the NHS here, as I started to, you know, reach out to colleagues, I was so frustrated. I mean, for the first 10 years it was great. You know, we were going out, we were helping groups, we were really helping to try and build sustainability and scalability in surgical care. But there was a moment in 2014, and I’d been traveling a lot. I mean, I was pregnant with my third kid and so I was like trying to do this struggle, which I’ve always trying to do, and you know, I don’t always get it right, but it was okay. I was, I was pregnant. I’d just come back from Vietnam. I was helping medical device companies scale and train nurses on new products and I, I found myself in this kind of whirlwind of just constant travel. I was on the road all the time and the Lancet Commission had just come out, or there was word that it was gonna come out with a report that said 5 billion people around the world lack access to safe surgery. So, it’s two thirds of the world’s population. Equally here in the NHS and, and in the US and others, there was new research coming out almost on a monthly basis showing the lack of transparency in surgery, the high amount of variation, variability, patients getting different experiences in different hospitals. And I kind of found myself sitting in my OR, it was 2014, and I was thinking to myself, “What are we doing?” “How are we gonna solve this problem?” We cannot magically create and codify surgery the way it needs to be to help 5 billion people.
Thad Davis: Yeah. That’s some of this transformation here, which ultimately you went down the company and the technical route with Proximie. This comes back to almost like it’s a clinical pathway issue. Reframing what you said, there are people that have significant limb style problems and other problems from a surgical perspective, and there is not a consistent application of clinical pathways around the best treatment. Doing that requires you to bring somebody somewhere, train them, hopefully they have the right repetitions, and actually repeat that in the field, versus stepping into the arena with the person where they are.
Dr. Nadine Hachach-Haram: It’s drawn from the genesis. If you go back to the history of surgery, I mean, surgery’s an apprenticeship. That that’s what it is. I mean, it’s always been, it’s been “see one, do one, teach one”. If you go back to the pictures of the old operating theaters and like Mass Gen or, or these hospitals, it’s about people sitting around like in an amphitheater type environment and at the center of that room at the bottom is a surgical team doing a procedure. I always talk about the three Cs. It was built on this premise of communication, collaboration, and co-presence. One of the great things about surgery, you know why I chose surgery over, you know, being a physician is that I love that kind of team camaraderie in surgery. The team effort, we’re all here at the service of the patient on the table. Whether it’s anesthesiologist, it’s a surgeon, it’s a scrub nurse, it’s the team. We’re all here together. So there, there’s some beauty in the birth of surgeon and how it was designed. The challenge is it hasn’t adapted with time. We shove lots of people in an operating room and we hope they’re all gonna learn surgery the same way and they gonna take the skills back to their operating rooms and they’re gonna deliver surgery in a codified way.
Thad Davis: Hopefully. Hopefully. Hopefully.
Dr. Nadine Hachach-Haram: When you say, “see one, do one, teach one”, Therein lies the challenge. It’s siloed, it’s disconnected, it’s about a moment in time, and we don’t capture surgery or data or information in that operating room in a way that can help us review, repeat. I always talk about the three P’s, like how do we shift this model of “see one, do one, teach one” to a digitally connected, enabled, prepare, perform, perfect. And there are analogies in other industries. I look at the airline industry and how they’ve codified SIM training.
Thad Davis: I’ve been around clients that have in the aerospace world where they’re training you on the fly, but there’s also companies out there that are actually sitting there where the specialty jet engine repair person is sitting next to the generalist repair person in a telepresence environment, or they’re working on a multi multimillion dollar air engine. That’s more bringing expertise in a slow environment versus critical operational needs at the point there. I mean, this is, Proximie and what you’ve achieved sort of from the get-go till now is quite a leap forward in terms of that. And now as you’ve scaled the product, now you’re getting into pushing education and the repetitive aspects, you’re like, “Okay, we’ve done enough of this. Now let’s actually to both. We will be put you in there, but also, we can teach you.”
