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Rebuilt From the Ground Up: A Lesson in Turning a Failed Company Around

When a new CEO steps into a leadership role, chances are they aren’t inheriting a perfect situation. More often than not, there are challenges that went unresolved that the company is looking to the new CEO to fix.

3. Shifted focus. When a company is reorganized, more often than not, Nader says, people focus on the organizational structure, but “in my experience, what makes success is not what we’re doing, it’s how we’re doing it. The how can be translated into values and the values become the culture of the company.”

“In my experience, what makes success is not what we’re doing, it’s how we’re doing it.”

4. Created a culture of values. The new NPS Pharma focused on six core values: integrity, respect, reliance on excellence and teamwork. “We had experts, but we needed them to work together,” he says. “We didn’t want any Madonnas.” In the end, they added a seventh value: “fun,” because Nader felt people needed to enjoy what they were doing.

5. Maintained brand consistency. “NPS” used to stand for Natural Product Science. That name was eliminated when the company reorganized. Although the initials no longer meant anything, Nader was hesitant to eliminate them because of the logistical and financial costs involved with a name change. “We were tight on cash and we didn’t want to revert the few resources we had for something that was not a priority. We always thought we could do it later on, it but it just never happened.”

By adding a tagline— “Born from science. Built for patients.”—they were able to refocus the brand while still keeping their existing brand strength.

6. Made visibility and communication a priority. Nader developed a policy of meeting with every employee one-on-one a month after they joined the company. Then every couple of weeks, he would meet (and still meets) with a random group of employees for a “What’s On Your Mind” luncheon. “It keeps me in touch with what’s going on in the organization,” he says. To rebuild trust, he also sits down with shareholders, investors and partners individually. Altogether, he conducts up to 400 meetings a year. “The only way to rebuild the grand image of the company is for them to believe in us, and for me to do my job explaining what we’re trying to do with them and for them, and to keep them informed in a very transparent way,” he says.


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