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BY KIM RIBBINK
executive search firm. “People need to be more prepared to work in a number of different companies or settings, including not just pharma but also specialty pharma and startup biotech.” This means there is tremendous movement in the industry, which presents challenges for companies hiring individuals as well as for employees developing careers. According to a study from the Economist Intelligence Unit, the ability of employees to do their jobs effectively is determined by a wide variety of factors, including organizational structure, budget, availability of appro priate tools, and whether employees are given a reasonable degree of freedom to take certain types of risks. CHANGE IS THE ONE CONSTANT IN THE MODERN PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRY, AND THAT APPLIES AS MUCH TO INDIVIDUALS AND THEIR CAREERS AS IT DOES TO COMPANIES. In the past, an individual would join a pharma company after gradu ating from college and, quite con ceivably, could expect to spend his or her entire career with that company. That’s no longer the case. “The days when an individual could join an organization and spend 25 to 30 years at that same organiza tion happens much less frequently today,” says Jeff Dodson, prac tice leader, U.S. pharmaceutical sector, Heidrick & Struggles, an LATTICE LATTICE Climbing Climbing THE Corporate Corporate C Career progression has changed substantially in today’s lifesciences industry: PEOPLE ARE ONTHEMOVE,what the individual is seeking varies, and career progression is less linear. Experts in career development discuss the issues confronting professionals and how to maneuver the twists and turns ALONGTHECAREER PATH. Women hold just 17% of senior management positions in lifesciences companies. Source:HBA E.D.G.E. in Leadership Study PV0308 LAYOUT 2/14/08 5:42 PM Page 40 41 PharmaVOICE M a r c h 2008 CAREER building “The organization can prepare the employee through active engagement, trust, and with as much complete informational disclosure as pos sible from the commencement of the career,” says Henry Miller, managing director, North America, and cofounder of Sharpstream Life Sciences. “It is up to the individual to be driv en toward accepting the challenge and oppor tunity along with the inherent risk that con veys.” But today’s knowledge worker faces a host of challenges. Downsizing, outsourcing, glob alization, and company consolidation are daunting prospects for any workforce and can leave employees wondering how they will get onto the next rung on the ladder. Equally, though, the industry is battling with a problem of attracting talent. In high lighting the changing face of the U.S. work force, Deloitte & Touche notes that in the coming years there will be a 6 million person gap between the supply and demand of U.S. knowledge workers. “We are clearly in the midst of a period where some of the best and brightest are trad ing in large pharma roles for positions at biotech and specialty companies,” Mr. Miller says. “Additionally, the brain drain is about to begin as the first of the baby boomers can now file for early retirement.” It means that the linear view companies often take to hiring and promoting, seeking individuals who need little training and can hit the ground running, may require a rethink. The opportunities for rising stars may, in fact, be greater than ever. STARTING OUT An individual’s career progression is affect ed by his or her choices, including selecting a company that values people, that is growing, and that provides challenges and opportuni ties to learn, experts say. Nothing can replace core competencies and knowledge as the foundation for job perfor mance. Sales reps, for example, should ensure they understand the science as well as the company’s products and those of its competi tors, as well as healthcare reimbursement. “Being strong in these areas alone is not enough to build a successful career; the represen tative must also focus on the key competencies and skills identified by the company to be effec tive,” says John Hunter, manager, sales training and development, at Otsuka America Pharma ceutical (OAPI). “Once these are identified, it is important to focus efforts on continuous learning and development specific to these areas.” WE ARE CLEARLY IN THE MIDST OF A PERIOD WHERE SOME OF THE BEST AND BRIGHTEST ARE TRADING IN ROLES in large pharma companies for roles at biotech and specialty companies. PROVIDING MENTORING TO OTHERS IS A GREAT OPPORTUNITY for people to develop their leadership skills. HENRYMILLER Sharpstream Life Sciences BRAD SMITH Roche LADDERVERSUS LATTICE CORPORATE LADDER Source:Mass Career Customization,Deloitte & Touche USA LLP, NewYork.For more information, visit deloitte.com. CORPORATE LATTICE . Traditional hierarchy . Singular path upward . Move up or stop moving . Workversuslife balance . Fits more traditional family structure . Assumes workers’needs remain consistent over time . More conducive to evolving matrix structure . Multiple paths upward . Move faster, slower; change directions . Careerlife fit . Adjusts as workers’needs change over time Upward momentum Integrated with talent management systems PV0308 LAYOUT 2/14/08 5:42 PM