In today’s business environment, change is constant. Companies must measure themselves against something that will stand the test of time: specifically, how are we trying to change the world? Without a clear purpose, organizations run the risk of becoming too focused on short-term returns, which can sometimes lead to long-term decay.
Focusing on a larger mission also makes business sense. Research from a Deloitte Review study in 2015 has shown that mission-driven companies have 30 percent higher levels of innovation and 40 percent higher levels of retention. What is most important is a company’s lasting impact on society.
At Novartis, our mission is to discover new ways to improve and extend people’s lives. We put a lot of time and effort into engaging our associates around this. We want them to not only understand it, but live and breathe it so when they wake up in the morning and come to work, they’re focused on enhancing lives. Whether in the minutia of our work – from office meetings and regulatory deadlines, to understanding the scientific mechanism of disease – we see it as our fundamental purpose driving us to work hard and deliver for the people who need us the most.
It may sound simple, but reminding people of the reason they are here takes a bit of inspiration.
What started as a rallying cry around our mission in a time of extraordinary change and uncertainty in the external global healthcare landscape has become a movement in our company that was driven by our associates. We call it “Long Live Life.”
Joseph Jimenez has been CEO of Novartis since 2010. Under his leadership, and driven by a commitment to R&D investment, Novartis has developed one of the largest pipelines of self-originated drugs in the industry. Mr. Jimenez has also transformed the company’s portfolio to focus on leading businesses with innovation, power and global scale in pharmaceuticals, eye care and generics. He is a member of the Board of Directors of General Motors Company.