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Our Approach to Storytelling

Dear friends and colleagues,

“Biotech’s flameout,” “bloodbath,” “thousands of layoffs.” We’ve all heard it, and we’re in it.

Whether you’re at a company looking to build alignment with your Board on how to conserve cash, searching for optimal partners to support clinical milestones, developing strategies to attract sought-after VC funds, or in the process of preparing to go public when the market rebounds – a good story is essential for your path forward. We’d like to help.

In the last year, we’ve helped numerous clients craft strategic narratives across disciplines. For instance, we worked closely with ReCode Therapeutics to craft their growth strategy and story, which helped them raise an extended $120M Series B in June. We collaborated with Japan-based J-Pharma to create their growth strategy story and slide deck presented at JPM, which elicited praise from their lead investors and interest from potential partners.

Our approach to storytelling generally involves 6 steps that we tailor as needed:

  1. Understand & discover – We interview key leaders and stakeholders within your company to understand the current story, its strengths, and its limitations. We work to understand the audience and your preferred storytelling style (e.g., from a clean, linear flow to a more dramatic, Steve Jobs build-up style). Optionally, we can interview external experts for better insights into the disease landscape.

  2. Creatively brainstorm - In collaboration with you, we identify the key messages to share and any points of likely audience enthusiasm, surprise, or concern. We can also compile case studies (of other company’s growth trajectories) and/or conduct workshops with you, with a focus on aligning your company’s values, goals, and future paths.

  3. Create storyline options - Using principles of effective storytelling, we will collaboratively ideate on a few storyline options.

  4. Choose the best storyline - We review the envisioned storylines with attention to content, story flow, audience, and other subjective elements (e.g., emphasis, perspective, how bullish).

  5. Build mock slides - We mock-up individual slides, often with multiple versions per slide, on paper, whiteboards, and in PowerPoint. This further helps the story take shape before we go into full-on slide production.

  6. Finalize messaging & slide layouts - We finalize the slide copy and work with professional PPT designers (internal and external) to create strong and clear messages and final, polished look that is on-trend and on-style with your preferences.

At Headland, we have deep scientific, medical, and business backgrounds, extensive strategy experience, and a passion for inspiring stories (many on our team are hobbyist writers!). When it comes to crafting compelling stories, our clients appreciate our cross-disciplinary capability across strategy, functional expertise (e.g., R&D, Commercial, BD/M&A), storytelling, and slide design. If you would like to discuss your storytelling needs with us, please email us at

We hope you had a wonderful summer and look forward to hearing from you soon,

Headland Strategy Group

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