Pharmaceutical Executive Europe - April 2007 - (Page 22)

Learning the Fast Way The rise of the ‘mini MBA’ presents a faster way to boost your career. Kate Jackson reports. he impact of major patent expiries, the growth in strategic alliances and partnerships, the drug development crisis and consolidation are just a few of the issues currently confronting top pharma executives. The question facing most of those executives is whether, within their organization, the skill set exists that is needed to drive the business forward in this tough environment. It is vital that each organization develops individuals, not only with the expert technical skills required, but also the key business and management skills needed to ensure that they are able to take a dynamic approach to overcoming each challenge. People are the most valuable resource in any organization, and investing in people is the key to success. MBAs are not a new concept; many executives believe that earning a graduate degree in business is important for those who want to obtain top management positions. However, a typical MBA curriculum takes at least a year of full-time study and can cost approximately €30000 — roughly equivalent to the average annual salary in the UK. The courses can also turn out business generalists rather than those with a practical appreciation of their specific business sector. That’s not to say that the investment in a full MBA is not worthwhile, but unfortunately, in an industry that is so demanding and changing so rapidly, it may T be a luxury that many individuals or organizations can ill afford. Nevertheless, there is a very real need to sharpen and develop the key business and management skills of some executives within the pharma sector. This is primarily because many managers and executives have been promoted from technical or functional positions and have developed their business and management skills en route, without any real investment in developing their wider business knowledge and abilities. Because of increased consolidation, these managers are often trying to operate through a period of dramatic flux, where there is an increased emphasis on leading strategic change across functions. Through no fault of their own, many managers do not have the key management skills needed to ensure a consistent delivery of the required results. In addition, from the perspective of the organization, periods of great change (for instance, during consolidation) create new and attractive career opportunities for those individuals who are driven to become high-performance managers. In order to retain and develop their ‘talent,’ organizations need to invest both time and money in developing the current staff skills base and in offering worthwhile career opportunities. APRIL 2007 PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT 22

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pharmaceutical Executive Europe - April 2007

From the Editor
The Cycle of Success
Survival Tactics
Career Connections
Bringing Out the Best
Learning the Fast Way
Business Class
Simulation Training

Pharmaceutical Executive Europe - April 2007