I was pleased to be invited to address a multidisciplinary group of managers yesterday at Baxter BioScience in Westlake Village, CA (near Los Angeles).  We had an enjoyable session comparing the many characteristics of a high-performance biotechnical firm and an academic medical center, as I related stores and lessons from Goal Play!  This group was particularly focused on operational excellence, how to meet the stringent regulatory requirements facing their industry while maintaining a spirit of creativity and collaboration among the front-line staff.

We also talked about the needs of new managers, people whose operational experience in previous jobs made them candidates for promotion.  What kind of training does a person need as he or she moves into a leadership position?  It is different from the training and experience that made him or or an excellent staff person in a different role.  We discussed the need for empathy among leaders, to be attuned to the learning process of those being supervised.

This company produces a variety of important medical products, particularly for people with hemophilia.  The need for quality control, along with innovation, is clear–as was the commitment of these people to create consistently good products for their customers.  It was a privilege to be invited to join them.  Thanks especially to my hosts, Michael Teasdale, Senior Director, Operational Excellence, and Atisa Sioshansi, a member of his team, for the invitation.