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developing a lot of these compounds,” says Buchalter. “It’s too early to project when things might get to the point of regulatory consideration. A strategy that we’ll employ along with developing our own products is to look at licensing opportunities and bringing other products into the portfolio.” Working on projects that take years to come to fruition, it must be a challenge to maintain motivation in the workforce. That’s where the new strategy proved its value, internally, as well as externally. Galvanizing people around the strategy has brought about a palpable change in culture. “We’ve created a great place to work,” he says. “People want to come work for us now, they’re excited about the projects we have and they really do push themselves, rather than the boss saying you have to do it, which gets old after a while.” You’d almost never find anyone working at the weekend, he explains, and if you make them work overtime, they get burned out and 6 Businessexcellence October 07 staff and the geographical location. They needed the company in its form rather than just the assets, and that’s a merger of strength. Those things do happen, but if we execute our plan and do our job we’ll be in good shape.” So, is Enzon interested in making acquisitions of its own, perhaps? “We are always opportunistic from a business standpoint, and that is something we would consider doing if we found the right fit. You have to be careful. There are two reasons to merge, one is strength and one is weakness. If I were to merge it would be on strength, not on weakness, so there would be real synergies created from the combination rather than trying to overcome issues.” Enzon has several new products in its pipeline, intended for the treatment of cancers and other diseases such as hepatitis C and Crohn’s disease. It’s a long pipeline, however, extending into years. “We’re in the early stage of they still can’t do everything. They will often license a technology as they need it for a specific molecule, rather than using their internal resources, so there’s a wonderful opportunity for us as we begin to move to the new generation of PEGylation technology, even with big companies, as they look for solutions to delivery issues in some of their molecules. It’s not that they can’t do it, but it’s not their priority.” The pharmaceutical industry has been characterized by consolidation in recent years, as the major players try desperately to bolster up their pipelines, but Buchalter does not lose any sleep over the possibility of Enzon being a target. He has a matter of fact philosophy on the subject. “Consolidation is the natural order of things in all industries,” he says. “It’s a fact of life and I don’t think about it on a regular basis. My previous company was acquired and it was a great fit because the people were protected, they maintained the employed

“Morale was very low. Over the last two years, with the cultural changes and the advances in the pipeline, the number one thing people wanted in the surveys was a stock purchase plan. It’s a tremendous confirmation that we have accomplished what we wanted to do internally.” As far as his own role is concerned, Buchalter believes in leading by example. “It’s remarkable how people observe and watch,” he says. “I get involved in meetings at all levels, I’m visible, I visit my manufacturing plants, and I talk to all levels of employees as often as I can.” Every quarter, after the company’s earnings have been publicly announced, the management team explains the figures to everyone in the company. “People feel like you are telling them what’s happening. Leadership is about demonstrating best practice, and continuous improvement is one of the critical things we talk about all the time.” October 07 Businessexcellence 7 leave. But, he points out, “health is a great backdrop to get people excited and although I never suggested to anybody about working the weekend we now have people coming in on Saturdays and Sundays to finish experiments, pushing things forward.” So, how was this culture change achieved? Perhaps through a formal continuous improvement program, such as one might find in manufacturing? “No,” says Buchalter. “We did it by first establishing operating principles, which we began to disseminate through the organization. We posted them in meeting rooms and hallways and people used them in internal correspondence. I wanted to make sure that the operating principles weren’t something you heard just once. My senior executive team’s objectives and end of year performance were based on their adherence to and adoption of those principles and I evaluated my management team on their ability to execute the principles. That raises the sense of awareness in their importance. When you own them and live them people sense that. It then becomes part of the fabric of the company.” The operating principles were summarized as five Ps—people, pride, passion, performance, and promises. “It’s all about people,” says Buchalter. “We have pride in what we do, and passion because we’re dealing with lifesaving drugs; performance is important and we have to keep our promises, so if we say we’re going to do something we actually deliver on it. People have really gotten around that and it is part of the culture now.” It’s easy to talk about culture, but it’s intangible, and difficult to measure. Enzon conducts employee evaluations and surveys twice a year, however, to see how people are feeling, and Buchalter knows from those that he has a committed workforce. “When I came into the company two and a half years ago people were disenfranchised,” he says. Interview “It is unusual for a company the size of Enzon to have marketed products, let alone four marketed products. It is also unusual that we have full commercial accountability for them”