Lagging Behind…

I am still in the US. The fourth week of four. I was back at work. Those first few days back after a vacation are always hard and never easy. There is so much and so many to catch up with. But the only way to avoid that first week back after vacation would be to never have a vacation…and that’s not an option!
This last week I needed to be in Indiana. I was attending a Leadership Team meeting and visiting a Site. On the face of things, US based meetings after three weeks in the US should be a more straightforward proposition. But by the end of the week I was shattered…absolutely wiped out! The week itself was superb. The meetings were engaging and everyone I met was even more superb and even more engaging. But by the week end I was mentally and physically drained. And I have worked out why…I am suffering from a lack of jet lag!
Normally when I attend meetings in the US, I travel from the UK the day before. As a result I am up and about each morning by 4:00am (9:00 or 10:00am in the UK). I have almost half a day before any meetings start. I call home, I have breakfast, I catch up with email and I get to the fitness center. Attending a US meeting when I am fully adjusted to US time involves me struggling to get out of bed at 6:00am and just about having time for a quick coffee in my hotel room before I have to leave for work. I work all day, go straight out for evening meal and just about have a few moments to catch up before I fall asleep. There is no time for email, no time to think about anything other than the day in front of me, hardly any time to connect with my family, and definitely no time for the fitness center. A lack of jet lag!
The meetings I attended were engaging, thought provoking, great fun and high value. We had good agenda with important and timely topics. I was struck that I was with and in teams who were present, passionate and who have purpose! Teams that support and help each other whilst also being prepared to challenge and counter each other. High levels of trust and confidence is empowering.
A major theme throughout was our view of the current health and future direction of both the Pharmaceutical Industry as a whole and the role we are playing, will play, could play and want to play.
I am passionate and convinced about the importance of R&D in the pharmaceutical industry. I am highly motivated by what we do. I am inspired by the people I work and partner with. I am excited by the opportunity to be part of re-writing rules and folklore about what – and how – our industry can deliver. We are poised for success…we need to stay focused, execute superbly and partner exceptionally.
Pharmaceutical R&D is a non-deterministic business – it’s why we love it so much. Success cannot be guaranteed. But we can – and should – do everything possible to maximise probability of success. We need to continually analyse our past performance – and that of our industry – and use those analyses to identify activities associated with failure…and to definitely not do these! And to identify activities associated with success…and to absolutely do these!
I accept ours is an industry where past performance does not guarantee future success. But I know ours is an industry where learning from past performance will predict greater future success!


About Steve Street

I have worked in R&D within the Pharmaceutical industry for over 30 years. Up until April 2012 all of my career had been with one company, but that has now changed. I left that company and took up a new role on May 1, 2012 - still very much within the Pharmaceutical industry and again based in the UK. I have been blogging every week now for over 10 years but only on an external site since January 2012. Email updates of the blogs can be requested using the ‘follow’ option within Wordpress. The blogs are only ever my personal view of what I see, think and feel. I am delighted if you agree and find value; happy if you disagree with my views and overjoyed if you feel motivated to comment. Most of all I am simply grateful that you read. Cheers Steve
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2 Responses to Lagging Behind…

  1. Brian says:

    You have done a great job of capturing the joy and frustration of Pharma R&D. Nobody has ever been able to debate with me about what it is that we strive to do (improve the lives of others), the challenge is the cost. Improve the success rate, decrease the average cost – that is the challenge.

    • Steve Street says:


      Great to hear from you and many thanks. If Pharma R&D was easy then anyone coudl do it, everyone woudl be successful and (my guess is that) we woudl be doing something differnet with more challanege and uncertainty.

      I trust you are well.


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