iSpeak Blog

Chairman's Chatter: In Like a Lion, out Like a Lamb

Michael A. Arnold, RPh

Chairman's Chatter - Mike Arnold, ISPE International Board of Directors Chair

It is hard to believe spring is right around the corner – and I hope for many the proverb, “In Like a Lion, out Like a Lamb”, is accurate when it comes to the weather!  This month I wanted to share with you the success of the ISPE/FDA Quality Metrics Workshop, how the “Voice of the Customer” is being heard, and what it really means to “Go Green”.

ISPE/FDA Kicked Off Quality Metrics Workshop

More than 40 participants attended ISPE’s Quality Metrics Workshop hosted by Novartis. FDA stressed quality metrics as an element of 21st century Pharmaceutical Quality as well as the value of the ISPE Quality Metrics Wave 1 and Wave 2 Reports.   FDA also stressed the need for a data driven view coupled with open dialogue with the pharmaceutical industry.  FDA thanked ISPE for hosting this event.  This was another great job by the Quality Metrics Team.

2017 ISPE/FDA Quality Metrics Workshop at Novartis

(Photo by Bob Matje)

Voice of the Customer

Over the past few months I have received several messages from those of you who have read previous issues of “Chairman’s Chatter” and “View from the Chair” (Pharmaceutical Engineering® Magazine).  Some of the messages express appreciation for the updates and others have shared general thoughts on how we might strengthen our ISPE position.  I want to thank all of you for your comments and make the commitment that I or the appropriate senior leaders will respond to you.  It is your feedback that truly makes a difference, provides appropriate level of organizational awareness, and contributes tremendously to our strategic considerations.  Let me share one comment I recently received:

I have previously suggested that you investigate the number of volunteer hours spent on ISPE. You will find, that this number is incredibly high….. This "hidden economy" is the very core of the ISPE Business, as the Organization would go nowhere without the volunteers efforts.   So, you must think about how to keep and maintain your "staff" of volunteers, who provide the real value of things that ISPE sells.

This comment is spot on!  There is no question that our volunteers are at the core of our success.  This has been the case for many years now and will continue in perpetuity.  While we know the value of our volunteers, we also need to understand that they continue to be our “go to people” and if we are not careful, we will experience “volunteer burnout”.  Some will say we are already there.   The Board and ISPE Senior staff are currently discussing two objectives in this regard:

  1. The need for ISPE resources that can extract volunteer expertise and assemble documents that can be used as guidance, training, and other references (technical writers and project managers for example).  The volunteer should not be tasked with this responsibility, and we must adjust accordingly. Assess the type of resources needed; propose and approve hiring of the appropriate support staff to ensure our success.
  2. In subsequent issues of “Chairman’s Chatter” I will share more of the feedback we’ve been receiving with you.  Please keep the feedback coming!

Will You Be Going Green?

In the pharmaceutical industry, we often here the phrase “Go Green”.   In this context, we are referring to a global effort to conserve and protect our natural resources.   On 17 March we experience a whole new meaning of “Go Green”.  On this day, we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day around the world.   It’s an opportunity for everyone to be IRISH for a day, to dress in green clothing, stop by local pubs serving green beer, and in cities like Chicago turn local rivers and streams green as part of tradition.   To our IRISH colleagues around the world and to all those who will be IRISH for a day, I wish you all a Happy St. Patrick’s Day. Cheers! Mike Arnold - ISPE International Board of Directors Chair - Signature