Page 41 42 M a r c h 200 8 PharmaVOICE CAREER building HBA E.D.G.E. IN LEADERSHIP STUDY A groundbreaking study by the Health care Businesswomen’s Association (HBA) andBoozAllenHamilton found that women hold just 17%of topmanagementpositions in lifesciences companies.According to the study — The Empowerment, Diversity, Growth, and Excellence (E.D.G.E.) in Leader ship Study — of the 19 U.S. and European companies participating, several had no women in senior management positions, with the number of women represented topping out at 57%. In middle manage ment, female representation is higher, with women occupying roughly onethird of positions. This number is consistent between biotechnology and pharmaceuti cal companies and across companies in Europe and the United States.It is also in the same range as other industries. Within all lifesciences companies, the greatest representation of women middle managers is in research and development (37%) and corporate functions (34%). The lowest representation is in information technology, where women hold only 12% of middlemanagement positions. Adisappointing aspect of this is how lit tle has changed over the past five years, but discussions with Clevel managers in the context of the E.D.G.E. study did find that most recognize there is an imbalance and that action is required. “At the moment, it is hard to imagine what the lifesciences industry will look like once onethird or onehalf of all senior management positions are filled by women executives,” says Anne Camille Tal ley, cochair of the E.D.G.E. in Leadership committee and global pharmaceutical market research consultant at Health Lead ers Consultancy.“We believe that there will be patientcare advances and commercial successes that are not possible under the current management pop ulation statistics. We believe that women and men should have access to corporate training pro grams tailored to each per son’s development needs. We believe that both cur rent leaders and aspiring leaders need to create and use corporate poli cies that effectively recruit, advance, and retain the most talented women.” There are steps that can help to improve the situation, including ensur ing seniorlevel support for advancing women. Those involved in the study highlighted the importance of network ing, team building, and relating to advocates and subordinates. Relation ships are found to be more important than many had grasped. The E.D.G.E. study found that corporate com mitment matters as much as corporate pro grams.More companies demonstrate clear com mitment than don’t. Also, more companies demonstrate low (rather than high) availability and use of programs and initiatives for women’s advancement,retention,and recruitment. “It is striking that even the four companies whose performance qualified them as `failure tolaunch companies’ in this key group of man agement metrics elected to support this research by including their data,”Ms.Talley says. “We take that as a sign that there’s a will; we believe that our research has identified a way.” To move forward, the study calls upon com panies and individuals to measure and track what is done, discard what does not work, and try new, bold, and comprehensive approaches to advance the careers of women.These tactics include: offering flex ible work arrangements for senior execu tives; insisting that search firms always pre sent diverse candidates; avoid branding highpotential employee programs as gen derspecific for women; and telling middle management women to refocus their aspi rations on performance metrics. “Women should take advantage of opportunities to learn how to network effectively, talk, debate, and deliberate on how to apply the results of this and other research,and then go out and act on those conversations in support of themselves and their colleagues,”Ms.Talley says. Source:The HBA E.D.G.E. in Leadership Study, Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association, Fairfield, N.J. For more information, visit hbanet.org. ADVANCES INTHE PHARMAANDBIOTECH INDUSTRIES CONTINUE TOBEMADEAT EXTRAORDINARY RATES,WITH BREAKTHROUGH SCIENCE ANDTECHNOLOGIES BRINGING NEWHOPE FOR TREATMENTS FORMANYDISEASES.ANDYET FORHALFTHE WORKFORCE PROGRESS IS STALLED. ENABLING CULTURAL ELEMENTS SUPPORTING PROGRAMS Recruitment practices to support represen tation of women Advancement programs for highpotential female employees Career and work flexibility models to return top female talent Best Practices Road Map Merit and performance based processes to ensure equity Measurement and accountability to drive behavior end results SENIOR LEADERSHIP SUPPORT FORCORPORATECHANGE 1 2 3 4 5 6 Source:The HBA E.D.G.E. in Leadership Study, Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association, Fairfield, N.J. For more information, visit hbanet.org. Women in LifeSciences CompaniesWorking in U.S.and E.U.by Level 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 15% 35% 16% 34% 17% 35% 18% 34% 17% 34% Senior Management Middle Management Source:The HBA E.D.G.E. in Leadership Study, Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association, Fairfield, N.J. For more information, visit hbanet.org. PV0308 LAYOUT 2/14/08 5:42 PM Page 42 AD #: FMD65793E3 (VERSION 2) CLIENT: