Spring 2006
Global Working
Presented by Peter Payne, Quintiles Transnational Corp
ABSTRACT
The development of pharmaceutical products has evolved over the past 15 years or so from a regional to a global development model. Harmonisation of standards and practices has considerably aided this process as has increased commonality in regulatory requirements, particularly between the EU and US. In addition, the emergence of new markets has created opportunities for expanded market access for new products as well as opportunities for cost efficiencies in the development process due to a number of factors such as greater access to patients, accelerated recruitment times, lower cost workforce, etc.
Globalisation in any business presents opportunities and challenges to all who are involved and there are many examples of where failure to grasp the opportunity, or confront the challenge, has resulted in failure to achieve the business objective which initially drove the globalization initiative.
This presentation will discuss some of the elements which are of key importance for successfully working globally and will also focus on those aspects which are commonly overlooked and which can lead to unforeseen challenges along the way. Examples from selected industries (automotive, BPO, pharma), as well as a few anecdotes from the presenter’s personal experience, will be used to illustrate the points of discussion.
There is no defined methodology for successfully working globally but there are a multitude of learnings from successful, as well as less successful, attempts to do so from which we can all benefit.
In the fierce world in which we operate, over the years the drivers of change have meant a shift from regional to global working.
Historically the pharmaceutical industry was aligned regionally due to the differing requirements in each individual country for drug approvals. In the late 80s and early 90s with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) now accepting ‘foreign data’ in drug submissions, the development of International Conference on Harmonisation (ICH) guidelines and the advantages to be had with economies of scale, we have seen a huge move towards working globally.
The challenges associated with working globally are many, two key focus areas being that of communication and that of culture, which are essential to overcome in order to achieve a successful outcome.
Considerations for successful communication include the use of effective written and verbal communication. At all times the communicator needs to ensure that the recipient of the information is fully engaged and able to understand the message being relayed. This recipient of information needs to be able to articulate the information locally such that the overall aims and goals can be achieved.
Culture can vary from country to country with influences such as local traditions, religion and local economies. The key to success is acknowledging, understanding and respecting local needs such that people feel engaged and committed to the common cause.
When operating in a global environment it is essential to address effective communication and appreciate cultural variation in order for a company to be successful.
Bhavini Mahendra
GlaxoSmithKline