Dr. Nadine Hachach-Haram: And I think you’re right, and I think there’s analogies in, in other sectors and, and we can learn and lean from that because. I adore my job. I mean, I would literally do it day in, day out till the day I die. Absolutely love medicine. I love looking after patients, but we have to recognize like healthcare is complex. You know, the systems around it are complex. Um, the, the layers and the bureaucracy and developed health systems can be challenging. You know, we only need to look to the US healthcare system or the, some of the European healthcare systems and, and they have challenges, but within those challenges are incredible opportunities to disrupt and change and deliver. The status quo more of the same isn’t gonna work. The supply demand gap in healthcare is consistently growing. We need more doctors, more nurses, more clinical workforce to deliver care for patients. They’re living longer, they’re gonna need more. We need to think about how do we address that in a different way? Of course, we could sit here and talk for hours about, well, how do we enhance more preventative care than reactive care than reactive care? And in all those different things, which I’m a big proponent of in general, I believe, you know, digitization and disruption of healthcare is necessary. But I also recognize that I can’t fix all of it, but I could try and focus and fix on an area that I know intimately well, which is OR and surgery. And so how do we think about removing that capacity in that room, driving more data? When you’re doing a case, you know, why aren’t we recording every surgical case and learning from it and sharing it? How do we start to think about the, OR as an, as an environment where we connect and collect and activate knowledge and data and learning, not just for the procedure for the patient, but for the whole hospital? How can we understand better operative workflow? How can we understand better instrumentation use? How do we understand human factors and how teams work together and what’s gonna make them work better together and what’s gonna help produce the challenges there as well?
Thad Davis: Yeah, I mean, it’s two things here. It’s the opportunity for you and Proximie and, and the team to unlock the standardization, my words, the standardization of the operating suite from clinical delivery flow and other things, and then do that through sort of a presence and educational format as one thing. The thing that’s interesting, listening to you and reading what you’ve written, this is one, one of the better health equity platforms out there. This is actually a very specific application and study of health equity distribution because the person that walks into the room, patient, deserves to see the same, the best possible treatment no matter where they are in the world, no matter who they are. And by Proximie coming in and doing this or assisting the people in the room at that point, it improves the health outcomes for everybody that walks in.
Dr. Nadine Hachach-Haram: You know from my perspective, I think every patient deserves the best care the first time, every time. The concepts of like traditional bricks and mortar healthcare that you have to travel miles and miles and miles to get to the one hospital where the one team is able to deliver is, is so antiquated. We have great people that want to elevate and raise their expertise to deliver care to their local patients. And patients don’t wanna travel miles and miles away. They wanna stay close to home, close to family, closer to support infrastructure or cannot even afford it.
Thad Davis: Can’t afford it. That that’s, that’s like people don’t realize, like if you can like just bridge that, like there are companies that are tackling transportation around that. How about we just simply go, we’ll just step over that.
Dr. Nadine Hachach-Haram: And how do we think about the workforce optimization? Because if all the expertise is sitting with 10% of the clinical teams in these big bricks and mortar hospitals. Well, what about all the other clinical teams? What I always say is “How do you force multiply the expertise of those individuals to all the other peripheral units, the community hospitals, the district general hospitals, the ASCs, or whatever the setup is?”
Thad Davis: We’re having effectively a, a managerial science discussion like around processes and multiplicative leverage, et cetera, operating leverage. How did you come about this naturally? We’re way down the time in motion sort of discussion route here. You’re not formally trained in like management science or something like that, are you?
Dr. Nadine Hachach-Haram: No. Although my husband and I joked when I was, uh, I think I was just finishing medical school. I said, “I’d really love to go get an MBA.” He’s like, “Not another degree. Like enough.”
Thad Davis: The way you organize your calendar, are you like banging out a degree on the weekends?
Dr. Nadine Hachach-Haram: I’ll just add it on. I’ll just add it on. Exactly. I’m just a lifelong learner. I love stretching myself, putting myself in environments beyond my comfort zone and just trying to see how can I learn? And, and part of it is I’m a tactile person, so I kind of like to learn while doing. And a part of it is just listening and, and not being shy to ask questions. So, I would turn up to conferences where no one knows me and I would just walk up to people and say, “You know, I wanna ask you a question about this, or Have you got five minutes for me?” And I’m just not afraid to ask the questions. And I think equally, you know, I listen to podcasts. I’m trying to read books, like I’m just trying to educate myself on the space. But I think there’s an element of instinct as well. You know, I have a gut instinct around things.
Thad Davis: When you’re this absorbed it, it’s like, are you getting seven hours of sleep at night? You’re like, “I’m one of those people that can need four hours at night?”
Dr. Nadine Hachach-Haram: No, I’m not a seven hour. I’m very lucky. My father’s the same. To be fair, I mean. I think it runs in the family, so my father’s the same. I think I’ve inherited that from him. I function very well on four to five hours of sleep.
