Integrity: you can not buy these value-adding business benefits
Integrity is leverage for optimizing the value of your business. Organizational trust built on a culture embracing integrity can facilitate operational business processes, reduce the risks and complexities of organizational growth, and enhance commercialization initiatives, including market acceptance of pricing.
Integrity and trust are essential to effective leadership. An organization is nearly impossible to lead, regardless of size, if management is not trusted. Perhaps an inherent survival mechanism, employees have to trust that the leaders of the organization will make good decisions, even in difficult situations, and will not compromise the well-being of the company or the employee’s personal situation.
Trusted leaders can spend more time leading and can create much more responsive companies that can adjust quickly and take advantage of unexpected market opportunities. They spend less time trying to convince their organization (and sometimes their own management) about what needs to be done.
Similarly, organizational size and rate of growth can be limited by the lack of organizational commitment to integrity. The extent to which management and employees trust each other to do the right thing, regardless of the circumstances, is a critical success factor for growth. Simply put, you can manage a larger organization of people you can trust compared to an organization of people you can’t trust.
An organization that supports and promotes a culture of integrity will also function more efficiently, spending more time exploiting opportunities rather than managing disciplinary situations, dealing with regulatory or legal issues, or administering corrective actions. Personal and corporate integrity enhance the capacity for organizational growth.
As previously suggested, integrity is also at the heart of efficient commercialization practices. Pharmaceutical companies that establish trust with healthcare providers and patients will find a more receptive audience for their product information and new product introductions. Unfortunately, litigation and accompanying negative publicity highlighting past pharmaceutical company missteps in sales and marketing have compromised public trust and will make product promotion and new product launches in the evolving new healthcare market more challenging than it otherwise might have been.
Healthcare reform will bring with it a heightened but reasonable expectation for personal and corporate integrity. To succeed in the evolving new healthcare market, it is critical for pharmaceutical companies to strategically make a demonstrable renewed commitment to personal and corporate integrity, even under difficult and sometimes financially damaging circumstances.
Perhaps a disappointing commentary on the current state of the industry but, those companies that successfully execute against this single objective (establish a reputation for integrity and being trusted) will create a valuable competitive advantage in the evolving new healthcare market. They will find their organizations easier to lead and manage, they will increase their operational capacity for growth, and most importantly, their product information and new products will find a more receptive market. It is the responsibility of corporate executives to set a clear organizational expectation for integrity, to provide visible examples by their decisions and actions, and to ensure unwavering compliance.