The Novo Nordisk Way is a document intended and written for employees in Novo Nordisk. However, we are proud of the promises we make and would like to share this insight with a broader audience.
The Novo Nordisk Way describes who we are, where we want to go and how we work.
Its origin can be traced back to when the company was founded in the 1920s although at that time we did not have a name for it. Since then our company has developed in a way that our founders couldn't have imagined. Today, we are leaders in our fields, we have become a truly global company and millions of patients all over the world rely on our products every day to ensure their health and well-being. And all along we stayed true to the values that have helped bring us this far.
The Novo Nordisk Way sets direction for and applies to all employees in Novo Nordisk. It is a promise we make to each other - and to our stakeholders outside the company. Each and every employee is responsible for acting in accordance with the Novo Nordisk Way - and to help each other understand what it means in practice.
Making sure we walk the talk
At Novo Nordisk we have a year long tradition for following up on our promises and making sure they are kept. The Novo Nordisk Way is no exception. We conduct so called Novo Nordisk Way facilitations - which can be thought of as 'values audits'. Senior employees are appointed 'facilitators' and they travel the organisation to interview employees, managers and internal stakeholders of the unit, looking into documents and local business practices. Ultimately, this input forms the basis for an assessment of to which degree the unit is running its business in accordance with the Novo Nordisk Way. Just as they can identify findings which are areas for improvement, the Facilitators also identify best practices which can be shared throughout the company.
Every unit is facilitated at least every sixth year - some every third year or even every year, depending on the likelihood of non-compliance and the potential business impact. Consolidated observations and trends from the Facilitation process are reported to Executive Management quarterly and the Board of Directors annually.
This assurance helps safeguard our strong company culture of responsible and sustainable business practices and engaged employees and stakeholders. Facilitations ensure that the Novo Nordisk Way exists not only as words, but as the way we run our business around the world.
The making of the Novo Nordisk Way
The Novo Nordisk Way was last updated in 2010 where the Executive management team decided to update and revise the former document, called the Novo Nordisk Way of Management which had served our company well for a decade. The CEO, Lars Rebien Sørensen and his colleagues set out to select input from internal and external stakeholders. The journey lasted for five months and took them to seven destinations around the world meeting face-to-face with more than 350 employees and 100 patients, health care providers and other stakeholders.
Through extended use of social media internally, many employees contributed with ideas, wishes and suggestions for what should be addressed in the Novo Nordisk Way.
The key conclusion from the input phase was that we do have a very strong and unique culture. The key objective was hence not to change anything radically on the contrary, there was a strong wish to reinforce the existing business principles and values however in a more condensed way.
Senior management teams were included in the digestion of this input and took part in the revision of the Novo Nordisk Way.