FORMEDIC PRODUCT: CORPORATE SIZE: 9 1/2″ X 11 1/2″ COLOUR: 4C PROCESS SCREEN: DATE: VARIOUS PUBLICATION: PHARMAVOICE CYAN MAGENTA YELLOW BLACK There’s no better place for your brand than between a doctor and his patient. Formedic Patient Record Forms offer brand exposure at the point of prescription — every practice day, throughout the day. With less face time and nosee physicians, ads on Formedic forms offer you the best alternative to reach your target audience when prescribing decisions are made. Ongoing IMS studies have shown a profound effect of Formedic on increasing market share and new Rxs. And with a proven 24:1 ROI, you can rest assured that your investment in Formedic is solid. For more information, contact Raj@Formedic.com or by phone at 7324697031. Claims can be supported through ongoing IMS studies (20002007); all specific results can be individually reviewed upon request. Right place, right time. **ART_00_FMD_PrintAds_P65793E3_1 1 2/11/08 10:27:30 AM 44 M a r c h 200 8 PharmaVOICE CAREER building Experts note that it is imperative that any individual in the pharma industry, no matter the discipline, focus on the daily successes required to deliver and determine the steps needed to arrive at that goal. “Communication with their immediate supervisor upon joining is key when deter mining the top three to five goals by which that supervisor will judge success,” Mr. Miller says. “Employees need to ask their supervisor how those goals can best be met. Additional ly, they need to seek out more senior peers who are likely to share their perspective on path ways to success and who that supervisor believes are a good model for achievement.” Junior careerists can also take advantage of their close proximity to the customer, research, and competitive intelligence to determine trends and market potential or challenges and pass that information along to their supervisors, Mr. Miller says. “In today’s lifesciences environment, information flow is key,” he says. Soliciting feedback can benefit employees, particularly if they aren’t getting enough feed back from their managers, says Brad Smith, director of staffing and diversity at Roche. One source of feedback is a 360degree review, which is an organizational survey. “Typically, a number of people will be asked to complete a survey for an individual, including his or her boss, peers, some key clients and stakeholders, and maybe cus tomers,” Mr. Smith says. “The feedback is anonymous and an employee gets a summary, usually only his or her boss’ feedback is visi ble, but the rest of the information is pooled to show how the employee is viewed by clients and peers. The employee then looks at those areas where he or she has needs or weak nesses and uses that as a basis for development planning to strength those areas.” MOVINGUP Today’s career path is more often an undulat ing journey of climbs and lateral moves, becom ing less a corporate ladder and more a corporate lattice, say Deloitte & Touche analysts. The emphasis today is placed on breadth of experience amid the need for leaders who can respond to changing market demands. A Best Practices report, Career Path Defini tion and Succession Planning, notes there are ways to acquire this breadth, including through shortterm international assignments, vertical and lateral rotations through various functional areas, and varied training courses. “In a big company, sometimes the best way to advance is not a straight line but by taking side steps and becoming more knowledgeable about dif ferent parts of the compa ny,” Mr. Smith says. “It’s not unusual for a scientist to move into another role in development or for somebody in finance to move into a marketing or commercial role. Employ ees recognize that they can’t be linear; they need to have a broad base to move up into a leadership role where they might be heading up various functions across a group.” He notes, for example, that most of Roche’s senior commercial leaders have spent time in both sales and marketing. “The top MBAs we recruit to the company are asked to do a stint as a sales rep to help develop their career,” Mr. Smith says. “This may be someone who has eight to 10 years of industry experience so asking that person to spend two years as a rep is a tough sell, but new employees recognize that the skill and experi ence are going to benefit them in the long run.” Mr. Dodson says functional breadth for example, exposure to the business side if the individual is on the research side, is important but even more important is geographic breadth. “The pharma industry has historically been an industry focused around developed markets, but in the future emerging mar kets such as China and India are not only becom ing big markets them selves, but are also becom ing global bases for other functions, such as research and development,” he says. “An individual who aspires to a Clevel position needs some pretty substantial geographic diversity and experience as well.” This breadth of experience is particularly important in an industry as complex and reg ulated as pharma, experts say. Sales employees at OAPI, for example, are ENABLING EMPLOYEES IN JULY 2007THE ECONOMIST INTELLIGENCE UNIT CONDUCTEDANONLINE SURVEY OF 1,351 SENIOR EXECUTIVESWORLDWIDETO