Client Stories

Johnson & JohnsonA strong belief system focuses on high performance leadership

Key insights

Johnson & Johnson is one of the world’s leading healthcare companies.

Johnson & Johnson International’s success lies in its ability to build future-ready leaders with the ambition to move across the organisation’s Family of Companies.

Our J&J Talent Excellence Program prepares the company’s emerging leaders to take on larger local or global roles.

In the days before companies talked of Missions and Visions – and long before purpose and values – Johnson & Johnson had a Credo. It was written personally by Robert Wood Johnson, then-Chairman, and a member of the founding family, before the end of the Second World War. At 350 words, it’s too long to reproduce here in full, but it begins:

“We believe our first responsibility is to the patients, doctors and nurses, to mothers and fathers and all others who use our products and services. In meeting their needs everything we do must be of high quality.”

The credo goes on to mention diversity, inclusion, equal opportunity, employee well-being and purpose – concepts most companies still grapple with today.

We mention all this because much of our leadership work is founded in purpose, and this credo is a detailed statement of purpose. Not only is it an inspiring, economical piece of writing, it continues to drive Johnson & Johnson today and has contributed to its position as the world’s largest healthcare company. The credo is embedded in the Johnson & Johnson culture and is kept on hand for decision making; it is probably more valid now than it was nearly 80 years ago.

Despite its size Johnson & Johnson cannot afford to stand still, which is where Maximus comes into the picture. The need for growth drives the need for high performing leadership. Whilst Johnson & Johnson does recruit leaders from outside, given the cultural strength of the organisation, it prefers to cultivate from within. Our goal is to get these people promoted, share talent and minimise external recruitment.

Maximus partners to deliver the only leadership program that draws talent from across Johnson & Johnson’s Family of Companies – consumer health, pharmaceutical and medical devices. Our Talent Excellence Program has undergone several iterations in six years to ensure we continue to deliver a connected, immersive experience, using a combination of experiential learning, psychometric analysis, coaching and development projects.

The J&J Talent Excellence Program is creating a pipeline of emerging leaders who are ready to live the Johnson & Johnson credo, with 87 per cent of participants in the most recent program promoted or in new roles since participating in the program.

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