Why Cultural Fit Matters when Selecting an Imaging CRO

In the clinical trials process, high quality imaging used as surrogate endpoints significantly improves the evaluation of novel cancer therapies. Evaluating imaging data plays an invaluable role in assessing disease status and drug efficacy over multiple therapeutic cycles and throughout the clinical trials process. Image analysis can be highly subjective: for example, several radiologists may interpret the same image differently. In addition, technological variations in imaging data may exist across multiple study sites involved in the same clinical trial.

By choosing an Imaging Contract Research Organization (ICRO) with expertise in imaging protocols and state-of-the art image acquisition and analysis, data management and quality control, there is a shift to more objective, less variable, and more sensitive analysis, which greatly enhances results and the strength of the study. Successful outcomes and reduced risks are a reflection also of your ICRO’s therapeutic expertise, track record, global capacity, project management support, availability, flexibility, transparency and out-of-the-box thinking.  These are all very important criteria when selecting the right imaging CRO for your trial.

One critical element often overlooked by a biopharma sponsor in choosing an ICRO is Cultural Fit.  Often, people associate cultural fit with hiring the right person for the job.  Will they fit in with our culture here?  The same principal applies when hiring another company to work with you on a critical component of your clinical trial. Cultural Fit between two organizations’ is the congruence of people, mission and trust that align the two organizations’ ways of doing business.  ”A company’s culture guides their every action. It encompasses their values, beliefs and also their geographical culture. From a cultural standpoint, one company could be accustomed to always speaking their mind and pointing out issues that need resolving, while others will rely on common practice and the status quo, making it difficult to promote new ideas mid-project.” 1 A good cultural fit usually brings positive teamwork, good energy, rapid progress, trust and transparency and recurring business opportunities. A bad fit can bring just the opposite: distrust in motives, finger pointing, a lack of teamwork, unmotivated teams and slow progress. If poor outcomes happen, organizations in a bad fit situations often quickly move on to a better fitting organization.  A good cultural fit does not necessarily mean good outcomes, but the team has the foundations for working together through issues with transparency and the relationship can often continue.

The three elements of cultural fit to think about when evaluating another organization to work with you:

  1. Mutual trust and transparency: Can you pick up the phone and get the answers you need no matter what the news?
  2. Good fit with your team and ways of doing business: Does the team work well together and work hard together?
  3. Mission and vision alignment: Are both organizations aligned around bringing better therapies to market to help make a healthier world – or is it just out for the bottom line? 2

When we are talking about imaging in a clinical trial, the trust that your imaging data will be high quality, accurate and delivered on time is extremely important as it could be the clinical endpoint of your trial – all your results are depending on it.  You need to be sure that your imaging CRO is driven by the same standards and mission you are, that the team you are depending on is going to go the extra mile and care about the outcomes as much as your organization.   While you may often think price, technology or experience matter most, and they are important, it is often the cultural fit between your organization and your imaging CRO that take a project to the next level.

Post Authored by: Nick Campbell, Chief Commercial Officer, Median Technologies

  1. door Bram Nawijn 29 Dec 2016 Trends, TJIP   https://www.tjip.com/publicaties/how-using-multiple-vendors-can-help-ensure-higher-quality-products/services
  2. Heather Ripley 15 November 2015 Entrepreneur  https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/251434