Yesterday I had the privilege to tour the Jubilant HollisterStier facility here in Spokane. Jubilant HolisterStier is one of the two largest companies that manufacture pharmaceutical products in the world. Our tour guide was an engineer and executive in the company. He showed us how they create, refine, and package a number of products that doctors prescribe for their patients. We saw cancer drugs, bee venom, and sterile water getting packaged. Our guide teased that he likes selling those very small vials of water for a dollar each the best. I chuckled as I took a sip from my water bottle and thought, “I just swallowed the equivalent of several dollars.”
The tour was interesting, but I couldn’t help thinking that it would be a challenge to work in that place. The environment inside the building is tightly controlled. The air is carefully regulated, everything is kept clean, and many rooms are sterile. I did not see any windows to the outside, but there are redundant back-up power sources. With no pictures or fabric, and lots of stainless steel, glass, and polished concrete, it is an interior decorator’s nightmare!
Yet, the employees seemed happy. Everyone we bumped into warmly greeted our group. I was most impressed with our guide. Even though our time was limited, he wanted to show us everything. He practically ran us from one place to the next. He was excited about the company, the facility, and the products. His enthusiasm was contagious. As our tour came to a close, I felt that I did not want to leave the place.
As a student of corporate culture, I would love to know how Jubilant HollisterStier really works. What are its values? How do its employees stay motivated in such a sterile work environment? How do they continue to innovate in an industry that is heavily regulated? Where does their creativity come from?
At least one thing is clear: enthusiasm is attractive and contagious. After one short tour, I don’t really know much about Jubilant HollisterStier, but I am a fan of the company and, as you can see, I have become its promoter!
How about me? What do I communicate about where I work, where I worship, where I live? What about my deeper beliefs about God? Am I an enthusiastic promoter? I hope so!