The Impact of Leadership Development on the Life Science Industry

Leadership development consultancies and life science companies have the opportunity to forge a unique, powerful partnership as the healthcare and pharma industries face mounting pressure to adjust business practices and fill potential leadership gaps before they cause problems in the future.

In eras past, the life science industry had a focus on delivering products, and innovating with research and development, with perhaps not as much interest or focus on the human relationship side of this important work. These days many industries are pivoting to a people-first approach, and the life science and pharma industry are included in that shift.

With leadership development training and coaching, life science professionals can learn and implement valuable skills that improve patient outcomes in a measurable way. This is the core of what the life sciences industry aims to do, and with that objective, everything else falls into place — stakeholder relations, revenue, further research capabilities, and more.

Leadership Development for Life Sciences Startups

Leadership development consultancies are perfectly situated to help fledgling life science companies get off the ground and get their products and services to market, with all the right skills and strategies in place from the start.

The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation says that the life science industry accounts for a large share of new startups, most of which are focused on research and development. ITIF indicates that these startups translate to job growth more so than in many other industries, as life sciences companies and other tech-based organizations are better suited to turn research and development into actual jobs.

Leadership development consultants help by adding the skills startups need to really take off. Whether that is providing training and education in STEM subjects, or working to refine people skills, management objectives, or organizational structure, there is a lot a leadership development firm can do to play a part.

Making Industry Leaders Better, and Preparing New Leaders

Even in established life sciences companies leading the industry, there is a need for ongoing leadership and employee development. The industry is changing, as we noted, and those hard research and development must be augmented with communications, project management, and team-based qualifications if companies want to stick around.

This is a truth that the industry is beginning to recognize. According to the Association for Talent Development’s 2017 State of the Industry report, organizations across all industries spent $1,273 per employee in 2016 on direct learning expenditure, compared with $1,252 in 2015. The need to train and develop staff on all levels is clear, and companies are willing to budget for it.

Statistics show that overall, 84 percent of organizations are anticipating a shortfall of leaders within the next five years, and many do not have plans in motion for succession. Closing that gap is a big priority and the only way to keep a company going through any tumultuous times in the future.

In the healthcare world, there are problems keeping good employees on hand, as people are eager to move onto the latest and greatest opportunity. Retention becomes all the more difficult if your staff does not feel like they are being trained, educated, and supported in the right way. Leadership development helps with this problem in several ways.

First, company executives and leaders will learn how to create a corporate culture that is attractive, working to improve retention on all levels. If leadership development and training opportunities are extended to other members of the workforce, they will see this as an investment that shows the company cares and may be less likely to start looking elsewhere. Stronger retention means less upheaval, greater work outcomes, and higher levels of productivity, making for a better organization as a whole. Supporting employees and developing leaders ensures that there are people with the right skills and qualifications to step into high-level roles as required.

There are many ways leadership development can be delivered, so each consultancy and each life science company will be able to find a partnership that works. It is important to be clear about what objectives a company is hoping to meet through leadership development, such as developing a specific skill or accomplishing a certain goal. Leadership development can extend over a long period for ongoing support or can be concentrated for a strongly immersive learning experience. The options are endless, but they are all designed to bring healthcare and pharma industry organizations to new levels of success.

For the life sciences field to move into the future with the least amount of growing pains, and the highest potential for longevity, leadership development is key. For leadership development consultancies this represents a strong collaborative possibility, and for life sciences companies, the time to train those leaders of tomorrow has never been better.

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