Successful biopharmaceutical operations provides a practical guide to transforming biopharma companies into industry leaders through a focus on driving change. The industry has a blind spot concerning this kind of work, because successful change management comes from a focus on people, while our technically-minded ranks invariably prefer a technical focus. This cognitive bias causes us to pick up the tools we like the best and to swing them enthusiastically - whether they are working or not. This book provides new tools. Readers gain an understanding of how biopharma organizations developed into the cultures we see currently. They will recognize attributes and behaviours, and will come to understand their relationship to performance. Most importantly, readers learn what steps to take to transform biopharma operations. By giving real-world examples and context, the author provides a practical solution that readers can implement in their own organizations.

Staying the same is not an option for biopharmaceutical companies: organizations must keep pace with increasing regulatory scrutiny, global competition and constant cost pressure. The problem is that most organizations are not set up to demonstrate the agility necessary to get ahead and stay ahead.

Too many organizations in the industry continue to try to keep pace without fundamental change. Instead, they roll out Operational Excellence, Six Sigma, Lean, or the latest quality initiative. These activities provide comfort in that they occupy people and produce the appearance of productivity. Numbers are escalated that show dollars saved here or there, and the organization prides itself in the number of individuals it has trained in Lean or Six Sigma. Subsequent change, however, appears to be negligible.

Key Features

  • Provides an insider's look at the transformation of real biopharmaceutical operations, thereby unveiling the lessons of technical industries, and revealing and tackling biopharma's blind spot
  • Highlights the single management practice that is holding top performance hostage, and introduces the one change initiative that makes all other improvement possible. In doing so, the book debunks the myth that Lean and Six Sigma will deliver the industry to operational excellence
  • Redefines 'High Performers' so organizations stop rewarding the wrong thing

Table of Contents

Part 1 The need for change: Something isn't right?; The problem of smart people; The ease of fundamentalism; The silo skyline; Integrating the appearance of improvement; Call it what it is: Cost reduction; When you turn the wheel and nothing happens; When you take public opinion polls to see what's wrong; When you realize you run a daycare center. Part 2 The change process: Change management framework; Cognitive bias; The compliance card; Simplicity vs. complexity; Accountability vs. innocent bystander; Bringing it all together: Engagement, gameplan, sustainability. Part 3 Noise (you'll want to read this): Lessons from Oobleck; They're under too much pressure; We need to give them time; They don't feel comfortable bringing things up.


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© 2025
Woodhead Publishing
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About the author

C Driscoll

Chris Driscoll is a proven operations executive, international management consultant and author with Lean Manufacturing, Operational Excellence, Cost Reduction, Manufacturing, Quality, Organizational Development and Training expertise. He has experienced creating world class operations and building a culture of excellence in global organizations. He is an internationally recognized business turnaround expert with executive experience in 19 countries. He authored Managing the Core - Business Management in the New Economy in 2009. He is also a part-time lecturer at the University of Colorado Leeds School of Business. Chris is a past Director at Amgen Inc. and is currently CEO of the Driscoll Consulting Group.