I’m here in Las Vegas today, about to provide the opening keynote for Pharmalink 2007.
This is an annual meeting of senior executives — mostly C-Level, Sr. VP’s — from major pharmaceutical companies. It’s a forum where they can examine the challenges, issues and opportunities that come from a greater integration of the supply chain within the world of health care.
It’s a tough issue to crack — there are a lot of vested interests, long-standing business models, inertia towards change, and built-in routines. There’s a lot of sophisticated technology that is and can be used ; and yet, there still remains a tremendous amount of inefficiency in the U.S. health care system.
My keynote will focus on the theme, “what do innovative organizations do”, and will play into several trends:
- concentrate on adaptability: in the longer term, change resistance retires out of the economy. The current generation of 35 and under staff in the health care system will rapidly adopt EHR (electronic health records) and all other forms of technology. Initiatives to date have been held back because of slow-to-act, change resistant boomers; however, as they leave the system, the rate of adoption of new ways of working will soar.
- prepare for intensity: business cycles are getting faster, and R&D is too. It’s the ability to adapt to the sudden emergence of new markets and products that is critical
- attitude with agility: business models are set to change; any industry that has a lot of wholesalers and distributors will find massive, fundamental, structural change to be a given on a 10 year horizon. Understand that, accept it, and work with it.
- massive connectivity changes everything: pharma will be impacted in a huge way as everything, including drugs themselves, has sensor, location and intelligence awareness built in. Innovative around that — and the concept of bioconnectivity, and big opportunities can be found
- structure with flexibility: volatility is the new normal. Think how quickly China and quality became linked; build a team and structure that can act fast, think fast, and react fast.
There’s an entire theme on these issues in my Ready, Set, Done: How to Innovate When Faster is the New Fast book — so it ties in nicely!