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Organiser: Amedea Pharma

The latest @Alloutcoach podcast called "Why Going to Work should be like Competing in a Sport" represents the foundation of a modern view of leadership that keenly observes and addresses the natural human ambition to unlock individual potential of the competitors among all of us in life sciences through meaningful metrics and continuous quality improvement.


As you listen, I ultimately invite you to debate why work ultimately becomes like war for many organizations in its current construct that lacks clarity and objectivity and argue why it should instead be like a sport we want to master for a diverse, multi-functional specialty such as Medical Affairs.

Most organizations use sports analogies, but at Amedea Pharma we believe that time has come to fully integrate sportsmanship principles along with data science into our operations in order to inspire stronger technical performance, as well as healthier behaviors across internal teams in the future.

Our entire organization is founded on combining both sports and science in a new digital product launching soon (stay tuned on our website for more information!) designed to raise new standards in healthcare quality and ways of working by quantifying the patient and employee experience more transparently, systematically, and objectively than ever attempted before.


1. Sports is a celebration of personal accountability for performance. Results are emphasized and prizes are based on transparent rules and contributions to team success, with rules known from the beginning of the competition all the way to the end.

However, when we reflect a little further, work in most organizations, particularly in departments such as Medical Affairs across pharma and biotech not directly tied to sales or revenue with unclear or underemphasized KPIs/metrics, more closely resembles war than sports no matter how subtle it may seem as war participants have less accountability than during peacetime for resorting to illegal weapons, tools or skills if they are necessary to win.

A function with no metrics or wrong metrics can create skeptics among the highest performers among healthcare professionals across life sciences who are fully clear about their purpose to do no harm and improve healthcare quality but believe metrics are meaningless because they do not believe how they are evaluated is relevant to their role or is an accurate description of their contributions.

2. As a result, leaders across pharma and biotech must recognize that skeptics over time are likely to misinterpret or dismiss their accountability over time, which transforms them into "war participants". 

However, sports, on the other hand, celebrates fair play and sportsmanship in which an athlete that uses a performance enhancing substance is stripped of a medal, and we have seen those examples across all sports, as well as teams when they are no longer able to represent their country at the Olympics or at different championships.

3. Thus, going to work as if competing in a sport we want to master can bring just the kind of certainty and inspiration that all of us are searching today that so many of us are missing in the world of work, regardless of the economic climate or market volatility.

4. Many argue that pressure to perform and to produce today can be overbearing anyway so why introduce more internal competition? The answer may lie in discovering which pressure is really greater and more harmful  - the vague and artificial uncertainty about the fairness and relevance of how we are evaluated, which we create by design ourselves as leaders and succumb to as employees or a sense of certainty that we build continuously through contests and playgrounds and prizes that we design at work? We build this sports environment through not just one team-building exercise, but many and different contests and competitions that are directly tied to work contributions.

5. Therefore, a true sports view of war can spark some life in the least competitive or driven employee because it reduces doubt, propaganda, and political waste. It frees up all individuals to acknowledge the pressure in a tough market but focus on their personal progress relentlessly to create solutions rather than question why they receive a particular end of the year evaluation, miss a bonus, promotion, or training opportunity. We no longer have to manipulate data, people and their emotions, lead them on, corner or crowd them, but instead can spend more effort coaching each other to break their personal records or PRs from one contest or time period to the next.


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