Throughout her career, she has paved a way for herself often by bringing her ideas to the table. Recently, she expressed to some members of Novocure’s management team that she felt there was a need to develop career paths for employees and to strengthen Novocure’s training program to ensure that the company is retaining the talented people it attracts.
“I think that our employees are our greatest assets,” Katia said. “If we treat them well, they will treat our patients well, and we all gain with that. That has always been my mantra.”
The sharing of that idea contributed to a promotion for Katia in 2018 – she’s now Novocure’s Associate Director of Global Strategic Development. Novocure’s management team created the role for Katia to better utilize her skills and strengths. One of her current initiatives is the development of career paths and training programs for employees who work in Revenue Operations and Health Policy.
“I’m not afraid of presenting ideas, even if it means I am going to have to improve … if it means that I am the one that has to change so that other changes can happen, so be it,” she said.
Innovation plays a role in the work we do here daily. It plays a role in every single aspect of the business.
With her latest promotion, came a big change. Katia went from managing a large team to managing no one and collaborating more with people from other departments. Along with being excited about her new role, she said, it was also difficult to let go of her former responsibilities. It took her time to decompress and refocus in her new position.
“I felt lost for about a month,” she said, adding that she questioned whether she made the right decision. “But then I started focusing on the difference I could make in the lives of my colleagues if I worked very hard on the projects that we identified.”
Katia said interacting with her colleagues is one of her favorite aspects of working at Novocure. She also enjoys breaking ground as an innovative company. Since joining the company in 2013, she has seen the company grow and change in many ways.
“Innovation plays a role in the work we do here daily,” she said. “It plays a role in every single aspect of the business. Being stagnant is not an option.”
For Katia, innovation begins with an idea and then develops by including others and incorporating their feedback.
“I really value the input of the team, even when we disagree on the approach,” she said. “We always try to do what’s best for our patients. For me, innovation and creativity has a lot to do with the conversations with the team and including people in the decision-making.”
A big-picture thinker, Katia also uses innovation in her personal life as a mother of three sons. For example, she said, as her children grow, she finds new ways to spend quality time together and thinks deeply about how to effectively communicate. Her son, Matt, 22, likes to talk while riding in the car, so Katia uses that time to connect. With her stepson, Kyle, 24, she had to learn how to understand him and help him learn how to express himself. When he was younger, she would play games with him or buy his favorite food and they would prepare it together. Today, she makes a point to ask him about things that interest him. Katia and her youngest son, Lukas, 14, go to the gym together and once a week to his favorite coffee shop. During that time, she asks about his life, what he’s learning at school, and what teachers he likes or dislikes.
“I cannot approach a subject in the same way twice,” she said of being a parent. “I have to approach it differently and creatively.”
When it comes to innovating at Novocure, she said she feels comfortable expressing her ideas partly because Novocure’s leadership team encourages employees to do so. She also feels that her management team trusts her to follow through on her commitments and knows that if she needs help, she will ask for it.
Since adjusting to her new role within Novocure, Katia feels excited about the positive impact her projects can have on her colleagues and on the company. She also looks forward to Novocure’s future.
“All of us want to be a part of these next chapters of Novocure,” she said.