People Cluster…

What a week! Exciting, engaging and informative. And that was just the neurosurgeon I ended up sitting next to on my flight to the East Coast last Sunday. I normally avoid talking to anyone I don’t know on an aeroplane…especially anyone sitting next to me. I made an exception in this case when he inadvertently started to fast forward the film I was watching after picking up my control handset by mistake!

Wednesday and Thursday were all about people – our annual talent review. My measures of success for a Talent Review are both subjective – the more tired I feel by the end of the week the better the meeting is likely to have been. And objective – new ideas and opportunities that could only have been identified because of that meeting. We achieved the latter…I felt the former.

Our future is our people – they define it, deliver it and delight us in the process. Our role is to help, to recognise and to encourage.

Sunday was my impromptu meeting with my neurosurgeon. Monday and Tuesday I was at a forum with an amazing collection of representatives from academia, Venture Capital funds, Biotechs, Government Institutions, politics and pharma companies. It was an amazing collection of passionate people and I felt privileged to have been invited. It was a superb forum.

I occasionally get opportunity to attend such meetings, and I always find myself engrossed and fully involved. My colleague and I chose seats near the microphones. I took copious notes, but learned even more than that. I found myself thinking and considering…wondering and imagining. And yes I couldn’t resists asking lots of questions.

I was excited because I believe we were the only CRO attendees present…I was noticeable only because I was the attendee with the English accent; at least the only English accent asking questions.

I can’t tell you my questions were any good…let alone any value to the forum, other attendees or to the organisers. I can tell you that I am still thinking about the topics we discussed. Everything was related to the discovery and development of new pharmaceuticals, medical devices and vaccines. Everything was about our industry – in its broadest manifestation – seeking to better help patients and healthcare. Everything was about us being more successful. Everything was about people. About us as people in our industry.

We talked about clusters – groups of similar things or people positioned or occurring closely together. Clusters can happen in regions, and can – and do – equally happen in companies. The implication of a cluster is that the extent of partnering or working together is minimal.

We talked about ecosystems – groups of similar things or people involved in the delivery of a specific product or purpose through both competition and cooperation. Ecosystems in business can happen in regions, and are always aspired to in companies. The implication of an ecosystem is that the extent of partnering and working together is tremendous.

We talked culture – whenever we talk people we are always talking culture. Culture – how things are done around here. What do we celebrate, recognise and reward? How do we handle projects that don’t work? What do leaders role model?

But really we were talking people. I was talking and meeting people all week. I was thinking about people. I was thinking about myself. What I do. What I want to do. How well I am doing. How can I help more? When do I ask and when should I advise? How do I best influence?

I arrived home Friday. Tired…but with my mind full of new ideas…different ideas.

A successful week – subjectively (tired) and objectively (opportunities).




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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