Category Archives: Fixing Big Pharma Research

Peter Drucker on Outsourcing and Information Technology

I stumbled on a 2004 interview of Peter Drucker, one of the giants of management consulting and education.  Drucker was famous for coining the term “knowledge worker”, and he was an early proponent of outsourcing (starting decades ago).  It’s worth reading … Continue reading

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Employee Performance Does Not Follow a Bell Curve

Here’s a great post written by Josh Bersin that’s gotten a lot of attention in the past few days:  The Myth of the Bell Curve.  As I mentioned several weeks ago, more and more evidence shows that employee performance in the … Continue reading

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Product Cycles in the Pharma Industry and How to “Shorten” Them – Part 1

A few weeks ago I commented on what may be the fundamental limit on a stable Pharmaceutical industry — products have to be on the market for at least as long as it takes to replace them.  Cash flow significant … Continue reading

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Hitting the fundamental limit of the drug industry?

After a banner year in 2012, the number of FDA Drug approvals dropped back to 27 for 2013, a number more in line with the average rate of approvals for the last few years. As many observers have commented, the … Continue reading

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Rigid stack ranking of employee performance and pharmaceutical research is a bad combination

Microsoft’s recent decision to abandon employee stack ranking is just the latest example of the growing skepticism around stack ranking performance management schemes, especially ones that force bottom 5-10% distributions.  Sadly, some pharmaceutical firms still use the method. The major arguments against stack … Continue reading

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If you want efficient and effective R&D, get your mix of solution shops and production shops right

I had the good fortune to attend a series of seminars by Clayton Cristensen last Spring.  One conceptual framework that Clay described is the three basic types of businesses, and I think it has a lot of relevance for Pharma … Continue reading

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Fixing Big Pharma Research: Two Things about Restructuring

For a pharmaceutical company restructuring to be successful, senior management has to get two things right: 1)  Restructuring is a forward-looking process.  Management has to plan the new organization so that it is successful in the future. People, processes, organizations, … Continue reading

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