We only hire really smart people

dice_shutterstock_48679882_by_imagewellPOST SUMMARY: The trouble with people who think they are smarter than everyone else is that they can’t learn from others because they think they know it all.


“I think there are good people outside the Pharma Industry, but Pharma has held this believe if they don’t have experience in the Pharma filed they won’t be as valuable. There are so many key learnings from other Industries we could apply in the pharma industry that would improve sales results.” That quote is from Domenic Maccarone, Senior Sales Director, Lundbeck Canada and I believe it’s right on target.

Now I believe in hiring smart people, but within our industry, it’s also essential to hire people who can think outside the box and get it done.  Hiring people, who you feel are smart, is not going to get things done at a time when DTC marketing is at a crossroads, especially in the digital era.


Then there is the open office concept, the belief being that open offices forces collaboration with team members.  That is a load of crap. Peace and quiet and privacy and decency and respect for all. We people who spend more waking hours at work than we do at home, we people who worked hard to be where we are, we deserve a few square feet and a door. Call me old fashioned, call me Andy Rooney if you must, but Andy Rooney had an office.

In a new report, researchers from the University of Sydney examine the “privacy-communication trade-off in open-plan offices” and find that the benefits of easy communication that supposedly go along with open-plan offices don’t outweigh the disadvantages, such as a major lack of privacy.  People have the most problems by far with open offices and cubicles, which have little privacy, high noise levels, less space, and apparently, worse temperature control. Overall, far more workers stuck in cubicles and open office spaces are dissatisfied with their work environments than people in enclosed private offices.


Finally, don’t say, as part of your company credo, that you have respect for people when you treat job candidates like trash by refusing to acknowledge them or respond to the ones who have come in for interviews.  I recently delayed my vacation by one day to interview with a leading biotech firm in Cambridge not to hear a word from the any of them.  I might not have been a good fit, but is it too hard to say via email that you were moving in a different direction?

I keep in touch with a lot of good people ex-pharma marketing managers and once in awhile we get together, over a beer, to talk about what’s going on in the industry and it’s a shame.  Some biotech companies with hot selling products are experiencing growing pains and making big mistakes while losing opportunities, but one thing I have learned is that in this business nobody is as smart as they think and that eventually all hot drug eventually fall back to earth as more competition enters the market.