CEO Notebook

Henry Schein CEO Stanley Bergman on Execution

Henry Schein, one of the world's largest health care supplies company, delivers consistent and, in some cases, above industry growth in each of its business areas of dental, pet care and medical supplies. It's aiming to deliver 10-12% earnings growth, in what can be characterized as a commoditized business, in 2015. That's tough to achieve, which is why Henry Schein's top executive values EXECUTION above all else.

Henry Schein's soft- spoken CEO Stanley Berman, who is a Chartered Accountant by training, has led the company for 25 years. Stanley Bergman says "the rules of business are simple, it is the execution that is critical". He said the 3 key elements to execution are:

1. Everyone knows the plan. Have a well-defined plan where everyone understands their roles and responsibilities.

An example of where this is important and often missed is in mergers, acquisitions and strategic investments. On the day of the announcement of the new venture, everyone should know where they are going and what they are doing. Many companies start to address this after the announcement, and during the implementation phase. This needs to be addressed up front in the due diligence process, as it is required for successful implementation.

2. Right people in the right place on the bus. Ensure that you have the right people in the appropriate roles. Have your team articulate their business plan and the resources that they need, and then empower them.

3. Wear shoes with rubber soles. Stanley Bergman says that he walks around and talks a lot to the team. Take the temperature constantly. Why this is important? Nothing is static and the environment changes constantly. Make the necessary adjustments. Having regular dialogue with team members enables you to understand them and their needs, how to motivate and develop trust. At the end of the day trusting your team is most important.

For the full article and my interview with Henry Schein CEO Stanley Bergman on BNN TV see here: