A recent announcement by Pfizer caught my attention. The firm is selling its Prevnar 13 vaccine at a fraction of its normal price so that 260 million young children in poor countries will be protected from pneumonia and meningitis. This is a disease that kills 800,000 children annually, nearly all of whom live in poor countries according to the World Health Organization. 800,000 children! As a father myself, I think not only of all of those children’s lives but also the heartbreak, trauma and suffering that their families will avoid. This is truly something worthy of celebrating and I for one want to say “thank you, Pfizer.”
I hope the leaders at Pfizer make their employees and the family members of employees well aware of this because they should feel proud of their company for alleviating the suffering and deaths that would have otherwise visited these children and their families. Communicating the good deeds of an organization reflects Vision and Value, two of the three core elements of a Connection Culture that boosts employee engagement, productivity, innovation and overall performance.
The news media today provide a constant drum beat of of stories about corporate misdeeds and rightfully so because the press plays an important accountability role in free market democracies. I do wish, however, that the press would give more attention to positive stories like this that reflect good corporate character and reduce time spent on trivial matters. Corporations bring skilled people together and provide the capital and resources necessary to solve some of the most challenging problems facing humankind. Pfizer’s action in this announcement is a great example. By celebrating the good deeds of corporations like Pfizer, we encourage them to be good citizens.