Medical Device Company
Over time, roles will naturally shift within a company. But what isn’t normal is when one team member’s lack of performance is requiring another to pick up the slack.
That was the case with our newest client. After letting go of their VP of operations for poor performance, the President was having to spend an inordinate amount of time filling that role himself. This was distracting him from his primary task of generating sales to grow the company.
Only a small handful of medical device companies exist in Colorado, so we quickly broadened our search to the Twin Cities area where the industry is much more active.
We found five candidates in the area via LinkedIn. One of them—a USAF Academy graduate—responded within hours indicating his interest in the role. His references each had similar feedback: this candidate prioritized the fiscal and human sides of the business equally. He was able to control costs and deliver on schedule, but involved his people in manufacturing decisions and had a personality everyone enjoyed being around.
I worked closely with the President and the VP of HR and together we successfully negotiated the hire of a “top performing individual” for their VP of Operations position. After a short time working together, the two had made more progress towards solving the company’s manufacturing problems in 3 days than the previous VP had accomplished in the two years he was employed.
With our candidate’s help, our client achieved a $1.4 million excess of the initial 2017 sales target of $14 million, and the President can resume leading the company into the bright future to come.
We were engaged by Spectranetics in the early 90’s to find a number of key people for them. We recruited the VP of Regulatory Affairs and the VP of Manufacturing who also sat on the Board of Directors. We also found 7 other individual contributors, several of whom were instrumental in designing products that went to market and were successful and profitable for the company. Spectranetics sales are predicted to exceed $300 million in 2017. Royal Philips of the Netherlands recently acquired Spectranetics for $38.50 cash per share, at 27% premium to Spectranetics closing price on June 27.2017. The acquistion price was $2 billion.
We had a unique experience helping a company find top performing talent, mostly engineers, during a very high growth period. I was referred to Cobe Laboratories in Lakewood, CO in 1976. The VP of R&D had come from HP and brought the hiring philosophy that built HP.
That philosophy was:
- Be clear about what skills you need.
- Go find the absolute best talent and NEVER fill the position until you do.
- Whenever possible crossbreed talent from other industries with new ideas into your organization.
Between 1976 and 1991 when the founders sold to Gambro they grew from $22 million to $400 million. We (myself and my research staff), found 66 people for them – we believe we made significant contribution to their success. We learned that top performers do not think of their accomplishments, such as taking products to market, as anything special. They do not feel comfortable bragging about their work. Our solution to learning more about top performers was to design a 10 question reference check which tells how they make things happen in an organizational setting. The lesson for us was learning how to find, qualify and validate top performing talent.