DETERMINE HOWVARIOUS FACTORS AFFECT EMPLOYEES’ LEVEL OF ENABLEMENT — THEIR ABILITYTO DO THEIR JOBSWELL — ANDWHETHERANY RELATIONSHIP COULDBE IDENTIFIED BETWEEN ENABLEMENTANDCORPORATE PERFORMANCE. Overall, the research found that many employees already feel adequately enabled: 63% of survey respondents indicated they have a high degree of autonomy, while more than onequarter (25.2%) say they collaborate frequently with others. Yet the findings also suggest that employees could be much more enabled than they are. On the tech nology front, only about onehalf of companies sur veyed (53%) indicated they have the IT tools they need, while roughly the same proportion said they have access to the information they need. Onethird said they have the teamwork structures necessary for enablement, while only 17% feel that their organiza tions have enough employees with the necessary skills and training to work independently. Just 10% feel there is enough money in the budget to enable individuals and teams to accomplish their tasks. The research also suggests that if firms want employees to be more effective, they should allow them to take prudent risks within parameters that limit potential losses.Encouragingly,nearly twothirds of survey respondents (64%) say that their organiza tions tolerate reasonable risktaking.Yet a full 20% say their firms discourage it and only 13% say their com panies actively support it. Source: Economist Intelligence Unit, London. For more information, visit eiu.com. THE LIFESCIENCES INDUSTRY WILL BE A MORE VOLATILE INDUSTRY GOING FORWARD and people need to take a much more proactive approach toward their own career than they used to. JEFF DODSON Heidrick & Struggles In the pharmaceutical industry, women represent 8.33% of CEOs,around 10% of Clevel executives, around 20% of VPlevel executives, and around 30% of nonexecutive professionals. Source:ZoomInfo InSite Report:Gender in the Executive Suite PV0308 LAYOUT 2/14/08 5:42 PM Page 44 Serious About Science We’re a unique new network with science at our core and the right genetic makeup to deliver amazing results for even the most ambitious healthcare clients. Visit www.hhealthglobal.com Huntsworth Health 2008 The Huntsworth Health Group of Companies: ApotheCom | AXIOM | evoke interaction | Dorland Global | Helix | Huntsworth Health Europe 16183_PharmaVoice_M1.qxp 2/15/08 6:19 PM Page 1 46 M a r c h 200 8 PharmaVOICE CAREER building given the opportunity to serve in a variety of roles in their districts, thus expanding their breadth of competencies. “There are opportunities to serve on task forces and participate in home office internships, as well as serve in leadership positions in the field,” Mr. Hunter says. “Last year, the human resources department launched a new online resource tool providing justintime coaching and development opportunities for everyone. In addition, we hold a management development conference each year for the management team to continue its career development.” The changing face of the industry is pre senting a number of challenges, including how best to expand career experience. “In the past, some major pharma companies had default twoyear rotations for many roles,” Mr. Miller says. “When a major drug was get ting beaten in the market, lost patent protec tion, or was recalled, those rotations were no longer a given and many employees realized that new limited career progression was a raw deal.” Important though a formal career develop Sound Bites from the Field PHARMAVOICE ASKED EXPERTS HOWWOMENCAN SEEKTO ADVANCETHEIR CAREERS ANDNAVIGATETHECHANGING FACE OFTHE U.S.WORKFORCE,THROUGHTHE HELP OFMENTORSORTHEIROWN INTUITION,AND HOWTHEYCANMAKETHENEXT LEAPTOMORE SENIORLEVEL POSITIONS. ELS DECREMER is Consultant and Director of Borderless Executive Search,Brussels, Belgium,which specializes in international executive search for the lifesciences, chemicals,and food processing sectors. For more information,visit borderlessexecutive.com. “ Women looking to move into the executive suite should actively seek out formal coaching.This is a process whereby a coach facilitates a woman to navigate through a predominately male business model.Women should be mindful to define what their ground rules are before accepting senior positions, particularly if they need time to balance work with a family life. Many women are also excellent at being `lampshades.’By that I mean they shine downwards on the people that they are responsible for by being nurturing and supportive.But a woman aiming to move up the ladder must learn to become a `spotlight,’ shining upward as well to receive proper recognition for her ideas, successes, etc. ” BARBARAEISER,M.A.,M.C.P., is President of Leading Impact Inc., Bryn Mawr,Pa., an executive coaching firm. For more information,visit leadingimpact.com. “ The most important action women can take to move successfully into senior leadership roles is to build strategic relationships. In higher positions,accomplishing results through other people becomes more important than applying technical knowledge.Becoming part of informal networks and working with limit your choices by gender. Invite a potential mentor to join you for coffee or lunch.Outline your career goals and ask if she or he would