Healthcare writer - Kirsten York
By Kirsten York
Columnist, March 25, 2022

As a brand or franchise lead, I’m sure you’ve heard one of these statements when championing a groundbreaking, innovative idea for customers:

Our audience is older. They aren’t tech savvy enough to use apps.

People don’t value educational programs that come from pharma as much as they do those that come from advocacy groups.

Social listening provides limited useful insights for our team.

Our doctors would never let our reps text them.

We have to get more people in the database; that’s what matters to management.

It’s like hitting a wall, right? Before you can get discussion off the ground, your idea is dead—as is the opportunity to ideate any other potential solutions.

At ENTRADA, we call conversation stoppers like these Entrenched Beliefs, or EBs for short. EBs are deep-rooted, preconceived convictions that influence how we view a specific situation and act within it. They govern our behavior, perceptions, and responses. In the workplace, they shape our strategic and marketing decisions.

EBs are everywhere. We all have them. We develop them over the course of our lives and careers, usually based on personal experience or passed on by a trusted mentor. They stick with us. In fact, I like to think of EBs as albatrosses we wear around our neck and carry with us from job to job.

When a person holds an EB, they truly believe what they are saying is the absolute truth. And therein lies the danger of EBs— believing something is true is completely different than knowing something is true.

As an industry, we talk a lot about what we believe is true without conducting the fact-finding necessary to confirm or refute whether it actually is. Lately, I’ve heard a truly innovation-crushing EB permeating our industry:

“Our legal and regulatory team would never let us do that.”

“Can’t” and “won’t” are innovation killers, my friends, and they are thrown around our industry like confetti at a parade. They rain down on your ability to innovate and create new things for your customers.

There is, however, a remedy for EBs. It starts with admitting we have a problem. At ENTRADA, we have crafted a disciplined process, which starts with an EB Appraisal, to help teams surface, address, and align on their shared EBs. This process allows all of these ingrained ideas to be brought out and discussed, confirmed or refuted BEFORE charging down the path to ideation. We include everyone—marketing, sales, leadership, medical, regulatory, legal—so no stone is left unturned.

The truth is, once you see EBs for what they are, you can’t unsee them, and it forces teams to take stock of their beliefs and determine how to move forward…together.

Here are just a few things you can accomplish by examining EBs:

  • Uncover shared and disparate EBs among your team
  • Leverage existing market research to confirm or refute collective EBs
  • Identify critical questions in customer and marketing understanding that need to be validated
  • Gain team alignment prior to embarking on ideating a new initiative

I have personally guided teams through this process and witnessed how it enlightens them from the outset, creating space for open and creative innovation. In the last year alone, ENTRADA has partnered with teams from large and small pharmaceutical, biotech, and device companies to help them understand their collective EBs, and then systematically dismantle them so innovative ideas can flourish. We have forged new ground and developed never-before-seen programs and initiatives that are meeting the ever-changing demands of our post-pandemic world.

Now that we have clarified EBs and how they can be the wall that stands between your team and the ability to imagine groundbreaking ideas for your customers, I would love to hear from you! What’s an Entrenched Belief you have heard recently from someone you work with?

If you want to learn more about how we uncover EBs, visit, or send me a note at

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