During the first quarter of 2013, Genentech embarked on an initiative within its human resources department to examine the “Future of Work.” Led by Steven Kowalski, Ph.D., principal for executive talent development at Genentech, the collective team effort produced some fascinating insights and recommendations that are shaping human resources’ long term cultural vision and objectives.
Over the past few months, leaders and members of BOLD, a best practice group for HR professionals in the life science industry in the San Francisco Bay Area, also collaborated with Genentech to explore the topic. This collaborative effort resulted in a survey of BOLD members and revealed the importance of 1) how future trends and potential disruptors might impact the life science industry, and 2) how these trends and disruptors might necessitate changes in fundamental work practices like leadership and people management.
In an effort to extend this timely and topical discussion more broadly into the life science community, BOLD and the San Francisco Chapter of the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA), a global not-for-profit organization dedicated to furthering the advancement of women in healthcare worldwide, partnered to organize the event.
Hosted by Gilead, the facilitated workshop began with lively networking and a warm welcome from Mary Ann Ireland, the founder of BOLD and Rebecca Vermeulen, president of the local San Francisco HBA chapter, which included an introduction of the panel of guest speakers. Dr. Kowalski moderated the panel that consisted of Ann Bamesberger, head of workplace effectiveness at Genentech; Mark Bagnall, managing partner for Shintandi Biosciences, LLC and former president and CEO of GenturaDX and Kaye Foster-Cheek, former senior vice president for Onyx Pharmaceuticals.
Upon conclusion of the panel discussion, the attendees formed small groups to further the dialogue. The interactive discussion provided the participants a more intimate opportunity to collaborate and identify potential impacts the future of work may have on critical work practices. Topics included: identifying disruptors that may impact their respective businesses, leadership preparation and actions today that could build the foundation for attracting, and retaining leaders who are prepared to shape the future of work.
At the conclusion of the group session Dr. Kowalski refocused the various discussions back to the panel to capture dialogue stimulated within the group setting, followed by closing thoughts from the panel. As Ms. Foster-Cheek indicated, “the future of work is now,” referring to the ever-changing technology laced multi-generational workforce of today. However, the potential revolutionary changes on the horizon will put increasing pressure on leaders to adapt their style and behaviors.
In an effort to navigate workforce complexity and potential disruption, forward-looking companies of all sizes and across all industries should take note. Rethinking how to best motivate and inspire knowledge workers begins with developing leaders who are prepared to shape and create the future of work.
More about BOLD:
Based in the San Francisco Bay Area and primarily focused in the Organizational Effectiveness and Talent Management aspects of Human Resources, BOLD is dedicated to growing the people that manage talent and develop their organization into the productive life science company it aspires to be. Check out the BOLD website for more information and future events!
More about the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA):
The HBA provides networking forums to build relationships; knowledge sharing and access to thought leaders to broaden perspective; educational programs to develop leadership skills and cutting edge industry knowledge and recognition of outstanding women and companies to promote visibility of their achievements. Check out the HBA website for more information and future events!
Bruce Jobson, SPHR (email) is the Big3Bio Career Center Managing Partner and HR Consultant with the Jobson Group, Inc.