In pharma, the big story of the spring and summer has been M&A. The drama began in April with an asset swap between GSK and Novartis. The most recent headline grabbers have been inversion deals like AbbVie’s $54 billion acquisition of Shire.
All this deal activity is a potential threat to innovation. Why? During a deal, it’s easy to overlook the intangible drivers of development: people and culture.
Deal mania makes it easy to forget that people and the way they work together are the main drivers of innovation. Drug development is a team sport, and the way the players interact is a major factor in achieving success. Too often, deals break up environments that have made innovation possible.
M&A integrations also create atmospheres of anxiety within a company that dampen R&D productivity. When layoffs occur—or wind of them blows through an organization—people focus less on their jobs and more on job security. The threats to innovation don’t end there:
- R&D budgets shrink, jobs are cut and research projects dry up.
- Researchers have to adjust to a new team and a new work environment.
- When two distinct research cultures merge, it can destroy delicate ‘ecosystems’ of climate and culture that support scientific discovery.
Integration doesn’t have to harm innovation. But you have to stay focused on people.
So with our most recent white paper “Keep your innovation from walking out the door” we want to share three key people strategies to keep innovation rolling.