Magazine Article | August 1, 2015

How Bayer Relieved My Innovation Neurosis

Source: Life Science Leader

By Louis Garguilo, Chief Editor, Outsourced Pharma
Follow Me On Twitter @Louis_Garguilo

Among her many positive attributes, Dr. Monika Lessl is a good sport. I know because she graciously accepted to enter – at least for the duration of our interview – my neurosis regarding the word “innovation.”

This ailment intensified at BIO 2015 in Philadelphia, where Lessl and I sat down to talk. Others devoting a career to innovation — and holding a title like VP, Head of Innovation Strategy at a renowned company like Bayer AG — would walk away from a conversation that starts with: “Innovation is meaningless in the bio and pharma industries. The word itself drives me crazy.” Lessl didn’t leave, though. Instead, by meticulously imbuing the word with context and revealing the meaningful way Bayer has woven innovation into the entire company, she walked me through my difficulties with the word. Here’s how our session unfolded.