The ascent of the buzzword “innovation” in our industry conferences, articles, and blogs has been meteoric. Not sure about you, but for me it has become so mainstream and overused at this point that the word is now a popular cliché – something that is, in and of itself, indolent and predictable.
Oh the irony.
Interestingly enough though, I think that innovation is kind of a conundrum to us as clinical R&D professionals. We all want to be thought of as “innovative” because it has almost entirely positive connotations. But at the same time I see gigantic amounts of resistance to this on a daily basis.
Oh the irony.
The very act of R&D implies innovation. Working to discover things that are previously unknown to science. It is key in an industry that needs to push the boundaries of knowledge and science to find answers where there are currently only questions.
So why is it that many large pharmaceutical companies find it hard to be innovative in operational areas of the R&D enterprise? I will even go so far to charge that innovation is actively resisted by many. Think about that: Our industry is one of the most innovative forces on the planet and yet it has the tendency to actively resist innovative ideas in moving the operation forward.
Oh the . . . well you get the idea.
Here’s a Thought!
Necessarily though, our industry has adopted a form of “fettered innovation”. The fact that our industry deals with the lives and welfare of human beings requires a heavily regulated process. (We proved a long time ago that we need regulation. Innovators like Jonas Salk would be almost anathema today.)
But this means that if you work for a company that is pushing and changing the way that we think about and do business with each other it’s not always an easy thing to manage.
For me, working at BBK Worldwide means always being innovative and moving outside of our comfort zone. BBK's patient recruitment management system, TrialCentralNetSM (TCN), is continuously pushing the boundaries of what is possible in clinical R&D – from reporting strategically important information to delivering new solutions for patient retention. And it’s not always easy to do things differently even in the face of extraordinary benefits.
Sometimes the crest of the wave is an uncomfortable place to be, but the view can be exhilarating and you always know it’ll be one heck of a ride.
For more information on innovations in patient recruitment, download our free article, Putting Intriguing Ideas to Work.