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Collaboration is the new norm

 Not so long ago even innovation-driven industries like pharmaceuticals did not accept, let alone review or seek ideas from the other industries. With the ability of Big Pharma to tap new sources of innovation becoming more important than ever, partnerships are now the rule not the exception.


Declining R&D productivity, the “patent cliff” and intense generic competition all take their toll on Big Pharma. Some of the research that’s needed, and the associated investment, is so enormous that sometimes single organisations are no longer able to bear the effort alone. Unsurprisingly, 2014 was the year of the biggest M&A deals in the history of Pharmaceuticals. It is safe to say a culture of cooperation, be that with external partners or with competitors, will be one of the drivers of future success in 2015.

While organisations partner, the people working at those organisations take it a step further: they collaborate. People “talk, agree, disagree, share, laugh and learn together” (Janssen Pharmaceutica). Collaborations have the power to transform the theoretical benefits of partnerships into practical solutions.  According to Janssen Pharmaceutica, those benefits may include:

  • Transfer of skills
  • Quick acquisition of the necessary knowledge to tackle a new problem
  • Cross-fertilisation of ideas, which generate new insights or perspectives
  • Intellectual companionship for those working at the frontiers
  • Faster dissemination of projects through the larger network capability
  • Extension of the network of collaborators, potentially leading to further partnerships

What does collaboration mean within Interim Partners?

Collaboration is one of our core values: next to Visionary, Brave, Collaborative, Honorable and Genuine; being collaborative is embedded in our culture.

We know the value of collaborative.  We know that teams generate more ideas per mind.  Collaboration is about sharing your network, being sensitive to colleagues and mentoring new team members.  Yes, we’re strong, driven individuals but no one is an island, it wouldn’t be any fun if we were”.

To put emphasis on this value we formed practice groups and within these groups we work together on a number of joint projects: client meetings, industry-wide networking events for our clients and interim community alike; we support each other in the challenges we all face in our professional life. This collaborative way of working makes us better consultants. We are more knowledgeable and stronger as a business.

I am the Senior Consultant for Life Sciences and together with my colleagues Claire Lauder (Manufacturing), Paul Philips (Business & Support Services) and Richard Beesley (Energy, Utilities & Infrastructure) we form the Industry Practice Group. Please get in touch if you would like to have a discussion with us. We will be delighted to hear from you.


Norma Warwick-Smith is the Senior Consultant for Life Sciences at Interim Partners.


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