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Past Meetings

November 22, 2017


Preparing the Pharma Professional for the Pharma Industry of the Future

To propel yourself into the future is an interesting idea, but how does one go about doing that? Do you strap on a jet pack and count down to take-off? It feels overwhelming and intimidating, to be sure. If you are searching for the fuel to get you started on your figurative jet pack adventure, November’s PMCQ event, attended by more than 150 people, was exactly the kind of fact-packed, resource-rich, future-focused meeting you needed to get you fired up and leading your way into tomorrow.

The President of the PMCQ, Shannon Quinn, opened the meeting by covering a few points of business:

  • This event’s pictures (and those of past events) will be available on the PMCQ’s Facebook page.
  • The February event is now February 27th and will be a new format: breakfast meeting.
  • The Holiday Soirée will be on December 5th at 40 West Steakhouse & Bar.
    • A portion of ticket proceeds will be donated to the CHU Ste-Justine and the Montreal Children's Hospital.
  • January’s event, “The shifting trend of CPD and CME,” will be on January 23rd.
  • Thank you to the Gallant Leaman Group for doing the creative for this event and Novartis for their sponsorship of the event.

Shannon then introduced Axim Valenzuela, the VP & Country HR Head of Novartis Canada. He previously worked at Novartis Mexico, and introduced the night’s speaker, Shelley Brown, CHRE, Practice Leader at Bromelin HR Consulting. Among her many accolades, Shelley has been recognized with the prestigious Human Resources Professional Association Fellow Award, and has been named as one of Canada’s Distinctive Women for the last 3 years, based on her entrepreneurial success.

The following summary is composed of highlights from each of Shelley’s three key messages.

Key Messages

1) Change is accelerating.

Gone are the days when Big Pharma was king, the economy was strong, and there were several products launching. Below are the current trends we can see in Pharma today, and the skills that will be necessary in the short-term and long-term future.

Today’s trends:

  • More biotech-pharma partnerships
  • Sales and Marketing are combined into one commercial team – customer engagement
  • R&D working more closely with Commercial
  • Medical Functions are likely to become more customer-facing, as different kinds of customers come to the forefront
  • Market Access is likely to take a greater role in customer communication
  • Medical & Market Access will provide expertise in areas such as the science behind drugs and how to measure cost-effectiveness
  • More remote representatives, and the rise in digital contact
  • Increased demand for project management skills
  • Subcontracting as a strategic choice
  • Partner with academia to develop skill sets of the future
  • Demographics

Skills needed for 2020:

  • Critical thinking and problem solving
  • Collaboration across networks and leading influence
  • Agility and adaptability
  • Initiative and entrepreneurship
  • Effective oral and written communication
  • Assessing and analyzing information
  • Curiosity, imagination and disruptive innovation

Skills needed for 2030:

  • Contextualized intelligence: Nuanced understanding of culture, society, business and people
  • Entrepreneurial mindset: applying creativity, learning agility, and an enterprising attitude to find workarounds and circumvent constraints
  • Personal brand cultivation: a searchable and favorable digital identity as basic work hygiene
  • Automation literacy: the nimble ability to integrate lightweight automation tools into one’s own work and home life
  • Computational sense-making: ability to derive meaning from blended machine and human-based outputs

2) It’s your career, it’s up to you.

Leading a successful career is something that is (and should be) entirely in your hands. To ensure that you are chasing the career that you truly want, it takes some self-awareness. Shelley also discussed what else it takes:

  • Passion: Figure out what you love doing.
  • Taking charge: Seize control of your career by taking a fresh look at your behaviour in three main areas: knowing yourself, excelling at critical tasks, and demonstrating character and leadership.
    • Excelling at critical tasks: Identify three or four of the most important activities that lead to success in a job or business.
    • Demonstrating character and leadership: Make your performance go from good to great by putting the interests of your company and colleagues ahead of your own and do things for others without regard for what’s in it for you.
  • Planning: Force yourself to set aside time to think about your career development.
  • Having a goal: Put yourself five years into the future and actually write your resume as you envision it. What do you need to do between now and then to get there?
  • Investing in deep work: Make a shift from staccato, reactive work into more self-directed, long-term projects with a longer ROI.
  • Building your external reputation: Speak at industry conferences, contribute to a blog for industry journals, do an international assignment, or take a leadership role in your professional association.
  • Reaching your potential: Take a personal look at how you define success in your heart and have faith that justice generally prevails over time.

3) You don’t have to do it all by yourself.

Your career is 100% your responsibility, but don’t think that there isn’t any help! The trick is to leverage smart people and smart opportunities.

  • Network: Make yourself easy to find on LinkedIn and nurture your network by genuinely staying in touch with people (not doing it just for self-serving purposes).
  • Consider non-traditional career moves: Sometimes making a lateral career move may boost your career forward in the long run. Seize opportunities and don’t be afraid to leave your comfort zone.

Feeling energized to start preparing yourself for the future? Here are some of Shelley’s book recommendations for further reading:

  • Now, Discover your strengths by Markus Buckingham
  • Deep Work by Cal Newport


Justine Garner
Freelance Medical Writer
Cell: (514) 605-5109


Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Supporting Care Partners

Virtual Meeting
Time: 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Online only!

Tel: (514) 486-3458
Fax: (514) 486-4794

Creative by GLG Communications
Printing courtesy of Data-Ad
AV courtesy of Pro-Staging
Digital courtesy of
Engage Presentations Inc.

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