The Experts in Animal Health

Recent announcements about some key leadership positions in animal health caused me to reflect on how well our industry is doing developing new leaders.

When talent is brought in from ‘outside the shop’, or even outside the industry, it raises the question: Do companies today have strong developmental programs for developing talent that leads to a strong succession capabilities?

Many careers in the past were successful more by ‘default than design’ and maybe we as an industry could do a better job in this area. When leadership roles are filled from ‘non-industry’ persons, the reasons can vary, but generally are reflecting a need of change or a perceived lack of talent for the role. But the message to some may be: ‘that there are limited career paths for me at this company.’

It is critical to understand the process of career development which is a combination of formal training and well thought out career development steps. Another way of thinking is the ‘horizontal’ development of a person, through thoughtful application and attendance to formal education programs to augment the professional portfolio of skills and knowledge. And the ‘vertical’ development of a person, providing the individual with professional challenges through time that push the person both from a scope of responsibility(sales volume, direct reports, etc.) and even a cultural challenge, working in different cultures and possibly living abroad while taking on the professional role.

All of this, however, requires a two way commitment: both the company and the employee. And my advice is to take charge of your own career!

Paul Casady

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