Johnson & Johnson


Johnson & Johnson

The Client

The Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies work with partners in health care to touch the lives of over a billion people every day, throughout the world. The Companies comprise the world’s sixth-largest consumer health company, the world’s most comprehensive medical devices business, the world’s sixth-largest biologics company, and the world’s fifth-largest pharmaceuticals company. Johnson & Johnson has more than 265 operating companies in more than 60 countries employing approximately 126,500 people.


Johnson & Johnson started a year-long program called EQLD, Executive Quality Leadership Development, in order to develop future leaders for their more than 100 key director and vice president-level positions worldwide. After that first year, they added Caliper’s Action Learning program to their process.

The Business Challenge

Johnson & Johnson realized they were filling only about 10 percent of vice president-level jobs from within. They asked themselves: ‘Why don’t we have a robust pipeline of talent in place within the corporation to fill these critical roles?’

The organization was also frustrated with the amount of money being spent on headhunter fees and the length of time the positions stayed open. So they started the EQLD program to develop talent from within and cut hiring time and costs.

While the Vice Presidents of Quality wanted the leadership program to focus on three main leadership aspects—global experience, collaboration, and risk management— they also wanted the 20 members of this year-long class to ”do a project and deliver something back that was transformational to the business.”

The Strategic Solution

For the second EQLD class, Johnson & Johnson added Caliper’s Action Learning program to their process. With these techniques, people learn to listen effectively, process information better, and engage in the most meaningful dialogue possible while working on the project. Now, not only does the problem get solved, the participants also learn the process of solving a problem so they can repeat it back at their regular jobs and be much more effective.

Another critical component of the program was Caliper’s ability to connect with top companies outside of Johnson & Johnson who could be used as benchmarks.

Leann Conway, Executive Director of Strategic Quality Leadership for Johnson & Johnson recalls the program and Caliper’s approach.

“With this process, we were able to see what the best of the best are doing in whatever subject we’re working on from year to year,” she points out. “That year we were working on the integration process within licensing and acquisition, so Caliper helped us find companies that really excelled at integration. They opened doors for us and the delegates in the class to talk with these companies, to learn from them what works, what doesn’t, and how to really transform the integration process within our own corporation.”

The Results

That value is evident in all the EQLD classes based on the high impact and significance of the projects they’ve delivered at the end of each year-long program. Lea Ann illustrates, “One year the group was challenged with delivering a risk management process for the pharmaceutical sector. And not only did they develop the process and get buy-in from the company presidents and company group chairs that this is the way the pharmaceutical sector should do business, the product and process they delivered has become an industry benchmark. Other companies throughout the industry are now designing their risk management process based on what we were able to accomplish.”

In another case, an EQLD class was even hired by J&J Development Corporation to design a process for a part of the business they call “spin-offs” which relates to interesting technologies J&J may want to invest in, acquire or sell pieces of. Now all the J&J businesses are using this process to drive growth and innovation in the corporation.

“In four years,“ concludes Lea Ann, “we’ve gone from filling only 10 percent of our vice president level jobs from within, to 90 percent. This whole process really is transformational—for individuals and companies.”

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