Don’t get left behind, diversify
The temptation at times of environmental change is to look internally and try to grow the skills that will enable survival. This is all very understandable, but is actually talent inbreeding. The analogy is simple. Diversity is necessary to create a population that is robust to all that life throws at it. Optimising a trait for a specific need can be done by inbreeding or genetic modification but at a huge risk: one that could leave the organisation vulnerable to disease or only fitted to an environment that is locked in time.
Let’s take the Biopharma sector. In recent years, pharmaceuticals, biotech, diagnostics and medical devices have been forced to undergo seismic change: patent cliffs, FDA warnings, regulatory guidelines and generics are part of the problem, but in they are a sneeze compared to the epidemic that personalised medicine will be. This future of low patient populations, segmented therapies defined by diagnostics and data, not doctors and datasheets, is spreading fast and not all of yesterday’s companies will survive.