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What mistakes did Eli Lilly make in its product development efforts? Why were those mistakes made?

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1) Going back in history, what mistakes did Lilly make in its product development efforts?
2) Why were those mistakes made?
3) As you analyze what lessons Lilly needs to have learned from its past experience, apply those lessons to the innovation projects on Larry Ellingson's current agenda. Is he pursuing the right opportunities? What should he do to ensure the success of these efforts?

The case summarizes Eli Lilly's history of innovation in its business, describing how the dimensions along which innovations have been made in the industry have changed. Lilly's innovation strategy has been to pursue ever higher performance products, while others in the industry have pursued more convenient products. At the time of the case, Lilly is contemplating offering services, not just products, to diabetic patients.

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1) Going back in history, what mistakes did Lilly make in its product development efforts?

First, it made the use of animal extracts and used it in human patients. Second, the purity of the insulin was not high enough. Third, the time period over which insulin was absorbed was not regulated and the absorption was sudden. Fourth, the development of Humulin was very costly and not affordable by customers. Fifth, the animal products were full of impurities. Sixth, the human insulin was not engineered with any differentiation and the human insulin was so similar to that produced by the competitors that the product was reduced to a commodity. Seventh, the new human insulin required refrigeration and that met with resistance from the pharmacists. Eight, the new human insulin did not match the rate of production of insulin in normal human beings. Nine, the funds commitment into the production development increased in an unplanned manner and so either funds commitment was too large or the cost of the product became very large. Tenth, the organization had a functional design where LRL was responsible for discovery of all compounds and that had little connection with the marketing of the product.
One of the glaring mistakes made by Lilly is not warn the customers of the potential dangers of the defect:
Report highlighting coma dangers to 15,000 sufferers who were switched to synthetic human substitute deemed alarmist, writes Paul Brown

Tuesday March 9, 1999 UK Guardian

Evidence that thousands of diabetics in Britain may have suffered a deterioration in their health from synthetic insulin has been withheld by the British Diabetics Association,
whose role is to advise patients and to protect their interests.

The evidence was contained in a report, commissioned by the association and completed six years ago, which highlighted dangers faced by about 10 per cent of the 150,000 diabetics
who had been switched from the traditional animal-derived insulin to synthetic human ...

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Discussion questions to consider

The following questions are from the Handbook of Training Evaluation and Measurement Methods by Jack J. Phillips. I could use some other feedback/insight with these questions.

CHAPTER FIVE

SOME ORGANIZATIONS NEED A ROI PROCESS THAT WILL LOOK FORWARD (FORECAST) AND BACKWARD (ROI RESULTS). CAN THIS MODEL BE USED IN BOTH SCENARIOS? EXPLAIN.

CAN THIS ROI PROCESS MODEL BE USED WITH ALL TYPES OF PERFORMANCE INTERVENTIONS? PROVIDE EXAMPLES OF DIVERSE APPLICATIONS, ADDRESSING THE FIRST THREE BLOCKS IN THE MODEL.

ONE CRITICISM OF AN ROI MEASUREMENT IS THAT IT DOES NOT PRESENT A "BALANCED" VIEW OF RESULTS. HOW DOES THIS MODEL ADDRESS THIS ISSUE?

CHAPTER EIGHT

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO OBTAIN PARTICIPANT FEEDBACK IN TRAINING PROGRAMS?

ONE HRD MANAGER COMMENTED ".....SMILE SHEETS (PARTICIPANT FEEDBACK FORMS) ARE NOT WORTH THE TIME IT TAKES TO COMPLETE THEM. THESE HAPPINESS RATINGS DO NOTHING BUT FEED THE EGO OF THE INSTRUCTOR." IS THIS TRUE? EXPLAIN.

DESIGN A PARTICIPANT FEEDBACK FORM FOR A ONE-DAY WORKSHOP ON IMPROVING INTERVIEWING SKILLS.

WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF ATTITUDE SURVEYS IN EVALUATION?

WHY ARE PERFORMANCE TESTS IMPORTANT TO HRD EVALUATION?

DESIGN AND DESCRIBE A PERFORMANCE TEST TO MEASURE THE EFFECTIVENESS OF A TRAINING PROGRAM DESIGNED TO IMPROVE INTERVIEWING SKILLS.

CHAPTER NINE

USE EXAMPLES TO ILLUSTRATE THE DIFFERENCES AMONG EVALUATION INSTRUMENT DESIGN, EVALUATION DESIGN, AND DATA COLLECTION METHODS.

WHY ARE FOLLOW-UP EVALUATIONS IMPORTANT?

DESIGN A FOLLOW-UP QUESTIONNAIRE FOR A THREE-DAY PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT WORKSHOP FOR MIDDLE MANAGERS. MAKE ANY ASSUMPTIONS NECESSARY TO COMPLETE THE ASSIGNMENT.

DO ORGANIZATIONS USE PERFORMANCE CONTRACTS ON A ROUTINE BASIS? EXPLAIN.

WHAT ADVANTAGES DO ACTION PLANS HAVE OVER QUESTIONNAIRES?

WHAT ARE THE WEAKNESSES OF THE INTERVIEW PROCESS?

WHEN IS IT APPROPRIATE TO USE OBSERVATIONS IN THE EVALUATION PROCESS? WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENCES IN THE INTERVIEW AND FOCUS GROUP PROCESS?

WHAT ARE THE PROBLEMS WITH FOCUS GROUP PROCESS?

WHEN IS IT APPROPRIATE TO USE OBSERVATIONS IN THE EVALATION PROCESS?

WHAT DIFFICULTIES ARE ENCOUNTERED WHEN USING EVALUATION INFORMATION OBTAINED FROM OBSERVERS?

WHICH IS THE MOST EFFECTIVE DATA-COLLECTION METHOD? WHY?

IS IT POSSIBLE TO USE ALL DATA-COLLECTION METHODS IN THE EVALUATION OF A SINGLE PROGRAM? EXPLAIN.

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