This Pharma Company Stays Innovative by Doing Two Things

Looking to avoid the stagnation of innovation? Accessible and unconventional, this article from Harvard Business Review highlights two initiatives that all companies should apply to become a powerful engine of innovation. This climate of innovation springs from a more collaborative culture and the introduction of external talent and practices.


“For industries that depend on innovation, sustaining it is a constant challenge. This is particularly the case in biopharmaceuticals, where turning molecules into medicines is notoriously fraught with risk, and failure.

 When one of us (Vivek) and his team launched Roivant Sciences in 2014 and began developing treatments for Alzheimer’s disease — they were determined to learn from the pharma industry’s innovation issues and build a more sustainable innovation engine. After extensive assessment, they settled on two initiatives: realigning incentives for employees and systematically introducing outside talent and practices.

These two actions cost almost nothing compared to vast sums often spent — and arguably, often wasted — on efforts to foster innovation. Yet they have already generated tens of millions of dollars in value for Roivant. We believe these same measures can be successfully adopted and adapted by other companies in pharma and other sectors that seek to avert, or reverse, innovation stagnation.”


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