We have worked with many life science companies who were seeking to professionalise their operations. In prior years they may have decided to tackle a few specific problem issues. Typically things like planning disconnects, or the lack of reporting of project updates to senior leadership.
Their efforts have often foundered, for many reasons but two in particular: Firstly, improvement approaches have focused exclusively on process design. Building an ‘ideal’ future approach – an end-to-end project system, with inputs, outputs, decision points and so on. Often meticulously authored, these shiny new plans are communicated to project teams who are encouraged to use them.
But what should be a perfect solution, isn’t; teams are ‘too busy’ to change the ways they do things; they plan and communicate in ways they always have, despite their being inefficient.
Secondly, what’s missing in making a change like this, is clear leadership. A new project approach may have been drafted by a working group, having the best intentions but lacking in the authority and influence to drive change. Or the senior leadership may well have initiated the new approach but fails to keep it at the heart of their routine operations. The purpose gets lost and it loses momentum.
We can help leaders drive change and development that will work. One great tool we use is our High Performance Organisation model. This helps to focus on several critical elements in parallel:
Changes that require people to behave differently are primarily culture shifts. Leaders must communicate the purpose and imperatives for change. They set expectations for new behaviours and express recognition when they happen.
The people element recognises that skills may need to develop; leaders sponsor training; encourage support networks that will help various departments to cope with new processes.
Tech often lets us down. Leaders must insist on pragmatic approaches to new IT, systems properly tested so that they save time and effort, not make extra work.
By consideration of all the critical aspects of an organisation and taking the right actions at senior level to address them, fragile new process innovations can grow and become common practice.
In summary, as you may have deduced, when you are very close to it, it’s not easy to manage and balance. We can help you to do this!
We’d be pleased to talk to you – an Exploratory Conversation with no prior commitment – contact us here.
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