Novartis

Try not to become a man of success. Rather become a man of value.

Albert Einstein

In the Novartis Consumer Health Businesses case, three CFOs are presented and assessed for what they’ve accomplished under what circumstances in an effort for Simeon Bolan, the finance head, to allocate and develop the finance talent within the company. Out of these assessments, certain managers have attributes that others don’t, but the question remains if one’s attributes outweigh all the others’. It is these attributes or strengths and weaknesses that have allowed these managers to be so successful.

The first is Remi Escurel, the regional CFO for their Asian Pacific region. Remi seems to have been successful because she has taken a very organized approach to solving problems. Her organization proves that she knows what she is doing and she is dedicated to thoroughly solving the problem.  Remi was also successful because she allows input from all areas of the company; this builds a good relationship in the company and makes sure that lines of communication are open. Moreover Remi was successful because she made sure that everything was planned. She seemed to always keep everything in perspective to plan her daily activities. Her challenges consisted of company-wide compliance issues, inaccurate forecasting and the lack of financial involvement in the company. When faced with such challenges, Remi executed her structured procedure approach until a solution was found.

Next is Tanya Ferretto. Tanya worked as both CFO and GM, spearheading the Animal Health in Japan. Tanya was successful because she knew what her group must do and how her group could help in the success of the company. Tanya seemed to have a clear understanding of their roles and how each individual member’s skills could contribute to the success of the company. Tanya was successful because she carefully used strategies so that Novartis AH in Japan would grow. These strategies helped in lessening Japan’s resistance to change. These strategies also helped Novartis AH establish itself in the Japan market. Tanya’s challenges consisted of implementing new growth strategies in a new market, and tapping into market information with no experience in the region such as sales trends.

Lastly is Jaime Maturana. Jaime “filled the BPA role” and ran the business, planned the business and analyzed the business. Jaime was successful because, like Remi, he made sure that the line of communication between him and his employees or managers were always open. Jaime often met with managers from other departments and tried to give them the assurance that the finance group was their partner in achieving Novartis’ goals. Jaime was also successful because he made sure that all processes were constantly reviewed and changed to meet the goals of efficiency. He changed processes so that they would perform better and prove their value to the firm. Jaime’s challenges included improving inefficient processes and constantly working with a volatile environment.

Out of these financial heads I would pick Jamie to work for me and to work for. I feel he handled his challenges to the best degree. I would also pick him because I really liked and agree with how he saw logistics and finance very closely related. He made himself readily available to the whole company and was completely involved in his work, unlike many stereotypical management offices. He emphasized team work and communication and with the environment he worked in probably dealt with every type of external issue.

A skill I found common between all three CFOs was their dedication; their dedication to their job and success of their group. This dedication entailed them to be prepared to do anything appropriate and logical for the company. Dedication also assures the firm that the CFO would not commit acts that will hinder the organization.

Out of all the skills exhibited by these workers, I believe dedication to not only the company but to its people, attention to detail, and efficaciousness are three essential qualities that are necessary to succeed and have led these three managers to their success. Dedication is important in every aspect. It assures the firm loyalty, that operations are done right and that they are done wholeheartedly. This means getting your hands dirty when you have to and standing behind your work. Attention to detail is also vital. A leader who pays attention to detail will stand out amongst the rest and be able to identify problems and advantages. Lastly is efficaciousness. If a leader is not an effective leader, then they are simply spinning their wheels. An effective leader communicates clearly and correctly, wastes no time and gets the job done. Being ineffective means nothing will get done and lots of company dollars down the train. As exhibited by Remi, Tanya and Jaime, these are skills that are necessary in leaders because they are what make leaders successful.

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