thoughts/ideas/opinions from scott hodge

Tuesday, May 11


The June 2004 print edition of Fast Company arrived today. There is an article in it entitled, “The Thrill of Defeat” about the folks over at Pfizer. The article headline states:

“Every leader and every business faces setbacks: they’re the price of ambition. If you want to know how to persist in the face of failure, ask the folks at Pfizer who spend entire careers doing just that.”
The article is about – failure. The article points out that:

“Pfizer spends $7.9 billion on R&D. But 96% of its efforts end in failure – and most researchers never work on a winning drug.”
Imagine working for months or even several years on a project that will more than likely end in failure.

How do you keep people motivated in that type of environment? One gentleman named Peter Oates has spent 19 years on Pfizer’s diabetes effort. He says that the “scientific efforts” he gains there sustains him through repeated disappointments.

Nancy Hutson, the senior vice president of global research and development focuses on these four things in helping her team succeed:

1. Offer support
2. Put people first
3. Celebrate small victories
4. Instill leadership
Good advice to us all - facing failure or not...