Newsletter – Mgmt. Tools & Techniques (Vol. 2, No. 1)

The World Class R&D InstituteManagement Tools and Techniques

This month's home page has as its topic Management Tools and Techniques. These articles help you select the tools & techniques you'll need when operating a World Class R&D-capable organization.

Much more exciting, and controversial, is the topic of the Editors' Picks for this month: the inevitable decline of many of today's R&D-centric industries. It now seems these venerable institutions will not pull out of their tailspins. Men found within these industries are incapable of embracing the major changes needed to move toward a World Class R&D capability. This conversation easily overshadows the headline topic for this month.

January 2011 Home Page

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Colleagues,

It may be old news for many of you, but it finally occurred to the editors at the World Class R&D Institute that the pharmaceutical industry cannot save itself in its present form. No one is to blame, rather the industry is destined to become a provider of generic drugs, and as such many otherwise deplorable activities (i.e., massive layoffs of R&D staff in larger firms, relentless pursuit of cost-cutting) now make perfect sense. I suspect this may be the case in many other R&D-centric industries (e.g., chemicals).

This conclusion has led to a major rethinking on the intent and scope of the World Class R&D Institute. We no longer look to rebuild existing industries, rather we look to build new science-based industries. We did not come to this conclusion lightly: it took many months of discussions with many senior level executives in and around industry. We review on the website how we arrived at this change of heart and what this means for today’s industries.

In Men, Machines and Modern Times, Morison (indirectly) describes three phases of industry: growth, maturity and decline. Each Phase demands different men and different money. World Class R&D focused on Phase One industries+: new men and new money who take science breakthroughs and place them on a firm commercial footing. Industries in Phase Three (decline) rarely reinvent themselves back into Phase One. And this not only affects big companies. Smaller companies dependent on the larger players for financing or to purchase their innovation will not be spared in the coming industrial decline.

In Chance, Nécessité, et Naïveté …, Powell & Sandholtz describe a third ingredient: organizational form. You need new men, new money, and new organizational form in each Phase of the industry life cycle. The organizational form appropriate for Phase One (i.e., innovation) is inappropriate for Phase Three (i.e., commodities). Organizational form greatly influences the behaviors of men and money in an industry. Out-of-phase organizational forms are manifested as the Sick Building Syndrome.

This month’s home page has as its topic Management Tools & Techniques – a rather dry topic by comparison. The home page articles were written in anticipation of a November 2010 publication, before the above rethinking took place. File these under ‘wait for the new industry’. This month’s excitement is found in Editors’ Picks.

Hope you enjoyed your holidays. 2011 promises to be an invigorating year.

Keith Ortiz, President and CEO
The World Class R&D Institute, A Non-Profit Institution
609-954-8319 (c)

Note to webarians: This month we start Volume 2 to coincide with the New Year. So Volume 1 had seven issues (monthly from April to October inclusive).


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