Image Credit: ABC News: Brendan Esposito
The real cost of putting profit first. // Johnson & Johnson has historically been a role model doing the right thing and facing up to mistakes. This iconic company seems to have lost their way in recent years however.
Pursuing profit over the best interests, safety and health of their customers is the sort of thing uninspired companies do fairly regularly. We never would have classified Johnson & Johnson as uninspired. But some of their recent action (or lack thereof) carries with it some concerning red flags.
In November 2019 Johnson & Johnson were officially ruled by an Australian Federal Court to have knowingly misled thousands of women on the safety of one of its medical devices, causing debilitating and permanent chronic pain.
Earlier that year, they were also successfully sued for the role in the U.S. opioid crisis and slapped with a $572 million fine. The year before, its iconic talcum powder was linked to ovarian cancer in the US.
Where is the company that was once a role model for others to follow? The one who acted quickly and decisively to protect the interests of its consumers in the Tylenol tampering crisis of 1982?
Many of us grew up with Johnson & Johnson and trusted the brand implicitly. They’ve now got a lot of work to do to earn that trust back.
Inspired Companies do the right thing when given the choice because they know that short term moves to maximise profits or avoid responsibility are the most expense moves you can make today.
We are not ready to banish J&J into the depths and darkness of uninspired company status yet however. On a brighter note, we’ve started to see glimpses of the best version of J&J again throughout COVID – donating $50M to pandemic relief and investing heavily on vaccine development. We hope that version of J&J is here to stay.
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