30th Oct 2013

Success in the First 100 Days

Tomorrow, former Pfizer executive Olivier Brandicourt will take the helm at Bayer Healthcare. Brandicourt (57) replaces Wolfgang Plischke, who has been interim chief since Jorg Reinhardt’s departure in February. Brandicourt’s experience is formidable; he has worked in the pharmaceutical industry for 25 years, he has been on the executive team at Pfizer, New York, for the past three years, and his international experience includes responsibilities in the US, the UK, Canada and France. Brandicourt also holds both a medical degree and a master's degree in biology, while most recently, he was president and general manager of Pfizer’s emerging markets and established products units.

Despite his experience and capacity it is highly unlikely that Brandicourt will sail through his first 100 days without some opposition and struggle. Yet he will be anxious to accelerate his performance from day one. The big question is, how can he best survive the first 100 days, and set himself up for future success?
At First100 we recommend the use of a first 100 days plan. This gives structure and focus during a tumultuous time – by clearly outlining your priorities you will find it easier to remain focused on them. Some key performance accelerators to consider when writing the plan, are:

1.    Building relationships

It is vital to invest early in building new networks and forging effective relationships. Get to know everyone; your bosses, your peers and your subordinates.

2.    Focus on leadership effectiveness

Put simply, a leader must set a clear direction, bring people with him or her, and deliver results. Leadership effectiveness involves understanding what your leadership is really about.

3.    Building a high-performing team

Your team provides an opportunity for you to multiply your leadership efforts, through them. This is why a fully-functioning, robust team is so important. The sooner you get that team in place the better.

Marijn Dekkers, Bayer Group CEO said of Brandicourt’s appointment, "With Olivier Brandicourt we have found a strong leader with outstanding international experience and a successful track record in the healthcare industry. I am convinced that he can significantly contribute to the further growth of our healthcare business.” Dekkers has high hopes for Brandicourt and for the Bayer Healthcare division, hopes which Brandicourt will want to meet. If he has a first 100 days plan including key accelerators to guide him through tomorrow - and his entire first 100 days journey - Brandicourt should be on track for success now, and in the future.

Hilda Goold

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