How Pfizer’s straight talk enhances its workplace culture

The 11,000 people who work for the pharmaceutical giant are not called ’employees’ but ‘colleagues,’ and candor and ethics outweigh business expediency.

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Pfizer, the multinational pharmaceutical giant, has become increasingly intentional about shaping its culture.

You can see evidence of Pfizer’s commitment in Ian Read’s letter to stakeholders the year after he became CEO:

In 2011, we thoroughly explored what our culture is and how it needs to evolve. We engaged with leaders across the business and sought the candid input of approximately 11,000 colleagues globally. We concluded that we need a culture where colleagues behave like they are owners of the business, are not afraid to take thoughtful risks, deliver on their commitments, treat each other with trust and respect and work with integrity each and every day. Developing this ownership culture will be key to our success. I am personally proud of Pfizer’s colleagues. Pfizer people care. They embody our humanity and innovative spirit, and are determined to tackle some of the most pressing health care challenges of our time. We are committed to creating an ownership culture that unleashes the creativity of our colleagues around the world.

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