consider mentoring you.The right mentor will have the time and ability to give advice that will help you achieve your career goals.But the most important key to career success is having written goals.Even before meeting with a potential mentor,you need to knowwhat you want to achieve.Mentors can help you reach your goals,but they can’t tell you what your goals are. ” KATHYMAGNUSON,M.D., is Executive VP of Brand Pharm, NewYork,a memberof the Publicis Healthcare Group,and a fullservice medical advertising agency.For more information, visit brandpharmusa.com. “ Womenhave traditionally been seen as the doers,the folks whogetwork done without much fuss or fanfare.For those women seeking to advance into senior leadership roles, I would rec ommend four key steps.First,be decisive.Make wellinformed decisions,but don’t always try to please everyone with them.You can’t.Trying to form consensus around everything will make you appear to be indecisive.Second,be bold and take risks.You can’t stand out by doing what is expected all of the time.Third,don’t be afraid to say no.Many women feel they have to always respond affirma tively when asked to take on an additional task or responsibility. If the task or responsibility doesn’t fit with your gameplan,or you can’t do it well,don’t take it on.Fourth,avoid trying to act like a man. It is possible to be successful without having to imitate the characteristics we typically associate with male leaders. ” SUSANMORRIS is President of Morris Consulting Group LLC,Langhorne,Pa.,which offers relationship training design and delivery,consulting,and mentors are the most critical ways to understand political relationships and power,encourage mutual assistance with peers,and gain visibility with key executives who can help navigate career moves. ” KARENFRIEDMAN is Founder of Karen Friedman Enterprises Inc., Blue Bell,Pa.,which helps individuals improve their communication skills with senior management,reporters, colleagues,clients,community, investors,and other key audiences.For more information,visit karenfriedman.com. “ Learn to trust your instinct and your gut. If something doesn’t feel right,don’t do it.There is nothing more important than your reputation and credibility. I also advise women to keep away from the rumor mill and never talk behind someone’s back if they want to be perceived as leadership material.Additionally, it’s critical to listen first and talk second.Act like a sponge to soak up information and develop skills.Ask a lot of questions.Good questions create an impression that you are genuinely interested to learn and contribute.When seeking a mentor, look for someonewho can play a significant role in your development not just by helping you improve your skills but by offering advice about career growth, planning,and important decisions. ” JULIEKAMPF is President and Founder of JBK Associates Inc., Englewood,N.J.,an executive search firm that focuses on senior executive positions across multiple industries and disciplines, including the life sciences,financial services,and consumer products.For more information,visit jbkassociates.net. “ Great mentors can be menorwomen,sodon’t PV0308 LAYOUT 2/14/08 5:42 PM Page 46 47 PharmaVOICE M a r c h 2008 CAREER building ment plan is, individuals also play a key role in determining their own future. “Employees need to take responsibility for their own career goals and development,” Mr. Hunter says. “This evaluation should incorpo rate activities, resources needed, and targeted completion dates, which can help individuals track and reassess progress.” Being open to change is also paramount. “People who have an open mind to new experiences cope best with career changes,” Mr. Dodson says. “It’s also important to be able to build relationships and learn from peers, supervisors, and subordinates.” Mr. Smith agrees, saying it can often be dif ficult for individuals to ascertain how to move from A to B, and the best way to handle this is to talk to people who have already made the journey. “It comes down to having dialogues, engaging in career discussions, and network ing with people,” he says. “It’s important to learn more about the company and about options and opportunities across the business.” AHELPING HAND Taking the next step in a career requires the individual to expand his or her skills, knowl edge base, and even contacts. Mentorship and networking, therefore, are important aspects to navigating career development. Roche has put in place a leadership devel opment initiative in which early career MBAs who join the program are assigned a senior executive, called a sponsor, who acts as a men tor and who offers broader support. “They meet three or four times a year and talk about longterm career planning,” Mr. Smith says. “These same sponsors can also act as champions for these individuals, who we call associates, to help them open doors or net work career opportunities.” After the associates have been at Roche for a few years, they are encouraged to take on a more traditional mentorship role with new associates coming into the program as well as summer interns, who are a feeder group for these programs. “It’s a more formal approach that works very well; it’s very structured, with clear guidelines and