Thad Davis: There’s a lot of studies that show that there, there are people that can absorb a huge amount of information, and generally that’s tied to a sleep factor that is genetically passed down where they simply do not need to digest that much sleep and they can process information, hence you here. Coming back around on the telepresence thing, I wrote down a question. I’d love to get your perspective on robotics for a second. I’ve spoken to your team at the company about this. I’ve raised this and it used to be not so on the radar, and the team has been, I’ve been talking to them a little bit more about this and they’re like, “It’s starting to get interesting.” But what, what do you think about like, like literally tele robotics or something, a mashup between the two worlds? Where do you think that world’s going?
Dr. Nadine Hachach-Haram: It’s a great question and I’ve been in a very fortunate position over the last number of years to have been involved in, in some strategic work that leans into robotics as well. So, one of the things I did a few years ago was I was involved in a white paper that was written here in the UK on the future of surgery. And what we were doing, and this is back in 2018, is we were outlining what were gonna be those really disruptive technologies that were gonna reframe or reshape the future of surgery. And naturally, you know, AR, VR, we’re in there, data, you know, big data, genomics, 3D printing, and robotics was one of them. Not in a sense that it was going to replace clinical teams, but how would it augment clinical teams? How could we do more with the teams that we have? And I would say we’re on, we’re still in the very early stages of robotics and surgery. I mean, there’s obviously intuitive and they’ve done a great job in the last 10 years grabbing market share. But we’re seeing many new robots coming to market that are trying to expand the repertoire and expand the portfolio of robots. But even then, we still have a lot of potential where we go with that. I don’t ever envisage a world where, all of surgery will be automated by a machine, and I, I see it’s a more of a, it’s like a symbiosis or an augmentation between the human hand and the robotic hand, but there definitely are parts of a procedure that could be done by a robot. If you’re closing up a wound or plumbing two vessels together. Maybe it’s a surgeon that’s dissecting and prepping and getting those vessels close to each other, but maybe it’s a robot that’s just zipping it up, so to speak, or stitching the vessels together to have it in a very codified and standardized way. And there are already early prototypes of such things in labs.
Thad Davis: Oh yeah. I’ve seen a number of these companies. It’s a very interesting hyper specialized tech. So, every robot has its specialty.
Dr. Nadine Hachach-Haram: But this is where, uh, I think the intersection of Proximie and these solutions becomes powerful because what Proximie has done, it has, it has taken an analog environment, the OR, which has been analog for decades, and it has translated it into a digital operating system. So, when Proximie sitting at the center, it is at the nexus of people, products, and the patient, right? Sitting there. So, if you think about, imagine that Proximie has laid the piping, the piping that is enabling us to aggregate and capture data and information around the room, the patient, the outcomes, the device. As you start to process that, then you can move that to a robot and then you can start thinking, “Okay, how can Proximie power these robots?”, “How can Proximie power the OR in a different way?” And so, we’re having a lot of discussions with robotics companies, new robotics companies that are up and coming that want that interface, that want an intersection between a digital continuum of data and people and process and the actual physical device itself, and that’s gonna be a really interesting future of surgery.
Thad Davis: I’ve met with most of the major robotics companies. I’ve spoken to the engineers of these companies and, and that’s why I sought your opinion, because Proximie does feel and is positioned. There’s never gonna be a robot that’s gonna do a complete procedure perfectly or not, not within our lifetime. I mean, maybe fingers crossed, I mean, that would be great, but can you imagine like having a robot, so there’s a, a doctor in the room, a doctor at Proxmie, they’ve also been reviewed the library of the prior procedures, and then there’s a robot not doing the procedure, but watching and actually making recommendations based on the prior procedures that Proximie has been involved in.
Dr. Nadine Hachach-Haram: And we’re already heading in that direction with proxy, because when we talk about the three pillars of Proximie, it’s about telepresence. That’s the kind of the, the wedge. That’s how you get clinical teams comfortable with, you know, video, audio, recording, because it’s enabling immediate value. It’s not just there because someone told you you have to record the case. It’s actually how we’re scaling and supporting and improving access to training, access to care, access to expertise. But on the back end of it, every case is being recorded, not just the case, but the whole room view as well. Now you’re starting to create content and you’re able to manage that content. How do I edit this video? How do I share this video? How do I engage with others within my surgical community? Once you have that, you can then build the third pillar, which is the data insights, the actionable insights. So, if I’m doing a procedure, and the system can either prop up a similar procedure from six months ago and say, you know, this is a very similar procedure. This is what the physicians did, or you start to think about all the opportunities.
