Heidrick & Struggles and Senn Delaney publish new thought paper

Paper highlights need for culture change in biopharmaceutical R&D to address major industry challenges

Jun 19, 2013

June 19, 2013
Heidrick & Struggles International, Inc., the premier professional services firm focused on serving the leadership needs of top organizations globally, and Senn Delaney have published a new thought paper, Leading cultural change in biopharmaceutical research & development. Download the article.

Despite remarkable achievements and breakthroughs, the biopharmaceutical industry is confronting massive upheaval and transformation. Culture change is one of the biggest and most important issues in the industry as traditional ways of doing things must give way to innovative new approaches, technologies and processes for greater efficiency and effectiveness.

Co-authors Heidrick & Struggles Life Sciences Partner Robert J. Atkins, Life Sciences Practice Principal Niren Thanky and Senn Delaney Partner and Managing Director EMEA Dustin Seale examine how biopharmaceutical leaders need to drive decisive R&D culture change across complex organizations in an attempt to remain relevant and competitive.

They delve into the answers to critical questions, including: What principles should guide organizations in their efforts to shape cultural change? What types of capabilities must leaders possess to bring cultural change to R&D organizations? How can organizations bridge the gap between the skills their leaders possess today and the skills they will need going forward?

“Executives of biopharmaceutical companies are confronting an industry in transition, one that is characterized by both massive upheavals and significant opportunities. To help their companies sustain a competitive advantage, R&D executives need to lead the effort to become more innovation and adapt to new technologies,” says Heidrick & Struggles Life Sciences Partner Robert J. Atkins.

Senn Delaney's Dustin Seale adds: “Leaders will need to embrace open innovation with other companies and academic institutions to co-create new medicines. This will require companies to build new capabilities and collaborative skills as well as to develop a new mindset that promotes sharing of ideas outside the organization.”

Seale cautions that implementing transformational cultural change in large, geographically dispersed and diverse biopharmaceutical organizations will require a leader-led approach to overcome challenges, including resistance to new ways of working. And Heidrick & Struggles Atkins says R&D organizations must both drive effective cultural change and build the leadership capabilities required to make this happen.


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