Within the pharmaceutical industry we all believe that innovation is both critical and achievable, yet we undermine the potential of our innovations through a variety of different ways. Here are 4 things that we believe are leading innovation killers.
Good ideas polarise and stir emotions, both positive and negative. Not everyone will agree that it is a good idea. Allow those that do not agree to have their say. Listen to them. Consider their thoughts and then make a decision. If the decision is to forge ahead with the original idea then do so with conviction and ensure that everyone is aligned on the implementation to ensure successful delivery.
Giving responsibility for innovation to senior manager in an area where he has greatest experience is a great innovation killer. If someone believes he knows how to develop a diabetes drug as he has been doing so for 30 years or more, do you really think that he knows how to spot potential for something that sits outside of diabetes? Even within diabetes, is it likely that he can spot a new segment that is different to the ones he has always seen? Being senior, he is likely to shut off alternative perspectives that may exist, intentionally or otherwise.
It is hard to envisage things that sit beyond the reach of the light you are shining intently at a particular spot. Like the drunk searching for his keys by the light of a lamppost completely oblivious to the fact that he might of dropped it before he got to that spot. A drug identified as having potential in alcohol misuse may have additional utility in compulsion but often because we are not looking for a drug to treat that we often miss other possibilities.
Can innovation be templated? We think not. But it can be processed. There can be a process applicable to optimally developing a new drug, for example. An assessment can be made of the molecule’s talents and where they can best be directed. A systematic review of the future commercial opportunity and associated technical and regulatory risks can be made followed by elucidation of positioning options, etc. The point is that an asset’s potential cannot be realised simply implementing a ‘populate this section’ or a ‘tick box’ exercise.
There are many others. We would love to hear your top 4 list.