Thad Davis: When we were setting up the podcast here, that sort of clicked with me. Eventually there’s gonna be enough acquired data and enough acquired experience at the company where that’s a, actually an unbelievable data reservoir. And then there’s so many next generation applications to that where you can do all sorts of human tech, human interface, stuff like that. The down the road opportunity, clearly, I’m expressing what the venture capitalists saw in the last round of financing, so it’s easy.
Dr. Nadine Hachach-Haram: It’s exciting because we don’t have to be all of it. I, I mean, I, I, I’m loving your enthusiasm. And, and from our perspective, the most important thing ultimately is if, if you build that strong operating system that is hardware neutral, that is vendor neutral, that is sitting in the interface between all the different devices. I mean, walk into any hospital today, there’s no hospital that has every single OR fitted and kitted the same way. There’s different equipments, there’s different sets. That’s just a reality of it. And so, if you’re able to be a vendor neutral application that is compatible with everything, you’re there sort of sitting at it. And so, when you start to think about, “Okay, what role do we have to play then?” It’s not just about what I just described, the telepresence, the content management data insights. It’s “How do we enable other point solutions that are specific, looking at one piece of the puzzle to integrate with us and access that same reservoir of data so that we can continuously enhance and optimize that digitization of the environment?” And we have to be collaborative. I think anyone who sits at the table and says, “I’m gonna do all of it.” There’s an element of arrogance there because having been in hospitals and done, you know, thousands and thousands of hours in the OR, there has to be an element of humility. We cannot fix it all on our own. We have to work and integrate with partners and collaborators to solve this problem, this hugely necessary problem that needs to be solved.
Thad Davis: As we kind of wind down the discussion here, I had a couple other things. One, I speak to a lot of people in my day-to-day life, and your work capacity is amazing. How do you organize your time every day? Do you organize that? Do you have a team that organizes it? The amount of throughput that you get in, in a relaxed manner as well. What is the secret? What’s the secret? What’s the secret?
Dr. Nadine Hachach-Haram: There’s, uh, let’s see. What are the secrets? Well, first of all, incredibly lucky to be very well supported by family. I think that’s really, really important. I, I, it’s one thing I tell, you know, often a lot of people say, you know what, what are the, the key things? I always say, just make sure you have a support infrastructure, whoever it may be. It could be a, a group of friends, it could be family, it could be mentors. And for me, I’ve been very fortunate. I have brilliant parents with three and three sisters who have always rallied behind me. I have a fantastic husband who’s incredibly supportive and, and three kids that are my cheerleaders that just rally me along through it. So, I think that at the heart of it, it’s that security as well that, you know, you have that, that support infrastructure really looking after you. That has really helped me, I think massively. The second is just that kind of, that North Star, and I’ve always had the North Star for me, has always been that impact, you know, a mission driven impact. And I, and I think anyone in any industry that is always focused on their North Star and their mission driven impact, they’ll just find the hours in a day, they’ll find the energy, they’ll find the enthusiasm, and it, it’s a bit of grit, it’s a bit of resilience. It’s probably a bit of the upbringing as well. But I’m just so passionate and committed about making this difference. Its purpose, yeah. And, and I think, you know, I’ve got an incredible assistant who supports me and some, you know, she’s very flexible around my time. You don’t wanna underestimate that either. I, I don’t wanna take all the credit for, I mean, honestly, Proximie is, is what it is because of its people.
Thad Davis: The team’s incredible over there.
Dr. Nadine Hachach-Haram: I can’t take the credit for it. The team is incredible. Every single person, all 140 people, they are so mission driven.
Thad Davis: The depth of bench at the company is incredibly good.
Dr. Nadine Hachach-Haram: I feel so humbled and honored that I get to work with these great people every day. It’s just people genuinely love each other and want to grow and make the impact.
Thad Davis: It’s perfect. This is great. And then finally, I would be remiss, uh, not, uh, pointing out you as a woman leader. I mean, you’re layered, you have clinician, founder, executive, we’re not even gonna bother about touching the venture capitalist part. And then three kids in the multilayered life that you lead, it requires focus. How do you think about yourself in that context? What’s your psychology around this sort of, you positioned as a woman leader?
