For the past three years, large pharma organizations have known that in order to remain competitive in the marketplace, they would need to transform. And, that in order for this transformation to occur that they would need to have a plan in place that included the training and development of human capital to lead and execute it.
We believe many organizations have now made this investment to educate, train and prepare and are now better equipped to move forward. But, even with stronger resource pools to transform, do organizations have the leadership and stamina it takes to see a vision through to the end? It is a rigorous journey and that requires staying the course versus being distracted by a new competitive differentiator before really building in the long-term sustainment of the original transformation. Additionally, companies are reducing their portfolio of change initiatives to only the true transformation initiatives. The smaller departmental change initiatives are being eliminated completely and only initiatives that fit under the company transformation umbrella are funded and resourced.
We believe organizations are just now seeing the full landscape of what transforming means. Historically, organizations thought transforming was performing a handful of process improvements, or perhaps changing the organizational structure of a department. But, today, they are finally grasping the holistic term of transforming- making a thorough or dramatic change in form, appearance, charter and process. Transforming is a complete shake up and takes much more than a small, part time working team to accomplish transformational efforts.
And let’s not forget organization structures that are transforming due to acquisition and merger activities. Organizations are merging together to elongate their service offerings, tap into new clients and reduced the need to find new companies – – as the old saying goes, it’s easier to keep a client than to acquire a new one.
Also, companies are moving much more toward end to end process transformation-driven by technology-which impacts all parts of the value chain of a company. There is no hiding from transformation initiatives. And perhaps companies are getting better at articulating and communicating the transformation so more employees are aware. Not to mention the external environment (healthcare reform, tax reform, regulatory pressures, etc. are accelerating the need for true transformation.
The adoption of technology is simply a requirement not an option. Pharma organizations have no choice but to have a stronger digital focus; it’s how humans find data and communicate. Organizations have to meet the patient where they are-online. Today, digital HITS is the score keeper of success. We are seeing organizations implement more enterprise-wide technology platforms rather than in functional silos. These new operating models and technologies enable companies to be more agile and flexible to take advantage of new marketplace opportunities.
The biggest challenge of transformation is in the implementation of new processes, organizational structures, operating models and technology. Organizations spend millions upon millions in designing and building the ideal solution then fail and fall flat when it comes time to spend on the execution or change management, communication and learning and development.
Transformations will continue to be a difficult outcome for organizations until they fully grasp the investment that is needed and the time required to prepare an organization for the change, explain what’s going to happen, show them the solution, offer them thoughtful training and access to time restricted help, ask them to repeatedly produce outputs from the new process/system or structure and ensure all levels of the organization understand the end to end vision will implementations cease to be the number one challenge.
Implementation of large scale transformation is more complex than ever. Most transformation efforts are global and cross functional and impact just about every employee. The real change happens once the new process, systems, organization is put in place, not before. Once project teams have been disbanded there is often no structure in place to follow up on post implementation and benefits realization. Bottom line, organizations must prepare people before but continue to enable as the new processes and systems are being implemented and adopted. Focusing on having resources to support change management and training post implementation is key.
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Joy Taylor | CEO & Co-Founder | TayganPoint Consulting Group | firstname.lastname@example.org | LinkedIn | @JoyTaylorSays
John Cassimatis | President & Co-Founder | TayganPoint Consulting Group | email@example.com | LinkedIn