Pfizer Futures Intelligence Network

Pfizer Corporate Wide Futures

For this project, the central question was: Will the core value proposition of the pharmaceutical business sustain popular support for their high-margin industry into the future?

Leveraging Internal Intelligences: Pfizer Futures Intelligence Network (PFIN)

Pfizer Global Research & Development (PGR&D) initiated a corporate-wide network linking executives from different divisions around the world to gather intelligence on the future of the pharmaceutical industry.  Working with AFA the Pfizer Futures Intelligence Network (PFIN) created alternative scenarios, strategic recommendations and scanned signposts to monitor the likelihood of forecasts and scenarios. Senior leaders across Pfizer’s global divisions used the scenarios to expand and diversify their thinking, enrich their strategic plans, and create a “thoughtful culture.”

Senior leaders within Pfizer were acutely aware of major issues confronting the pharmaceutical industry and of their own vulnerability arising from an outdated approach to drug development compounded by patents which were about to expire. They ascertained the urgency with which they needed to address these imminent changes with foresight. Recognizing AFA’s expertise in helping major industries to see and think more broadly, Pfizer hired them to develop a Futures Intelligence Network. PFIN, as it was fondly referred to, brought together scientists, sales and marketing and regulatory executives from across Pfizer’s global businesses to establish a network of internal advisors, who could support knowledge management and corporate strategy using foresight. The network, guided by AFA, met regularly to engage in high level thinking about the future of the pharmaceutical industry. AFA helped PFIN to maintain an ongoing scan of new ideas or developments, and to integrate the alternative scenarios they created into their daily practices as well as corporate strategy.

The PFIN alternative scenarios for 2012 that AFA and a team of Pfizer executives wrote in 2002 anticipated the major direction that the pharmaceutical industry would take over the decade.  Teams of PFIN members created strategies within the scenarios and identified ways the company could thrive even in the most difficult of likely circumstances.  By monitoring developments in the context of the scenarios, Pfizer executives grew very clear on which scenario was coming to fruition and knew what strategies could bring success.

Importantly, the work PFIN leaders brought into their own divisions led a culture of change across the entire business. The new culture was a shift in mindset from a very singular, targeted approach to developing medicines into a wider, more holistic approach that was patient-centered.

In effect, we were seeding the company with these ideas that end up changing the behavior of the organization.

Sheryl Torr-Brown, Director, Science & Technology, Pre-Clinical Drug Safety 

Contact us to learn how we can help guide you to your future successes.