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Questioning Convention in the Workplace: Moderna’s Noah Rabinowitz and Nkiruka Ogbuchiekwe

by Dani Johnson and Stacia Garr | March 28th, 2023

Is there a false dichotomy in management? Moderna’s Noah Rabinowitz and Nkiruka Ogbuchiekwe think so. In this episode of Workplace Stories, we explore ways that managers and other leaders can question conventionality by recognizing and thinking through false dichotomies.  

Noah and Nkiruka also discuss how management has changed in the past 3 years, share how Moderna’s 12 mindsets are the code to their culture and drive everything they do, and what Moderna is doing to bring the right mindsets into the workplace.  

Listen in to hear how Moderna is building its systems by putting its company culture first and by constantly questioning traditional ways of doing things.  

 

Noah, Nkiruka, and Moderna 

Noah Rabinowitz is the VP of Moderna University and Nkiruka Ogbuchiekwe is the Director of Strategy and Programs. Noah enjoys working on building the university infrastructure and loves thinking about learning all day.  

Moderna came into the spotlight during the pandemic as it began researching mRNA. Presently, they have 4000 employees, but they are rapidly growing and aim to hire 2000 more in the next year.  

Moderna’s University is a new university being built from the ground up so they aspire to do things differently by building their own systems and processes. In many ways, this is easier because they don’t have to challenge past traditions.  

 

Why Moderna chooses to consistently question the status quo 

Moderna chooses to constantly question the way they are doing things individually and as a group. They rely on data to drive changes and leaders use coaching, feedback, and development to continually improve. Moderna’s philosophy is to continually move between vision, strategy, and execution. 

Since they are constantly questioning the status quo, Moderna employees are allowed the space to think through these false dichotomies and make choices that improve the company as a whole.  

 

Should a manager be a player or a coach? Why not both? 

Since 75% of the employee's experience is with the manager, the manager is the frontline of the company. With good managers in place, the entire company improves and becomes stronger. 

One of the false dichotomies that are often presented in the workplace is the struggle to choose whether a manager should be a player or a coach. Noah states that at Moderna, there is no choice. A manager can be both a player and a coach. They should be able to both build teams and be a team player.  

Does y0ur organization put mindset before skillset? Moderna does. Discover why this works for them. Listen in to hear how this culture of inquiry affects Moderna’s mission and culture. You won’t want to miss hearing how they recruit employees that share their culture.  

  

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Noah Rabinowitz and Nkiruka Ogbuchiekwe  

 

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