Dr. Nadine Hachach-Haram: There’s definitely not enough female leaders, that’s for sure. We need to do more, and I need to do more. You know, I think I haven’t done enough as well to continue to sort of elevate and raise and bring more women, but I, I have a daughter. I have two sons and a daughter. I hope even at the very least for her and her friends, I’ve been able to, to show them what’s possible. You know, you can try to have components of it. I, I don’t wanna say the cliche “Have It All” because I don’t wanna over glorify it. It is hard work, it takes hard work, takes focus, takes balance, and you don’t always get it right. There is no magic formula. But I would love to see more women in these roles and, and I would love to do more to sort of encourage that to, to mentor if I can, to hire more we need to be more purposeful in, in recruitment as well. And we can do a better job at that as well. You know, going to our recruiter and saying, “You know what? Unless I get diversity in the pile, like, I’m not gonna start any interviews.”
Thad Davis: That’s an amazing process in the, in the firm here on our side’s implemented that where there’s simply, you just simply make a mandate. You’re like, “You’re not trying hard enough.” It’s amazing that whenever need meets adversity, what innovative and great women bankers in on my side at least, or great women executives and leaders, begin to emerge whenever you simply just make a purposeful decision to fix that.
Dr. Nadine Hachach-Haram: When people talk about, you know, people use the word diversity, often the immediate reaction is, okay, it’s diversity and gender and ethnicity and, and perhaps sexual orientation. I mean, a number of sort of different factors. But I would even take it further and I would say, “Well, what about diversity in thinking?” And, and we need to index on that as well. You don’t have to, there isn’t a one size fits all. You actually want to create an organization where you do have diversity of thinking because we challenge each other and really help shift and move the business.
Thad Davis: Exactly. I mean, I’m the, the, with Proximie, somebody’s gonna write a PhD study on Proximie in this, in this area. And organizational, because the, the organization’s incredibly international, incredibly diverse. Everybody I’ve met is very different. Like you said, it’s welded together in a culture of purpose, and you get a lot better results with different perspective versus like mono thinking or group think around certain things.
Dr. Nadine Hachach-Haram: I’ll tell you one story as we, as we round off, which just shows you the kind of, the culture of unity, which I think is incredibly important. And again, I caveat everything by saying it’s hard in these new worlds of a hybrid teams and you’re trying to maintain and build culture as a team is growing quickly. It just doesn’t happen on its own. Like you have to make the effort and the investment to make sure it is there, and it consistently stays there. As I’m sure everyone’s following what’s going on in Lebanon, perhaps. You know, they’ve had a rough time. A number of members of the team had been struggling for those few weeks until things stabilized around access to electricity and Wi-Fi and, and those components. So they were, they’d be joining the Zoom calls. But they’d be off camera to preserve bandwidth. And one of the things at Town Hall is it’s really important for as many people as possible to have their cameras on because the only moment you get to see everyone and you know, we’re all, you know, spending a bit of quote unquote FaceTime together. So, you know, I get on this call about to kick it off and welcome everyone to the town hall, and suddenly I see all these cameras going off. I’m just looking at a sea of sort of black or people’s sort of background camera, you know, pictures and things and I was like, you know, “Hello? Is everyone there? Like, what’s going on? Why is everyone turning their cameras off?” Two seconds later, everyone outside of the Lebanon team, you know, all whatever, a hundred plus around the world turned their cameras back on. And they’re all holding up cards or papers. They, a piece of paper they’d written saying, you know, “Beirut, were with you.” You know, “We’ll be your light.” “We’re supporting you.” “If you’re in the dark, we wanna be in the dark with you.” Like just all these sort of, And I, you know, I’m try, I was trying to read all these messages that were on a sea of like, you know, you’re swiping through two, three sort of zoom views. And honestly, it brought me to tears that it was so self, I, I wasn’t even aware of it. It was almost like, uh, it was genuine. It was from the heart. I wasn’t warned that this was gonna happen. It just happened on the call. Obviously, they’d coordinated it between themselves, but it was incredible. I mean, the whole team in Beirut was speechless. They were so touched. I was so moved.
Thad Davis: It takes purpose to do that. Well, I, I appreciate you taking the time today to get to know you a bit more, learn about the incredible and, and developing success of Proximie and, uh, your thoughts on a whole, a wide variety of subjects. So, I really appreciate you joining today on the podcast and look forward to connecting the future and, and watching this thing go to the moon. This is gonna be great.
Dr. Nadine Hachach-Haram: Thank you for your time. I really enjoyed the discussion.
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