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Biogen’s Values

August 1, 2002
Related Topics: Corporate Culture, Featured Article, HR & Business Administration

Biogen’s success is based on its people. Everyone here is a leader. The core of leadership is integrity and courage -- characteristics we seek in every Biogen employee. These shared values describe how we aspire to lead and work together. They promote the most important organizational behavior patterns critical in building a successful company and should be viewed in the context of what is best for Biogen.

  • Hire only the highest quality talent. Encourage each person’s development. Recognize differences in people and look for the diverse ways they can contribute to our success. Treat each individual with respect and dignity.

  • Communicate and then obtain alignment to our strategy and goals. Vigorously pursue the interdependent goals of world-class science and commercial success. Set aggressive, ever-increasing performance standards and hold people accountable for meeting them.

  • Tell the truth, even when it appears to be discouraged, and except nothing less in others.

  • Face the facts, admit mistakes, accept criticism, learn from it and improve. Admit you don’t have all the answers and learn from anyone, anyplace. Be intolerant of arrogance.

  • Build teams. Play whatever role in your team is necessary to get the job done. Share information openly, up, down, and across the company to help others. Help others succeed even at some cost to yourself.

  • Forcefully resist adding layers, procedures, and bureaucracy. Keep the matrix alive and fluid. Trust people with wide latitude and discretion.

  • Assume your position responsibilities are a starting point, not a limitation. Take the initiative and have the self-confidence required to reach your goals. Strive for speed and quality in all that you do.

  • Weigh the risks carefully but do not hesitate to innovate or to encourage and reward innovation and initiative. Accept that innovative approaches do not always succeed. Don’t shrink from unpopular positions if you have a passion for them.

  • See change as an opportunity, not a threat. Recognize the need for flexibility. Be comfortable with ambiguity. Shift focus and priority with unwavering intensity and commitment.

  • Serve and defend with equal energy our customers’, our employees’, and our shareholders’ interests. The primary measure of our success as an organization is the value we create with our products.

SOURCE: Reprinted with permission from "Watson Wyatt’s Human Capital Index," Watson Wyatt Data Services. For more information, visit or call 201/843-1177.

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