What My Burned Desk Taught Me about Pharma Growth

Are you poised for growth through a focus on the patient?



One day this summer I saw it; a strange burn on my desk. “What is it? And how did it get there?”, I wondered. Then the next day another one appeared.

“What is going on?!” I thought out loud. I showed my husband, John and we both threw up our hands; “What in the world could it be?” Then a thought dawned on him. He moved the snow globe my daughter had made for me, which I was proudly displaying on my desk into the path of the sunshine. Sure enough, we watched the sun burn yet another hole in my wooden desktop.

The lesson I learned (after 3 permanent burn marks on my beautiful desk) was the power of focus! Alexander Graham Bell said it much more eloquently.

Concentrate all your thoughts upon the work at hand. The suns rays do not burn until brought to a focus.

It made me think about how powerful we can be in pharma when we all focus on the patient.

Remember in Dr Suess when Horton hears a who? Not until every voice in Whoville was singing, could they be heard. I think it’s the same with patient focus. Not until every company and everyone in each company are focused on their purpose (serving the patient first), will we achieve our best outcomes.

  • Only then will healthcare professionals trust us enough to treat us like partners.
  • Only then will we be welcomed in their offices.
  • Only then will we be able to contribute to their decisions.
  • Only then will we see the profit that research has proven results from companies that focus on their purpose (get my free ebook with proof here)
  • Only then will we truly make a difference for patients, hcps, our companies and ourselves.

We’ve taken a great first step with our patient-focused projects and programs. Let’s now take the next essential step to move patient centricity from something we say to something we do within all parts of our organizations. We must move it from an expense item to a revenue-generating item.

How? By teaching our people to focus on the patient in everything they think, say and do. Research proves that the companies/people that are purpose-driven do better! How are you helping your people be purpose driven by focusing on patients?

One great way to start is to see where your organization stands. Are you poised for growth through a focus on the patient?

We’re doing a global survey to find out. You can get involved at the ground level by participating in this pilot survey found here before Oct 19, 2015. It should take about 5 minutes.

What’s in it for you? You will be privy to/able to benefit from the insights from the survey and the results before anyone else. And you could win a free pass to the Patient Summit in Philadelphia on Oct 19-20, 2015 just by completing it.

How do you compare to other organizations? Take this quick survey now.


Jill Donahue and John Elliott are on a mission to help lift pharma. They believe that being patient focused isn’t just the right thing to do, it can be the most profitable. This column in one way they hope to show pharma folks how to serve differently and better! Learn more about Jill & John at www.EngageRx.org


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Patient Summit USA 2015

Oct 19, 2015 - Oct 20, 2015, Philadelphia

Transform care: implement a patient-centric model and build momentum for change across the value chain

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