Jack the Ripper probably gave flowers too

I’ve just got back from a work trip to Barcelona. The city is bustling, the restaurants are full. Masks are omnipresent but other than that the city seems to just be getting on with things. Back in Basel, I am getting ready for this years DIA meeting. I look forward to seeing you there. If you are not yet registered, you can find a code for 20% off below.

Today’s topics are.

– Jack the Ripper probably gave flowers too – or why to trust your gut
– How standardised processes free up your creativity
– The temptation to sacrifice strategy on the altar to compliance
– DIA Medical Information and Communications Conference – my session

Jack the Ripper probably gave flowers too
A friend of mine is having chemo. She was told she needs a port-a-cath. She agreed but said “I need time to come to terms with it”. The Professor tried to talk her into it. She said “No”. She told me it’s taken her years to get to this point. I have the same experience. Whenever I have decided on a topic purely trusting rational considerations, ignoring that niggling feeling, that something is wrong, I’ve regretted it. It’s a lesson that cannot be learned early enough: When something seems wrong, even if you cannot explain why, walk away.

The standardisation of processes limits creativity – debunking a popular belief
I enjoy working with cross-functional teams on global transformation programmes. A key driver of these projects is usually to increase collaboration and efficiency. Over the years, I’ve often heard “standardisation will limit my creativity”. In fact, the inverse is true. Imagine, if every time you post a letter you have to decide where to stick the stamp. Depending on the type of letter, the size, the colour of the envelope, the topic of the stamp etc. you might spend a while figuring out the best place to stick it. However, you don’t have to choose. Stamps go in the top right-hand corner. You can use the time saved to focus all your creative energy on the content. The same is true for any process improvement. Harmonising documents. Reusing content. Improving global data analytics. Resource that is not wasted reduplicating efforts, or performing tasks that can be automated, is free to creatively improve how you do business.

The temptation to sacrifice strategy on the altar to compliance
Inspection readiness is key. Documenting processes and being compliant is critical. However, SOP writing should come last. Standard operating procedures anchor the operational aspects of a business and serve the strategy. Before writing an SOP, you need to define your goals. Do you want to serve more customers? Provide better information? Be faster?  Adapt your support model by your customer type? Move customers from the phone to digital channels? Do you have a one-year vision? A five-year vision? How will this roll out across the organisation? How will you measure success? Only then can you define your operating model and write an SOP. Under pressure, it’s tempting to write SOPs first.  Based on historical ways of working. The strategy part is postponed until tomorrow. Unfortunately, tomorrow never comes.

Working during the Pandemic and beyond: Lessons Learned, Best Practices and what will we take back to the office.
In two weeks, at the 15th edition of the Medical Information and Communications, I’ll be speaking at and co-chairing with Peter Brodbin, Director Medical Information Effectiveness at Pfizer on work during the pandemic and beyond. We will discuss, working pre-pandemic/epi-pandemic/and post-pandemic. Best practice. What we learned, what we want to keep and what we want to leave behind. Damian Page Head Data Healthcare Ecosystems Roche and Lori Mouser, Global Head, Medical Customer Engagement at Roche will join us for a panel discussion.

Join us and get a 20% discount, if you haven’t already registered, by applying the coupon code SAVENOW20 at check-out.

And lastly, if you are writing a lot of SOPs, you might be interested in this webinar with the title “How to write SOP’s that avoid human error”. You can find a link here.

Wishing you a wonderful October. Hopefully see you at the DIA meeting. If you are facing a complex challenge and would like a sounding board or you’d like some help to implement globally, contact me for a chat. Alternatively, if you are considering your next career step, and would like to discuss executive coaching, feel free to contact me to discuss how and if I can support you.

Photo by Rodion Kutsaev on Unsplash