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Applying the Innovation Styles Model to Promote Creative Assessment in Pharma

“Creativity is thinking up new things. Innovation is doing new things.” – Theodore Levitt, author of Innovation in Marketing

Creative assessment in pharma is the ability to generate and evaluate new, varied, and unique ideas to achieve innovative approaches. Flexibility, originality, fluency, elaboration, and brainstorming are only a few of the factors connected to this tool. It involves finding new ways, making unusual associations, and seeing unexpected solutions. This technique uncovers difficulties, issues, gaps in information, and missing elements followed by formulating hypotheses about characteristics, evaluating, and testing guesses, and then, finally, communicating results. By applying the Innovation Styles Model to pharma, novel methods stimulate curiosity and promote divergences that bring about successful outcomes.

Innovation Styles Model

Visioning, Modifying, Exploring and Experimenting are four distinctive strategies included in the Innovation Styles Model that reveal how to approach new methods, ideas or products in pharma.

  1. DiPersio-Oct2015-Artwork1Visioning forms a mental image of the ideal future. Specifically, original ideas about the future are developed through intuition trailed by facts that are gathered to support those concepts. The long-term outcome is a clear future impression. Visioning endorses innovation by crafting the big picture and presenting certain direction over a length of time. This strategy encourages commitment and provides an impetus for an expansive vision.
  1. Modifying refines and optimizes what occurred previously. Priorities for improvement are established through facts and then intuition allows the entire picture to surface. A specific short-term goal is optimized and achieved. Modifying upholds innovation by adding to what predecessors have accomplished without developing anything new. This strategy also motivates a group to concentrate on realistic, short-term success.
  1. Exploring discovers new and interesting possibilities. Assumptions are questioned with intuition and new options are discovered. Hypotheses and insights are supported by ascertained facts. Exploring searches for unusual breakthroughs and challenges to uncover sole perspectives. This strategy is enthusiastic and hopeful under vague conditions.
  1. Experimenting combines and tests many exclusive groupings. Leverage points are identified with facts and then meaning is realized using intuition. New combinations expose strengths and weaknesses. Experimenting detects ways to overcome barriers, assimilates the ideas of many people, and generates new notions to makes decisions. This strategy tests and formulates new concepts in a detailed manner and provides organized methods to take risks in increments.

Practical Applications of Creative Assessment in Pharma


Strategic Planning

IDiPersio-Oct2015-Artwork3mproving core competencies, emphasizing cost control, focusing on comparative effectiveness, and elevating market access are part of a new strategic planning process. Payers, such as private insurance plans, pharmacy benefits managers, governments, and employers, have moved to the forefront of the pharma industry. They now strongly desire information about drug safety and efficacy to compare drug cost effectiveness to alternative treatments. In the past, determining how much payers would pay for drugs was a major challenge for marketers. However, most recently economically justifying and identifying the intrinsic value of a certain drug is a more important challenge.

R&D and New Products

DiPersio-Oct2015-Artwork4Creative ways are now engaged to capture treatment benefit through subjective research. These practices demonstrate full product value to patients, regulators, and payers. Patients visually express disease experience with mood boards using a collage of images and/or text that represents their emotions and thoughts with drawings or online platforms such as Pinterest. People receiving medical care also utilize body mapping to indicate the location on their body where they experience signs of disease and pain. Patients tell their story in video diaries, often times using smart phones to point out their disease experience in real time. In prior years, face-to-face interviews and focus groups were sufficient, and drug developers relied on merely clinical outcomes. Nevertheless, currently patients recognize the significance of comprehending and collecting subjective research about patient attitudes, preferences, and experiences.

Work Process Improvement

DiPersio-Oct2015-Artwork5Six Sigma and Lean Manufacturing allow pharma to predict and eradicate errors which boost operational efficiency and increase the chance of quality products and compliance, as opposed to relying on end-process testing. These techniques also optimize resources, control inventory, reduce waste and errors, improve customer service and change the market entirely. They identify and remove the causes of defects while minimizing variability in manufacturing and business methods. These tools employ empirical, statistical methods so that a certain group of people materialize as experts in these methods and become an integral part of the infrastructure of the organization. Presently, profits are declining due to greater competition emanating from generic brands and an increase in errors within the manufacturing process. On the other hand, Six Sigma and Lean Manufacturing offer the possibility of saving pharma an estimated $90 billion dollars internationally.

In conclusion, creativity develops fresh ideas, methods or products while innovation puts them into action. Combining creativity and innovation builds an assessment technique that effects positive and profitable change when the Innovation Styles Model is applied to the pharma industry. The practical application of the four unique strategies of the model (Visioning, Modifying, Exploring, and Experimenting) to the strategic planning process, R&D and new products, and work process improvement creates a departure that broadens the reach of pharma and acts as a trajectory to advance the industry worldwide.



  • “How Does Creative Thought Differ from Critical Thought? Macquarie University. (2008)
  • McClearn, C. and Croisier, T. “Big Pharma’s Market Access Mission.” Deloitte University Press. (2013)
  • Meysner, S., Kitchen, H. and Humphrey, L. “Why Creative Research Methods are Essential in Pharmaceutical Outcomes Research.” Abacus International. Decision Resource Group. (2013)
  • “Six Sigma and Its Use in Pharmaceuticals.” Six Sigma Online. Aveta Business Institute. (2014)
  • “Understanding and Applying Innovation Styles(R) for Insight, Versatility and Impact.” Global Creativity Corp. (2007)
Linda J. DiPersio
Professional Writer
Linda J. DiPersio, MSM, MSHC, is a professional writer. Currently, she is pursuing a Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) degree at California Southern University. Linda earned a Master’s in Health Communication from Boston University and a Master’s in Management from Lesley University. She has been published in the Journal of Communication in Healthcare. Linda is a researcher/writer for the Public Health Museum and a member of the American Public Health Association and American Association for the History of Medicine. She is the author of psychological, pharmaceutical and historical health information on her website:

One Response to Applying the Innovation Styles Model to Promote Creative Assessment in Pharma

  1. Debra Miller October 29, 2015 at 3:47 pm #

    Hi Linda, Thank you for the wonderful article about the Innovation Styles® model! You’ve beautifully explained how the model works and how it can be applied to pharma. Good work!

    In the year 2010 Global Creativity Corp sold its IP to Values Centered Innovation, which has offices in Dallas, Texas and Bangalore, India. William C. Miller, the originator of the Innovation Styles® model is a co-founder of VCI. Could you update your references to acknowledge William C. Miller as the originator? And place a registered trademark on the Innovation Styles®. People can learn a lot about the Innovation Styles® from the website ( and can learn about the fully integrated innovation curriculum that VCI has to offer at

    Have you taken the Innovation Styles® self-assessment? If not, send me an email and I would be happy to give you one complimentary.

    I’ll link your article to our Facebook and LinkedIn page. Thank you for giving us a big smile today!

    Debra Miller, Co-founder, Values Centered Innovation

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