Staying Competitive in Every Sector and Every Part of the Business — Alex Gorsky, CEO Johnson & Johnson

The Industrialist’s Dilemma — February 15, 2018

Robert Siegel
Feb 22, 2018 · 5 min read
Alex has some fun with Aaron Levie

The Need to Stay Competitive in Discreet Spaces

Alex spent a fair amount of time talking about how his company manages three very different and unique business: pharmaceuticals, medical devices and consumer products. While all of the businesses are focused on health and wellness, the solutions, channels and technologies behind each are radically different and, in fact, do not overlap.

Customer Outcomes Drive All Corporate Behaviors

At one point Alex shared that J&J is expressly looking for places and ways that digitization and information can create better experiences for customers, but above and beyond that focus, he is driving to keep his teams fiercely at the forefront of their respective markets and not to get distracted by peripheral activities. While on the one hand this is a standard defense of the conglomerate structure, and it risks making an organization blind to where an unexpected attack might arise, it highlights to us a very clear-minded approach at the corporate level of where digitization can and can not help companies. J&J’s single-minded attention to customer outcomes, as first articulated 75 years ago in the corporate Credo, is serving today as a guiding principle in how the company will and will not look to digitization and information to transform the company.

The Industrialist’s Dilemma

A course at the Stanford Graduate School of Business taught by Stanford Lecturer and XSeed Partner Robert Siegel (@robsiegel), Box CEO Aaron Levie (@levie) and SAP Chief Innovation Officer Max Wessel (@maxwellelliot)

Robert Siegel

Written by

Lecturer @StanfordGSB, Seed-stage VC @XSeedCapital, @Cal undergrad, hockey/soccer fan, husband and father

The Industrialist’s Dilemma

A course at the Stanford Graduate School of Business taught by Stanford Lecturer and XSeed Partner Robert Siegel (@robsiegel), Box CEO Aaron Levie (@levie) and SAP Chief Innovation Officer Max Wessel (@maxwellelliot)