Change starts with pharma CEO’s

KEY TAKEAWAY: If Biopharma is going to make headway in the changing health care environment a new kind of leader is needed.  These leaders have to have the vision of where bipoharma needs to go in 5, 10 years, but also has to have the courage to get them there.

OK, I get it, Wall Street is important and a CEO has to balance Wall Street expectations with the demands of his/her Board and is often measured on how well the stock performs.  However, more and more that model is proving to be a broken wheel that provides a very bumpy ride.  Investors don’t really care about patients, they only care about the balance sheet at a time when more and more people are feeling isolated from the way our healthcare system treats them.

There are a lot of very good, hard working people within the pharma and biotech industries, but what’s missing is the belief that if they speak up when they feel something is not right they will be rewarded instead of being called out.   To this effort CEO’s need to ensure that their people understand that.  Every CEO should be telling their organization that decisions should be made like “our customers and patients are right there with us in the room”.

CEO’s also need to build up the moral of the rank and file who have seen a lot of colleagues lose their jobs over the last couple of years.  Rather than massive town hall meetings they need to meet with smaller groups and solicit input and feedback from people who are often too low down the chain to have their voices heard.  People cannot do their jobs when they live in fear that tomorrow their jobs could be gone.  When that happens, people will do whatever they have to do to keep their jobs and patients and customers tend to lose them.

In the end most biopharma companies will weather the storm of a changing health care environment and empowered patients.    Those that understand that their employees are perhaps their biggest assets will do well.  Those that cater more to the street than to strategic management are going to get their big bonuses, but eventually they are going to lose the battle for talent and respect.