expectations,” Mr. Smith says. “Our spon sors are accountable and the programs are mon itored by our program manager, who regularly has discussions with both associates and spon sors to make sure the meetings are happening and dialogues are productive.” OAPI’s Mr. Hunter says mentorship and career development work hand in hand. When working with sales reps, he says mentors can assist new reps by sharing realworld applica tions of what they have learned at formal train ing sessions. “Mentors can prevent many of the pitfalls that may be awaiting a new representative and enhance sales effectiveness when in front of the customer,” he says. “In addition, offering men tor programs enhances the perception of employers by demonstrating the organization’s commitment to skill and career development.” Many smaller companies don’t have the staff resources to provide formal guidance and in their place external professional networks provide opportunities for career development. For women, such groups include the Health care Businesswomen’s Association (HBA), Executive Women of New Jersey, and Cata lyst, an organization that works with business es and professionals to build inclusive environ ments and expand opportunities for women in business. executive coaching to R&D scientists and technical experts, exclusively for the pharma industry.For more information, visit morrisconsulting.biz. “ First,be a mentor.Know what skills to look for in a mentor and you’ll be a better protege.Be ready to succinctly describe your career goals.Observe the no surprise rule,talk to your manager, identify a senior leader whowill share his or her organizational wisdom,and shorten your learning curve.Select a mentor who you can trust andwhowill be available when you are.Consider experts outside of your organization or industry as mentors. ” LORRAINEPASTORE is President of LifeBrands,New York,a memberof the Publicis Healthcare Communications Group,and is a fullservice healthcare advertising agency dedicated solely to maximizing the potential of specialty brands.For more information,visit lifebrandsusa.com. “ My advice is to just ask for advice when and where you need it.The worst someone can say is no.Don’t lose touch with your former colleagues. They are often a great resource.My dream was to combine my love of science and good business sense into an agency devoted to specialty brands. My career path took many turns,but passion and persistence,and a little wellplaced help, finally brought mydream to life. In terms of career advancement, find a focus that’s differentiating and follow your passion.Women often eschew office politics in the belief that it’s all about the work. Don’t make that mistake. ” BETHROGERS is President of PointTaken Consulting,Boston,a communications skills training company.For more information,visit pointtaken.net. “ Many hiring decisions are made on the basis of impressions of your leadership potential,not just your actual leadership experience.While this seems like a styleoversubstance issue, it’s best to reframe this as a substancewithstyle approach.A good leader is defined as someone who inspires others to action. Leaders are defined by their followers — without them, they are not leaders. If you have to break the `old’model,you need to have a strong leadership presence, through how you approach your job and how you look and sound,as well as in the substance of your work. ” BETHSCHACHTER,PH.D., is Partner of Still Point Coaching &Consulting,New York,which offers specialized coaching and seminar programs for individuals and groups of scientists to master the skills required for success.For more information,visit stillpointcoaching.com. “ If you want to reach the corner office, accustom yourself to being proactive and doing some homework.This includes finding good mentors.Look for people who are on the path you want to take. Learn more about them from other colleagues to get a sense of their values and potential for being receptive to your questions.Ask for an introduction, or introduce yourself and ask the potential mentor specific questions and if he or she would be willing to answering more of your questions. If he or she is, continue building that relationship. Don’t limit yourself to people in your own work place. For example, look within professional societies. Get advice from people who have recently moved up the ladder; they may know the current hurdles better than more senior people will. Don’t fixate on finding just one good mentor; the person who can teach you how best to learn new content areas may not be the one who can clue you in on time management. ” PV0308 LAYOUT 2/14/08 5:42 PM Page 47 48 M a r c h 200 8 PharmaVOICE CAREER building “The trend for crosscompany networking and skills pollination is evident and a real need for these associations has risen as formal men toring has become more scattershot,” Mr. Miller says. “Professional networks have evolved naturally as colleagues have spread into differing companies globally.” Providing mentorship is also one of the components of leadership skills. “Organizational leadership skills are general ly a key determinant for the individual looking to punch through from midlevel to the execu tive level,” Mr. Dodson says. “Mentorship is one