The Seventh Commandment : Competence (Training, Education an Experience) You Shall Have

A nice TEE-off is the best way to start!

Tee off’s definition
Verb
[teeing, teed] Golf to hit (the ball) from a tee at the start of a hole*
Nobody will argue that Tiger is a great golfer. And he tees-off perfectly. TEEing-off perfectly is the way to start a great golf game. Receiving the right Training, Education and Experience is, similarly, the right way to start a great pharmaceutical career. And if Tiger does it, why shouldn’t we? He is certainly a model to imitate.
Let’s look at this guy’s career (Most of this info is straight from his web site www.tigerwoods.com… So it must be true! ;-)) :
He played 48 for 9 holes… at age 3. (To think that I played 108 on a 9 holes pitch&putt at 16…)
He made the Golf Digest age 5. (Some of us can’t even digest a regular GMP course!)
He went Professionnal at 16. (Most of us are not even done thinking about our career at 18!)
Highest career money, over 93M so far and counting. (All of us… haw… Just forget it!)
But then he says his biggest challenge is to become a better person tomorrow. (A better person?!?!)
Let’s look at his training regimen and compare with our Compliance and Technical Training programs. Italic statements are taken from the web site :
2-10 hours of training a day
7 hours hitting balls
Hmmm… If remember correctly, most of the introductory training programs I have seen in companies is… oh, 2 to 8 hours. Once. Add SOP training… huh… reading… for a few hours. A few days of one-on-one or OJT. Well, no. For some technical job positions (labs, tablet press, granulation, coating, etc.), this can be significantly longer.
By the way, how often does this guy actually work, or shall we say, conduct professional activity? A few hours a weeks? And he trains several hours every day for these few hours! What struck me was the 7 hours hitting balls. 7 hours perfecting his millisecond contact with the ball. 7 hours of training a day for an act that he will perform a few dozen times when he plays golf. A few games every week.
He rehearses his moves for hours. And, mind you, he is a rather decent ball-hitter to start with.
How can we expect our people to be first class employees in a world class plant or company if we do not provide them with more training, more time to refine their skills? And this, in a world that is controlled by a regulation that specifically mention TEE (training, education and experience) as being mandatory!
Let’s look further.
His training is varied, including stretching, cardio, weight lifting and core skills. But overall it is focused and balanced.
A closer look :
The idea is to build the strength I need to crush a golf ball rather than develop big muscle volume. I lift sub-maximal weights at higher reps, sometimes 25 to 50, because I’m going for tone and endurance instead of bulk. Bodybuilders usually lift heavier weights in sets of 6-12 because they’re going for mass.
Interesting! Translation : More short training sessions rather than an intense and prolonged (and sometimes boring!) session right before a foreseen audit.
My program works all of my muscle groups but there are a few areas that need extra focus.
Translation : A general curriculum is important as long as a specific set of training requirements are identified for a specific job position.
Golfers are always hunched over, so it’s important to strengthen the back and shoulders to support good posture.
Hey! Safety is part of a good training curriculum too!
To keep things interesting, I use a mix of weights, resistance and isometric training.
WOW !! « To keep thing interesting… ». That is an important concept for the design of our training programs. Content is important, but the way to deliver it is essential too.
If you keep your muscles guessing, it makes them work harder.
A little surprise will make people think farther outside their usual box!
Flexibility training is a major component of my regimen. 
Rings a bell? Who does not wish for polyvalent employees? Cross-training is good… As long as it makes business sense. Mr. Wood does not shoot arrows or kick soccer balls as part of his training regimen.
For golfers, core strength is just as important as flexibility.
For pharma employee, GMP is a core body of knowledge.
My core training builds overall strength and flexibility and helps me maintain an ideal state of posture and symmetry. 
My workouts are intense and long, but I listen to my body to avoid injury. I know when I can push it and when I need to back off a bit. I don’t have time for injuries so I train hard, but I train smart. 
A well-rounded program with lots of variety helps me avoid burnout and maintain a high level of conditioning.
Fine balance between what is required to be a better person and what his body can take without burning out.
Oh, by the way… Do you think this guy waits for an invitation to participate to a tournament (or a regulatory agency…) to impose all this on himself?
I have read countless stories of great artists, players, athletes and business people. There are a few trends that keep turning up :
1- All of them keep on learning
2- All of them work hard to become better
3- None of them took « NO » or « ALMOST OK », for an answer
4- None of them waited for somebody else before acting
5- Most of them preferred to ask for forgiveness rather than permission to try something new
6- All of them aimed high, really high.
I keep wondering : What is missing in our programs to make our people « professional » pharma geeks, almost obsessed with quality and compliance? I keep wondering… Do wee TEE-off properly?
Do we SELECT the right people with the right Educational background? The trend in Europe is to hire employees with University degrees.
Do we TRAIN them sufficiently on the right topics and technical skills? And do we offer frequent refreshers? Technology allows us to provide them with web site, podcast, DVD and virtual reality. Do we keep ourselves ahead of the lot by just reading about all this? The new generation of workers demands more than SOP!
Do we provide our employees and colleague with opportunities to EXPERIMENT a variety of situations and challenges?
I keep wondering… Do we TEE-off properly?
Have fun, learn well and stay compliant!
Keep on having fun educating your colleagues!
« Whatever the mind can conceive, the mind can achieve »
Napoleon Hill
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*Collins Essential English Dictionary 2nd Edition 2006 © HarperCollins Publishers 2004, 2006
Only three to go ! Click here for the eighth one! Par François Lavallée, M. Sc. 

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