Acorda Therapeutics is an S&P 500 biotech, developing multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injury treatments. As a hypergrowth company, Acorda couldn’t rely on the inefficient and bureaucratic management processes, policies, and platforms that were invented over a century ago to meet the demanding timelines on drug discovery, approval, and commercialization. Their customized SenseiOS™ instance, called Synapse, had helped this hypergrowth company improve communication, productivity, accountability, preserve Acorda’s unique culture, and drive adoption of the platform, freeing Acordans to focus on their key mission, improving the lives of people with nervous system disorders.

Acorda Synapse Home

One of the key findings that emerged was that Acordans are extremely busy and were already set in their established workflows. The launch was preceded with a pre-launch poster campaign to get people excited and invested in the launch and tease the benefits of the new platform.

Synapse Launch Poster Synapse Naming Poster

User insights were key to integrating the company’s culture into the tools and content. A key cultural element at Acorda was centered around “Fresh Fish Sold Here”, a story from CEO Ron Cohen’s childhood. The moral of the story emphasizes the importance of actions over words. Drawing on this inspiration, Acorda’s recognition system incorporates a personal fish tank into each user’s profile, with a different styled fish representing each core principle or value.

Synapse Fishtank

P&V Awards are tailored to Acorda’s Principles and Values. When a team member exemplifies a particular principle or value in an outstanding way, they are given a P&V Award. A fish representing that principle or value then appears in the person’s fish tank, their personal awards trophy case.

As a leading biotech company, health and wellness are close to Acordan’s hearts, which led to a custom, dedicated wellness section being developed, with easy access to wellness program information, events, and program sign ups.

Acorda wanted access to social media and traffic information at their fingertips. To give them this custom functionality, a social media dashboard widget and traffic dashboard widget were developed specifically to meet their needs. Although developed for Acorda, these widgets are now part of the SenseiOS platform.

Like most hypergrowth companies, it can be a challenge for Acorda to keep up with the demands of hiring and onboarding enough people to meet their growth needs. Using task templates, Acorda is able to codify onboarding best practices and simplify the process while maintaining the consistency needed to uphold their unique culture.

Acorda’s custom SenseiOS instance continues to evolve with the addition of the Candidate360 app to streamline and accelerate their hiring.

“I had never imagined that anyone could have a system like SenseiOS integrated into the management and operation of a company. I’m not aware of any other organization that has created these tools… This is the most well-developed system of its kind that I have ever seen.”
— Dr. Ron Cohen, President and CEO, Acorda Therapeutics

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