One of the most common questions I am asked is about the comparison between my current role and my old role. It’s a question I am asked as much by colleagues I used to work with as I am by colleagues I work with now. There are variations – Do I miss my old company? Which is better? What have I learned? Did I know what to expect?
So – and in sequence – I don’t miss a company, but I do miss the friends. I wouldn’t know how to rank, but I am totally dedicated to the company I work for today. I sometimes feel that I must have learned more in the last four months than I did in the last four years. I had little idea of what to expect but I have enjoyed every moment.
And the comparison between two roles …and two components of the same industry? So similar but yet so different. Similar because the people involved are passionate; skilled; and dedicated. Similar because we help advance new medicines as rapidly (and as successfully) as possible from experimental research to patients. Similar because we perform the best possible science we can – individually and in teams – every day and every minute of every day.
Different because today my role is to generate revenue…as opposed to investing revenue. Different because the cycle of decisions about where, or how much, to invest…is so much shorter. Different because we don’t own any compound we work on. Different because we work on compounds from so many companies – big and small.
That having been said, I have concluded this comparison is interesting…but it is not really relevant. I don’t work (directly) for big Pharma any more. I am sure my experience is of help and value to my company…and to companies – big and small – we work with…but it is just that – my experience. I invest myself in my new company and I am vested in our company, our people and the work we do.
My energy, my focus and my inspiration is what we do today and every day. My dedication is to the people in our organization – to their achievements and our growth. To our impact and their development. My commitment is to our organization – to our influence and success.
Today and every day, companies we work with (and companies we would like to work with more) want and expect involvement and innovation. We are no longer sent standard protocols…we receive ideas, targets, milestones. We are asked to design and to implement. We step up to challenges; we step into opportunities; we by-pass milestones to deliver more.
This is a change of culture. And a change of strategy. It is a change not just of leaders but of what we look for from our leaders. This is a change that can feel internal…but it is absolutely external. This is what our partners – large or small – want, need and expect from us. And as we change we will continue to identify and secure new – and more – opportunity.
This is an environment more engaging and full of more challenge. It is not a world of easy answers. But it is a world of so much opportunity. It is research. Innovation is essential – ideas, plans and solutions.
We need the best scientists and best leaders. When we recruit we acquire the best we can. When we train, we train our colleagues as much as we can. And as we develop we provide opportunity for colleagues to enjoy themselves, to thrill us and to delight our partners.