Leaders in the Limelight: Lulu Yang

Written By

Susan Jacobs

September 03, 2018

My name: Lulu Yang

My company: Genentech/Roche 

My title: People & Organization Capability Strategy Leader 

My location: South San Francisco, California

LuLu Yang

Best business advice I ever received: To build a high-performing team, you’ll need to work together, play together, and break bread together. This advice has served me well. As you get to know your teammates on a personal level, this creates a shared sense of accountability with one another that builds real trust to accomplish great things.  

Most daring personal career move: Taking a two-year break from the corporate world and then starting a consulting business with my husband that we ran for 16 years. Both of us were working crazy hours on executive teams of two different dot-coms. When we were able to have dinners together, they were at a restaurant named Oliveto at 9:25 PM, before the last call. We knew our priorities were totally screwed up when during one of these late dinners, I realized that I had not seen my parents in six months! They lived just five miles away ... not 5,000 miles away! We were so caught up in chasing the financial dream that we lost sight of what was really important in life.

What I’m most proud of: Taking the two-year break to travel/sail the world with my husband, and having a son during that time. During our dinners at Oliveto, we started to dream about sailing around the world. After many brainstorming sessions we decided to fly around the world, chartering in six different locations. We called our adventure, “The Best Way Going Upwind Is On a 747.” Right after we paid for everything, we found out that I was pregnant! So the updated plan was three sailing destinations for six months instead. My parents, relatives, and friends were able to join parts of our adventure along the way. I stayed home after my son was born and didn’t have to worry about rushing back to work. It was the best decision ever!

Current workplace challenge: Acceleration of change created by digital/disruptive technologies and companies. We’ve developed a strategy to meet evolving business needs and be future-ready, but words are easy. Now the hard work starts as we actively prepare the workforce and organization with the right skills, knowledge, behaviors, and mindset to prepare to meet the challenges of constant change.

Something people don’t know about me: I was on Food Network’s Food Fight, a show that lasted only one season in the early days of reality TV cooking competitions.

Editor’s note

Lulu Yang will be participating in The eLearning Guild’s second annual Executive Forum on October 23, 2018. This special one-day experience, which takes place prior to the Guild’s DevLearn 2018 Conference & Expo, is designed for senior learning and development leaders who want to collaborate with peers and industry experts on cutting-edge strategies that address the key challenges of the modern learning organization. Join Lulu and other senior executives at this exclusive event.

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