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Mar 1, 2009 (Vol. 29, No. 5)

Pharma’s Ongoing Quest for R&D Innovation

Vision and Boldness Are Needed to Execute a Winning Strategy in the Near Future

  • Talent Pipeline

    Despite the industry-wide quest for boosting pipeline productivity demonstrated in the findings from Progressions, there was a glaring lack of executive focus on what many would consider to be the most important driver of innovation—the people within the organization.

    The industry as a whole has yet to consistently transform its method for fostering talent pipelines within individual organizations. This transformation has become more imperative as a result of the mass layoffs that have dislocated a generation of upper-middle management and senior-level executives whose expertise will be difficult to replace as the global financial environment recovers.

    The challenge to attract and retain top talent will be further complicated by dramatic changes in global demographics, such as the impending U.S. baby bust, that according to research will reduce the number of 35- to 44-year-olds in the workforce by 15% by 2015. Companies able to tap into an increasingly diverse and multicultural global workforce will have a tremendous advantage in the race for innovation.

    2009 will represent a crossroads year for many members of the pharmaceutical industry as they grapple to get organized to face a plethora of industry issues and the new reality of the global economy. Industry leaders are searching for new ways to transform business models to drive innovation, and the global financial crisis is accelerating the timing for executives to move forward with this change mandate.

    Despite the challenges ahead, the fundamentals of the industry, particularly on a global scale, have never been better. Companies with the vision and boldness needed to execute a clear strategy will be able to capitalize on tremendous opportunities, regardless of the path they choose.


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