Improving Organizational Effectiveness to Keep Pace with An Evolving Market Landscape

Before we dive into actual strategies for improving organizational effectiveness, let’s take a moment to define and de-mystify this trendy term. At its core, organizational effectiveness is simple – it’s the ability of a group to meet its objectives and goals.  Through this lens, the concept is fairly straight-forward.  However, it gets more complex as you break it into the various components needed to for true success – people, process, systems and culture.

With this in mind, let’s dive into organizational effectiveness from the perspective of how companies organize their respective staffs and manage their human capital in in the ever-changing landscape of the Pharmaceutical and Biotech industries.

In the face of enormous change and transformation, it is truly people and culture, not technology or process, that first needs to be addressed before technology and process changes can be implemented to achieve continued success.  The good news is that many companies are investing in the necessary skill sets to achieve significant competitive advantage – this includes attracting, managing, and retaining the right employees and applying the optimal organization structure in which they may most effectively operate.  Trends in the Life Sciences industry influencing organizational effectiveness include, but are not limited to:

  1. Cost and pricing pressures
  2. Leveraging collaborations and partnerships to gain access to cutting-edge scientific thinking
  3. Sharper focus on innovation
  4. Changing regulatory and healthcare environment
  5. Increased complexity of diseases (and pathways to a cure)

So, what can we do to address these many challenges?  Here are some suggestions:

Upskill Your Existing Work Force

The impending exodus of retiring baby-boomers from the workforce and the predicted shortage of skilled workers expected to occur over the next few years is a significant issue for the Pharmaceutical and Biotech industries. Access to cutting-edge scientific talent is essential for the future, however, appears it may be limited, forcing us to question where that necessary talent will come from.

Talent plans will no longer be complete without a strategy to up-skill existing resources and even more importantly, a strategy for change management around these newly enabled roles and responsibilities. The talent management function itself will also evolve to include active management of both people and technology on the front lines, which means requiring resource management enhancements as well as real-time conflict management and plans for managing cultural shifts.

Identify and Groom Future Leaders

The growing need for seasoned leaders to head their organizations is the next step. These organizations will need leaders and employees with nimble mindsets and an aptitude for innovation – skilled employees who excel in small, fast-paced, risk loving, and in many cases academic environments may not be up to the task of being a senior leader for innovation in the Pharmaceutical and Biotech industries.  But they do exist, and once identified, can be nurtured and encouraged to evolve – essentially groomed for the future leadership roles that are inevitably coming due.  The key is to start this process as early as possible and continue a strong cadence of preparatory activity with key candidates.

Source New Talent

Sourcing talent in this evolving landscape is an Olympic sport, and as such, requires both an innate skill set to find and properly engage talent as well as time – lots of time.  In highly competitive environments, such as the Pharmaceutical and Biotech industries, it may feel like it takes a long time to develop talent, and it may take equally as long (if not longer) to source new talent.

As a company matures and evolves it is critical to have people on staff who can not only identify, assess and engage skilled candidates, but also master advanced tools available as part of the digital landscape.  The modern talent manager needs to know how to speak the new language of proactive recruiting techniques, digital platforms, social networks, and web 2.0, with expert knowledge of how to successfully navigate and search these channels for viable candidates. They need to be very adaptive and flexible and need to know how to effectively engage and communicate with each unique target group.

Consider Your Value Proposition

Attracting skilled resources is no longer just the responsibility of Human Resources – it’s now the responsibility of everyone within the organization and has found itself to the top of the enterprise agenda as a major concern for business leaders. Employees are looking for different things than they did even 5 years ago. Previously, strong salary, benefits, and vacation packages were the minimum ticket to ride.  But these are no longer the ‘delighters’ they once were.

Today’s candidates are looking for flexibility, autonomy and the opportunity for innovation along with even more creative demands around career laddering, commitment to community and corporate social responsibility. Employees have more choices than ever about where they choose to work, and therefore, employers must consider how they craft and communicate their value proposition to the workforce.

Grow New Talent

Finally, if you don’t have it or if can’t find it – you can home-grow it.

As with most leaps in innovation, it’s people, evolving their job disciplines, that empowers transformation.  But, of late, job losses due to automation and a variety of other factors are being offset by new, innovative positions for which universities can’t seem to graduate people fast enough.  As a result, it is now companies themselves that are developing apprenticeship programs to fill the requisite skill gaps — essentially, creating curricula custom tailored for the needs of these emerging roles.  This has been seen before in industrial revolutions, where academia has been forced to become more agile to adapt to workforce needs.  And this is where partnerships between companies and academia will continue to emerge and become stronger than ever before.

It has been said that the world is changing faster than our ability to keep pace.  Those who are the fastest will beat the slow, and as such, whoever has the greatest cognitive and flexible resources wins.  The ability of your organization to adapt, react, and respond quickly and effectively through a variety of approaches is what separates success from failure.

 

Sondra Leibner | Principal Consultant | TayganPoint Consulting Group | sleibner@tayganpoint.com | @sondra319
Dan Patrick | Principal Consultant | TayganPoint Consulting Group | dpatrick@tayganpoint.com

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