skill among many that effective leaders have.” How much guidance and support new hires receive early on contributes to that person’s abil ity to adapt and succeed, experts say. “Some groups are very good at orientation, planning out that first day, week, month, pro viding an indepth overview of the job and organization,” Mr. Smith says. “To the extent that a group does a good job of providing ori entation, it’s going to make them much more comfortable, and success will come quicker.” That said, the onus also needs to be on the ambitious employee to seek guidance. Many executives will make themselves available to employees seeking their perspectives and knowledge, an approach one executive describes as “feeding the hungry,” Mr. Miller says. THE COMPANY’S ROLE The Economist Intelligence Unit report, titled Ready, Willing and Enabled: a Formula for Performance, sought to uncover what employees need to make optimal decisions. It found they require: autonomy sufficient to make the best decisions for the company; tools to do the best possible job; access to financial resources that may be needed to buy these tools and allow for enough people to handle the workload; a collaborative working envi ronment that motivates people and reduces the cost of working together; performance incentives, both financial and nonfinancial; and clarity of policies and procedures. “Talented individuals seek challenges and opportunities, and companies need to keep their learning curve relatively steep,” Mr. Dodson says. “That’s relatively easy early in somebody’s career because he or she is exposed to new things. It gets harder when someone gets to that upper/middle level, and to keep the learning curve steep it’s necessary to pro mote him or her to a job that might not be available until somebody is ready to retire.” One way to get around this dilemma is by rotating people within different functions and geographically, Mr. Dodson says. “One company has a list of high potential people and matches the list against the devel opment needs of those particular individuals versus key jobs,” he says. “Those positions are used as platforms to develop people, moving them around with the idea that they’re better positioned to get promoted into executive level jobs.” Employees also need to know what is expected of them and how their performance will be measured. “Formal development, performance plan ning, clear objectives that are measurable, and regular feedback on how individuals are doing and, most important strategically, how they fit into the bigger picture are critical for retaining employees,” Mr. Smith says. “Then companies have to tie incentive to compensa tion; the better the individual does, the bet ter they’re paid; the better the company does, the better people are paid.” To make these goals a reality, Roche ensures that all employees have a development plan and encourages all managers to engage their reports in career development discussions. “A career development plan is not just about the job a person is in, but where he or she wants to be in five years; we try to get employees to consider assignments that broad en their expertise, knowledge, or prepare them better for a new area through projects, experi ences, or education that enhances the skills they need to advance,” Mr. Smith says.# PharmaVOICE welcomes comments about this article.Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. JEFF DODSON.Practice Leader,U.S. Pharmaceutical Sector,Heidrick & Struggles International Inc., Chicago;Heidrick & Struggles specializes in chief executive, board member,and seniorlevel management search assignments for a wide variety of clients.For more information, visit heidrick.com. JOHNHUNTER.Manager,SalesTraining and Development,Otsuka America Pharmaceutical Inc. (OAPI),Rockville,Md.; OAPI commercializes Otsukadiscovered and other product opportunities in North America,with a strong focus on neuroscience,cardiovascular,and gastrointestinal therapeutic treatments.For more information,visit otsuka.com. HENRYMILLER.Managing Director, North America,and Cofounder,Sharpstream Life Sciences, Conshohocken,Pa.;Sharpstream Experts on this topic is a global executive search and selection company for the lifesciences industry. For more information, visit sharpstream.com. BRADSMITH.Director of Staffing and Diversity,Roche,Nutley,N.J.;Roche is one of the world’s leading researchfocused healthcare groups in the fields of pharmaceuticals and diagnostics.For more information,visit rocheusa.com. ANNECAMILLETALLEY.CoChair,The HBA E.D.G.E. in Leadership Committee,Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA), Fairfield, N.J.; HBA is the catalyst for the professional development and leadership of women in healthcare worldwide.For more information, visit hbanet.org.Ms.Talley is also a Global Pharmaceutical Market Research Consultant,Health Leaders Consul tancy. For more information, email Ms.Talley at email@example.com. IT IS IMPORTANT FOR THE REPRESENTATIVE TO USE HIS OR HER MANAGER TO GAIN FEEDBACK ON SKILL SETS, STRENGTHS,AND AREAS OF OPPORTUNITY. The representative can also ask the manager to suggest activities to help strengthen existing skills and develop new ones. JOHNHUNTER OAPI PV0308 LAYOUT 2/14/08 5:42 PM Page 48