The Essential Steve Jobs for Today’s Pharmaceutical Executive

10/6/11

It is hard to overestimate the importance of Steve Jobs on the American psyche. The co-founder and guiding force of Apple has died, succumbing to a long illness after only recently stepping down as chief executive. 
But his impact continues beyond his life, his business, his industry, his leadership, and his vision. One only needs to go to the Apple flagship retail store in Manhattan to feel his effect on the individual and industrial landscape. On any day of the year, the store is packed with tourists, many of whom are from other countries. In these moments, Jobs and his company personify an American cultural and business ideal of itself: “We invent these kinds of miracle things.”

Since this is the exact feeling (message, if you will) that the U.S. and global pharmaceutical industry would like to leave with the general public—as well as its traditional stakeholders of providers, payors, patients and regulators—what could pharma leadership take away from Jobs’ legacy?

Let’s start with the leader himself. Jobs’ name is listed on 313 patents. This is one of the most eye-opening points circulating around Jobs’ resignation. Can any actions (never mind words) speak louder than that in telling employees and the world how the company’s CEO views innovation? I challenge you to find it.

I realize that it can be difficult to make an apples-to-oranges comparison between the businesses of consumer technology, and that of … Next Page »

Christopher Bowe is the U.S. healthcare analyst for Informa. Follow @

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