"Discovering the Best You" with Joe Chang
Dr. Joe Chang, Nu Skin’s chief scientific officer and executive vice president of Product Development, believes that discovering the best you begins with a consistent routine. He wakes up early every single morning because he is able to produce his best quality thoughts during the early hours of the day. Joe suggests that taking the time each morning to “discover the best you”, and think your best thoughts, is the first step in leading a life full of innovation.
JOE’S DAILY ROUTINE
“My daily routine impacts my creativity a lot,” said Joe. “My early morning creative process allows me to use the rest of my day to practice innovation."
So, what does Joe do each day to discover his best self? Each morning he takes time to reflect on what he did the day before and how he can improve today. This process is mirrored in his role at Nu Skin. Joe starts his workday evaluating the previous day and asks himself which areas the Nu Skin development team should be focusing on. All of these thoughts are driven by product development and an improvement mindset. Collectively, the Nu Skin product development team is constantly innovating.
NU SKIN INNOVATION: INSIDE AND OUT
Joe is motivated to further innovate at Nu Skin by developing products that are safe and effective. He is driven to create products that provide meaningful benefits to our consumers. Joe claims that his previous successes inspire him to do better—to make additional products that customers will truly love again and again.
Joe believes in developing products that are supported by evidence, rather than products that merely sound good. If it’s not based on evidence and scientific discovery, Joe doesn’t believe it’s worth developing.
“I don’t want to make a product just because it sounds good. I want to make a product that actually does good,” Joe said. “Anybody can dream up products that are the ‘greatest thing since sliced bread’, but if such ideas aren’t based on scientific discovery, they are not likely to impact lives. That doesn’t inspire me.”
Outside of the lab, Joe spends his downtime fly fishing year-round. During the summer months, he can be found fly fishing regularly but he also makes an effort to fish once or twice a month in the winter. “Fly fishing gives me time to think,” Joe said. “It’s a quiet hobby, so I’m not distracted by constant movement and adrenaline. I’m able to focus and develop a strategy for casting a lure that a fish will actually think is worth coming close to the surface for.” According to Joe, fly fishing is similar to product development in that he has to think of products that appeal to customers all over the world, with all sorts of tastes, wants, and needs.
FACING FEAR AND FAILURE
Like everyone else, Joe still experiences different levels of fear and failure. He simply views fear and failure as part of reality and recognizes that no one will ever be 100 percent successful all the time. Joe has learned throughout his career that fearing failure only hinders success. As a scientist, he has faced a lot of failures, particularly regarding supplement development. Sometimes, certain supplements seem like a great idea. The team formulates them and tests them, only to discover they did not achieve their goal of passing scientific muster. However, Joe shares that the majority of the time, these failures happen because their safety profile does not make them suitable as nutritional supplements.
Joe expects scientific rigor from his team to test each product developed within Nu Skin. “This is because unexpected side effects could emerge during the testing phase—that’s why these tests are so important. I always tell our sales leaders that I would rather fail on quality than succeed in making junk products.”
Joe also believes that collective wisdom is an important piece of creating a product. He expects healthy debate and discussion among his colleagues to reach the objective of developing quality products. He says that the fear of failure is always there but it’s significantly reduced because of the wisdom of the crowd.
According to Joe, the biggest barrier for innovation is not the fear of failure but rather an inability to tap into one’s passion and determination. Apathy and maintaining an indifferent mindset of “it’s not my job,” or “someone else will do it so I’ll just do what I’m told,” leads to a lack of innovation. Failure is part of the innovative process whereas failure without learning is not. Joe believes that every outcome—even failure—can lead to a solution.
CONTINUALLY DISCOVERING YOUR BEST SELF
Another way Joe continues to discover his best self, is by taking every opportunity to learn from what is going on around him. He believes that nobody should stop learning. “Learning is one of the fundamental reasons we wake up each morning,” Joe said. “The world never stands still, it’s constantly changing. If you don’t, you will essentially be left behind. It’s part of the innovator’s DNA to evolve and constantly observes the world around you.”
Joe’s motivation to be innovative stems from his lifelong curiosity. As a child, Joe would ask all sorts of questions to figure out how and why things worked. Years ago, his team created the ageLOC® technology, allowing Nu Skin to truly refocus on the aging process. The ageLOC technology utilizes gene science to understand the genes related to aging, leading to new insights on developing anti-aging products. The team has now broadened their product development perspectives to include products that are consistent in the new era of social selling.
Joe’s role at Nu Skin has offered the opportunity to innovate on several fronts. “There is nothing here that prevents me from exercising my curiosity,” Joe said. “Nu Skin encourages curiosity, which has been gratifying and has led our team to develop products that truly make a difference to people all over the world.”
To innovate, Joe recommends continued learning and curiosity. “Curiosity doesn’t kill the cat in this instance,” Joe said. “Your brain is a muscle and needs exercise. Innovation is not innate but an acquired skill through practice.”
He believes that the process of consistent innovation must remain a team effort and can be institutionalized at Nu Skin. “Discovering the best you is about practice and continually exercising your brain to think in different ways,” Joe said. “It’s not about doing many things but doing the right things.”