Win or LEARN!

John A. Bardi, M.S.Vice President, Public Affairs & Digital Medicine Business Development

In John’s role overseeing Public Affairs, he is responsible for identifying and implementing strategies to advance the companies' corporate branding through external policy leadership and culture related efforts. Mr. Bardi also oversees the companies' annual social responsibility and philanthropic efforts.

Back in October, we teamed up with NASCAR driver Kyle Larson and Chip Ganassi Racing along with Mental Health America to help raise awareness of mental health and the importance of mental health screening. Not only was it exciting to see the Otsuka logo on Kyle Larson’s car at the Charlotte Speedway, but I was proud to see how we were doing our part to encourage people to improve their mental wellness.But as I toured the Charlotte Speedway along with my Otsuka colleagues, I encountered something unexpected: I found that Otsuka’s corporate culture and the culture of the NASCAR racing teams were very similar.I had no clue how much we had in common.Within Otsuka, our people are at the center of all that we do. Our performance ultimately depends on the ability of our people to tackle seemingly insurmountable challenges and, through creativity, curiosity, entrepreneurial spirit, and open-mindedness, develop successful solutions.The same is true of the people involved in the Chip Ganassi Racing team, the organization behind Kyle Larson’s car. Though stock car racing might seem like a solitary sport, there are hundreds of people who work together to get a car and its driver ready for races across the country.And, like at Otsuka, the success of the organizations depends on the ability of all team members, whether the driver, the team manager, the crew chief, or the mechanics and engineers in the pit crew, to use ingenuity to solve problems.Both cultures are about innovation.Within Otsuka, we embrace innovation to better serve our customers -- from healthcare professionals to patients. Teams within Otsuka leverage design-thinking techniques to rapidly develop new approaches to tackle some of healthcare’s most complex problems.NASCAR teams likewise depend on innovation design, build, and execution. The ability of a team to effectively race a car depends on the ability to identify and develop new racing techniques depending on the track, conditions, or competition.Naturally, both cultures are about teamwork.While within Otsuka, we do reward those who can work on their own, collaboration has always been a huge part of our success. The ability to partner with and forge partnerships across different functional areas has helped us succeed in a very competitive environment to develop innovation solutions, whether focused on clinical studies or digital health.And it is teamwork that makes a NASCAR racing team successful. As I mentioned, there are hundreds of people behind a successful team. However, it is only when they are all pulling together that they win races.The attitude that both cultures bring to the concept of winning that is perhaps most striking.Within both cultures there is a recognition that even when things don’t work out quite as initially expected, it doesn’t necessarily signify a loss. Whether racing a stock car, or developing new approaches to improving human health, both cultures recognize the value of learning and how “landing in second place” provides valuable insights that can be applied towards the future.For both, there is no such thing as “Win or Lose” – instead there is only “Win or Learn.”Whether bringing cutting edge healthcare products to people, or successfully racing a state-of-the-art stock car, the culture of an organization can be the difference between success or failure. I’m proud that so many of the attributes that make up Otsuka’s culture are also shared by the winning team of Kyle Larson and Chip Ganassi racing. December 2017 01US17EUC0272
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