Fast-Performing Leadership

May 18, 2017

Pharma and biotech needs cultivate fast-performing leadership, writes Bagrat Lalayan. Here, he outlines a model to get the best results in a competitive business environment.

"Today you have to run faster to stay in place." — Philip Kotler

"Simplify the task. Continually look for faster, better, easier ways to get the job done." — Brian Tracy


The pharmaceutical and biotech industries are known by their tough competition, serious regulations, compliance needs and scientific innovations. This environment requires high level of leadership from executives, as well as middle management. In order to be more effective and productive in a field where it appears, everyone has similar education, skills and products. What is the differentiator? Speed. We need to develop fast-performing leaders and cultivate fast-performing leadership (FPL) in our companies. The focus should be on the speed of implementation of tasks and decision-making compared to the usual daily performance.

I developed FPL model to be more effective in managing projects and people (individual model), to reinforce my companies into the FPL style in order to achieve higher sales and productivity in comparison with competitors (corporate model). FPL works as effectively for individuals as for companies.

Structure of Fast-Performing Leadership

Fast-performing mind

The FPL model requires a new type of thinking: confidence in your ability to perform faster by keeping the best level of quality without signs of being exhausted by your work. For example, it is possible to keep your business meetings short, with details and concrete tasks, rather than spend half of a day without real results at the end. If you implement the FPL model in your daily activities, you will change your speed of work, attitude and achieve better results.

How do you change your standard mind to a fast-performing one?

  • Observe life around you. Pay attention to the fast-performing people on the streets, in offices, restaurants, sport centers or hospitals. Make notes why you think some people do similar work faster with the same quality than others.
  • Pay attention to the fast-performing leaders whenever you’re watching news or networking.
  • Find FP leaders in the history and literature (Richard Branson – fast, effective, creative management of corporations, staff and entrepreneurs; Steve Jobs – author of the fastest-performing tools.)
  • Set up approximate targets of your daily or weekly professional and family responsibilities. List options that can help you to improve your daily performance and speed up the necessary interactions, meetings or decision makings

Fast-performing tools

All type of electronic or digital tools you’re using as a leader during your daily activity for communication or office should be fast-performing and allow you to react and make faster decisions.

  • Set up your software in the most convenient way to react quicker to any daily tasks. Keep your electronic documents easily structured  (Be sure to get document or information you need just in 3 clicks, in 10 seconds maximum. Check it right now!)
  • Think about what in your office prevents you to work faster and how to organize information exchange facilities, processes and even arrange the office furniture to move quicker and more efficiently.
  • Adapt in the similar way your daily logistics and transportations (If you travel to another city for the first time, try to find out meeting place in advance and not just before the appointment)

The ultimate goal is to speed up activity in order to fulfill more daily tasks than in the past

Fast-performing interactions

Business interactions with colleagues, partners or customers can take a huge part of our working time. The majority of leaders spend significant time for interactions even after normal working hours or meet key clients during the weekends. Therefore, transformation of common interactions into the fast-performing will save tremendous amount of time and eventually lead the company to the outstanding efficiency.

  • Make a list of all possibilities allowing you to reduce the time you usually spend on meetings or other interactions.
  • Prepare an agenda for meetings in advance and distribute it among participants indicating not only duration of the meeting itself, but timing of the individual presentations, reports or speeches as well.
  • Make it a habit to send reminding letters to all persons with whom you have scheduled a meeting or a conference. Always try to reconfirm the duration of the program in order to finish in time you plan.
  • If possible, try to replace face-to-face meetings or business lunches by teleconferences in order to save time you spend on traveling or waiting.
  • Even if you like personal interactions, you are not able to be everywhere. Don’t be afraid to delegate some meetings to your colleagues or subordinates. You and your colleagues can simultaneously participate to different meetings which will double your performance at the same period of time.
     

Fast-performing bosses and subordinates

You can learn to indirectly influence your bosses by demonstrating your ability to provide more rapid solutions. And you also need to develop your subordinates, so that eventually their speed of action will grow, and they will be evaluated to the fast-performing leaders.

  • Be a good listener, especially when you’re communicating with your boss. If you are fully aware about vision, deadlines, wishes or strategy of your manager, you can adapt your internal speed, tools and interactions in order to be ahead of expectations and deliver fast-performing leadership and results.
  • Be a proactive with your management and make proposals about improvement in efficiency of your organization by sharing your experience as FP Leader.
  • Train and develop your subordinates with technique of FP mind, tools and interactions. Ask them to be as proactive as you are with your management.
  • Over time, organize briefings, brainstorming sessions with your people dedicated to the enhancement of speed and efficiency of their daily performance.
  • Praise people for their development — announce monthly awards for the best FPL.
     

Fast-performing partners and clients

The interesting fact about FPL’s technique is that you can train your partners or even customers how to increase the speed of your cooperation and meet better results together. You may tell them about the method or indirectly lead them by your own example. But the main message to all your partners should be “It is better to do it today rather than to start to think about it tomorrow or next week”. Therefore, it is very important also to develop your clients in a way when they start, for example, to send their requests or place the orders faster than they’ve been used to do it before.

  • Write down agreements with your partners, not only standard deadlines of services but, also, to set up minimal deadlines, lead time of production or time frame of delivery.
  • You may consider special bonuses for both sides in case of achievement of minimal deadlines.
  • Make sure before you plan to implement the agreement that all responsible people or departments from both sides know each other, and all fast-performing tools are set up (digital projectors, video conference connections, enough copies of all necessary documents. Make it sure that your assistances can find any requested documents in a few seconds)
  • Inform your partners or customers that usual business overview meetings could be replaced by short daily reminder calls or be monitored by specially formed follow-up groups.
  • Be ready to react to any demands of your clients as soon as possible and certainly faster than your competitors. List all options which can help you in this issue.

Overview

• You can compare your personal results (sales, number of successful marketing projects, HR turnover or other KPIs) after implementation of the FPL model in comparison with previous years or periods. You can also ask your bosses or partners how they assess the latest developments in your work.

• CEOs can implement the FPL strategy as a starting point. However, each member of the team must do his/her best to grow faster as performing leader. It will help the company to achieve higher targets than their competitors. Besides, it will improve image of the company as the best working place for employees.

• The best way for executive directors in developing of their people in accordance with FPL model is to set up effective FP tools, strategic goals and personal development plans; to decrease the level of bureaucracy; to set up challenging daily tasks and to help subordinates to achieve them faster than they think they could.

• It is important to organize business meetings in order to discuss options, real solutions, innovative ideas and always keep the scheduled agenda instead of spending hours complaining about results, making long, populist speeches and finally demotivating people.

Bagrat Lalayan, M.D., Ph.D., is founder of Innovapharm and Victoria Consulting LLC (Armenia), and former GM of Armenian affiliates of Servier Laboratories (France), Roche (Switzerland).

 

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