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Target GRC – A Reflection on the Importance of Organisation Culture

Category: International Operations Business International Operations Finance People & Organization | (1) comments

Dear Friends,

Based on my recent experiences with potential graduates this year, I have been asked a lot of questions on how Novo Nordisk is as an organisation. Few also asked me about how the work environment is? It is a very broad question and something you need to feel in person. In one of my earlier posts, I mentioned that I have realised as an insider that what makes Novo Nordisk an organisation with a truly “sustainable competitive advantage” is the Novo Nordisk culture! It is something that manifests itself in the form of an internal governance framework reflecting the ambition of the company, the direction of the company and the values and behaviours that the employees have to exhibit throughout the organisation. And we call it the Novo Nordisk Way.

NNWay Pic

Organisation culture has more often than not provoked vigorous debates around the world of management. While there is unanimity that it exists and that it plays a critical role in shaping our behaviour within the organisation, there is little consensus on how it impacts behaviour and whether the leadership can influence it in any way. Most of the time, the real problem is that we do not have a reasonable definition in the first place. Voltaire would say, “If you wish to converse with me, define your terms.” While not necessarily easy to define, the overall fabric of the environment one spends large amounts of time in naturally influences one’s perception of the work experience.  According to a study by TINYpulse, “employees who give their work culture low marks are nearly 15% more likely to think about a new job than their counterparts.”  Beyond the more direct managerial factors, the study hints at how important the culture should be when you make a decision to join a company. Be it peer relationships or be it work ethics – they are indeed difference makers.  It’s only common sense to realize that positive working relationships can help make a tough job tolerable, and the data bears this out. That’s not to say compensation does not matter, but it has always been a hygiene factor only – less could lead to dissatisfaction but more need not lead to more satisfaction.

On that note, let me highlight a few things to the potential pool of graduates who will be participating in this year’s Graduate Recruitment Center in March. For someone willing to join Novo Nordisk, the recruitment centre in Denmark is one of the best places to get a feel of the Novo Nordisk culture in a nutshell. Your decision to join should not be only based on financial factors but also on the organisational culture that a firm has to offer you. When you participate, ensure you do so with an open mind and definitely not with a mindset of being examined or being assessed. Try to include everyone in your conversation and always be a good listener. Consider yourself already within the Novo Nordisk ecosystem while doing the activities. After all, organizational culture is a jointly shared description of an organization from within and with that perspective you will fare a lot better than a participant in an assessment centre would.

Wish you the very best!!!

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Déjà vu! Giving Your Application a Purpose and a Voice

Category: Business Processes Global Finance Global Marketing Global Procurement International Operations Business International Operations Finance People & Organization Product Supply R&D Global Development R&D Regulatory Affairs Uncategorized | (3) comments

Are you having that weird feeling between excitement and dread that accompanies an application process to that prestigious programme you have been eyeing for some time now? Are you incessantly searching for some quick tips to make your application standout from the rest? Will you be eagerly checking your e-mails from time to time for some communication from the programme post application process – yes, even the “automated system generated” responses? If all these are true to an extent, then I can draw two conclusions – (a) You are super excited about this job; (b) The emotions look all familiar to me in hindsight and I can help you here;

Back in early 2015, I have gone through this gamut of emotions, and I realise today that most of them stemmed from uncertainty and my apprehensions about the role and workplace that I am getting into. Through this post I will share with one of the key ingredients that you could be missing out while you are preparing and working on your CV, Cover Letter and the Video. This ingredient, or its lack thereof, may well impact the quality of all the three (i.e. your CV, Cover Letter and the Video). Remember that these three uploads, will essentially represent you and all that you stand for in the first round. Hence it is important to pay heed to the content of your application. In all these three, you should project what you stand for and why you want to join Novo Nordisk. So how do you bring this element of purpose and give your application a voice?

Your step by step guide to researching a company throughout your application process

Step 1: Know the company and what they are looking for in you?

NN LogosThe best way to convince yourself that you know the company well is to be able to articulate what makes it special compared to its competitors. And yes, a little bit of its history. The good news? Companies will often tell you the answer to this question right on their websites. Do figure out the vision of the company and try answering how your experience could contribute to that effect or where you could possibly fit in the scheme of things. The “About Us” section is good place to start this research. Based on the programme you are applying, you should have a clear train of thought as to how this programme will essentially help you develop and enable you to contribute to the company’s success. And the best place to showcase this understanding of yours is in your cover letter and of course in your short video.

Step 2: Know the company’s sustainability

The new generation workforce is fast starting to realise that a company’s financial performance is not the only thing that will make them attractive but whether a company is viable and sustainable over a longer time frame. And how to know thTBLis? Social consciousness is becoming a critical aspect of today’s organisations, driven by an expectation of environmental responsibility in addition to the financial one. Think triple bottom line; people, planet, profit. For example, Novo Nordisk seeks to broaden the focus on the financial bottom line by its business to include social and environmental responsibilities. What do you think of this? Be prepared.

Step 3: Observe and participate in Community Interactions

In this era of social media, community interaction is an essential source of knowledge. Blog sites as these, Company’s LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter profiles – are just few prominent ones to follow the updates on. This will give you a lot of confidence when you are applying and even during the post application – pre-interview phase.

Step 4: Learn about the Company Culture

Understanding the corporate culture you are getting into will go a long way in identifying yourself with the organisation. As a student we often look at how strong a company’s financials are and how big a brand it has. There can be absolutely no doubt as to how strong the brand of Novo Nordisk is and its strong financials are a testimony to the positive market sentiments around it. But there is one more thing I have realized as an insider that makes Novo Nordisk an organisation with a truly “sustainable competitive advantage”: The Novo Nordisk culture! It mainly manifests itself in the form of an internal governance framework that reflects the ambition of the company, the direction of the company and the values and behaviours that the employees have to exhibit throughout the organisation. We call it the Novo Nordisk Way. It is good to know a little bit about it while you are applying. Graduate blogs and stories are another great way to feel this culture.

Step 5: Read Up on the Field and Competitors

Last but not the least; don’t forget to understand the business the company is in. For example, Novo Nordisk is the world leader in Diabetes Care. When it comes to the competitors, look up competitors by going to the LinkedIn company page and scrolling down to the “Other Companies People Viewed” section. There should be a few competitors there. Do the same thing with the competitors you find until you have a pretty good sense of who the big players in the field are. These are very simple ways to prepare and feel confident about your preparation.

After all this research, you’ll probably be deliberating, “So, what do I do with all this information?” Remember that your objective is to convince that you truly want to be a part of this company. Merely expressing enthusiasm will not be enough and you need to corroborate the same with your knowledge. Once you are aware of these, you will be better poised to give the final touches to your application and your sense of purpose will be stronger than many in the same race.

If you would like to know more about the graduate programmes on offer, please visit the link below: More on the Graduate Programmes

Wish you the very best!

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