Turning an eye to the future

Pharmaceutical Representative

Excerpts from National Society of Pharmaceutical Sales Trainers president Andy Hartnett's opening comments at the society's annual meeting in June:

Excerpts from National Society of Pharmaceutical Sales Trainers president Andy Hartnett's opening comments at the society's annual meeting in June:

"During the first 25 years of the [NSPST's] existence, our profession has been challenged by many changes, but none as challenging as those that have occurred over the last several years.

"We have progressed from trainers to performance technologists. Our resources have expanded from manuals and role-plays to CD-ROMs, uplinks and intranets.

"…While these changes may have impacted the scope of our function within our organizations, the primary outcome has been a honing of our educational skill sets and an enhancement of the tools of our trade…

"The next 25 years are upon us and the challenges we will find there are much more fundamental in nature. We will not be called upon to enhance pre-existing skill sets to respond to an all-too-familiar situation in a quicker or more efficient manner. Rather, we will be asked and expected to accept a higher profile and a larger role in the maintenance and growth of virtual organizations… The trend is already evident in the decentralization of core functions, the outsourcing of traditionally in-house operations and the movement from matrix management to networking and virtual team strategies.

"This will provide an unprecedented opportunity for learning departments to step away from their traditional support role and weave into the very fiber of the organization… Although our primary role will remain that of advocate for the learner, to fully realize this role we must be able to speak the standardized language of these new disparate, disembodied corporate structures.

"The ability to accomplish this transition will be essential not only to the survival of individual departments, but more importantly to the organization as a whole…A decentralized virtual organization must have structure in the way it thinks and transfers knowledge. That will be our realm." PR