Strong organizational health helps drive the transformation

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 Fred Hassan’s lecture at IBA Karachi

Strong organizational health helps
drive the transformation

Pick the best team at Top, each member should be
Excellent in their area of expertise

KARACHI: Strong organizational health helps drive the transformation. It is important to start the journey with a credible team. Focus on people so that they can focus on business and build resonance with the frontlines. Pick the best team at the top and each one of them must be excellent in their area of expertise. This was stated by Mr. Fred Hassan who is known the world over for Transformation in the pharmaceutical industry. He was making a presentation through Video Conferencing from United States at the Institute of Business Administration, City Campus Karachi on December 13, 2016.  The meeting was well attended by some Chief Executives from Pharma Industry, senior people from marketing besides some students of IBA. It was organized by Centre for Executive Execution.


Mr. Fred Hassan

Mr. Fred Hassan further stated that for a team of winners, the customers become proud of their products.  Care for the growth of people who work for you. More sales will bring more money for the investors. People plus Execution, he pointed out was equal to sure success.  It is essential that one describes long term goals. The team which one selects will help to establish credibility and make sure that all members of the team are aligned with the same goal. A team reporting to the Chief, Mr. Fred Hassan further stated, should be very good. They should be team players and capable of taking the No. 2 team along with them. Wherever I went, I took my time to take decisions but after two years, almost 75% of the No.2 people were removed. Can Do Culture sell execution? Hence, select people with right attitude and behavour which can produce powerful culture and ensure execution. Great people are those who do it again and again in every company.

Continuing Mr. Fred Hassan said that be Authentic, be Purposeful and be Connected. Keep leading and keep winning and be a role model. You must know who you are, know what you are not; understand what your company is good at and where it needs to improve. It is important what the senior management does. People should be encouraged to earn Trust and become members of the winning team. Be purposeful. What you want and how you are going to be there. Create the Vision in your organization, come up with a Mission and Value statement and communicate expectations of your people. I had e mail of most of the people working under me and I used to remain in touch with all of them and thus remain connected. This helped me to communicate with as many people as I wanted. It is essential to create a sense of bigger meaning for your people, he added.

Yet another good quality of a successful leader Mr. Fred Hassan stated was that they know themselves and are good at listening and learning skills. Those who are just talking do not do better. Pharma industry all over the world is highly regulated; hence one must be authentic and listen to others viewpoint. Be an inspiring leader. Be bold on Research & Development portfolio, in taking decisions and project management. Drive the product to fullest potential.  Role model your expectations. Members of the A team should be committed to rooting for their level two colleagues.

Execution Mr. Fred Hassan remarked is the main problem at many companies. Hence it is essential that one keeps on re-inventing oneself and the environment. Keeps the evaluation flywheel going. Be flexible, agile in a fast changing environment. His advice to those present was that always stay humble and raise the ball with each win. Be mindful of where do you play and do you win. How will you build the capacity to win? How to execute and start winning and then keep on winning again and again. Set challenging but realistic goals. Many people leave organizations not because of top management but because of their supervisors. Expect the best and care for your people. Set clear expectations. Build Culture of getting things done. Assemble right team of people and it is the attitude which matters a lot. Right attitude will help you where ever you go.

Participating in the discussion which followed, Dr. Kaiser Waheed Chairman PPMA said that eminent talented Pakistanis like you who are settled in USA and UK must give something back to this country. You and your colleagues should be helping Pakistani companies to come up at which Mr. Fred Hassan remarked that he visits Pakistan quite often and in future may be he will visit more frequently. He is doing something which he can and he was proud of being a Pakistani. Responding to another question regarding commission and bonuses, he said that it is a fact that it corrupts people. When I wrote this in the company where I was working at that time used to give lot of commission. I changed it to 80/20 from 60/40 so that the people become really professional marketers rather than commission agents. Replying to yet another question he said that biosimilars were extremely important but make sure that they are biosimilars in the real sense. Latest molecules are very expensive and not many countries including Pakistan can afford them. Hence, these biosimilars with economical prices is the answer. In fact many countries are benefiting from these biosimilars but make sure about the quality. As regards MNC leaving Pakistan, Mr. Fred Hassan said that there were many reasons Firstly there is too much regulation and bureaucracy and people make the life miserable. Secondly they need liberal and open environment. Security was yet another issue but the situation is now changing and there is a positive sign, he added.

Delegation of authority to the juniors was a big challenge he agreed.  Make the assessment of people of what they are capable of and try to make them as good as you can and they will listen to your feedback. His advice to those present was that always have respect for the people around you. People can be better than you think. Always respect your Boss, respect the position your Boss has. Get your Boss to trust you. If your Boss is not supporting you, no one will support you. Earn Boss’s trust. But if you have your own agenda and you become a politician, people will not trust you and they are not going to help you. At times, Mr. Fred Hassan said, No. 2 becomes arrogant.  It is important to leave ego at door, earn trust by trusting others. Work together and not work against others, it hurts the organization. Make sure level two people are with you. Work together and listen to them. Unions, he opined, are not good for flexibility. Encourage people to speak up and make sure that even if they say something which you do not like, there won’t be any retaliation against them.  Tell people what you have heard and if they change themselves, well enough but if they have a different agenda than yours, then one has to get rid of them, he concluded.

Earlier Dr. Farid Khan Managing Director Pfizer introduced Mr. Fred Hassan while Dr. Izhar Hussain Director Centre for Executive Education at IBA thanked the guest speaker Dr. Farid Hassan and the participants.