I once worked in a large (global) high tech corporation where these values toward customers were the norm. Occasionally we were allowed to transcend the grueling path toward profit-or-else and work toward customer success. Indeed, it was also a different era on Wall St. We actually had real relationships with the analysts on the Street. It has changed dramatically and it now surprises me that the former CEO of Medtronic is espousing similar ethics and values in the 21st century -- because I also know a lot about Medtronic and its global reach across the health care sector. For example their medical devices, which truly make LIFE with type-1 diabetes possible, are generally only available to those with extraordinary means to pay in this terribly depressed economy. To work around this, the customer/patient must jump high hurdles and, essentially, beg for a sort of "charitable" gesture from Medtronic and/or many similar corporations. In the world of health care, and its suppliers such as Medtronic, "success of the customer" should be modified to "success of the customer with a lot of money." For those who really have a need to survive with products that Medtronic offers, the door is closed unless the patient has money. The former CEO of Medtronic would know all this since the corporation is a very big player in the health care sector. CEO's make it their business to understand the full landscape within which they market their products, including: who has money, who does not, and the type of political presence to have in D.C. to influence legislation. So while it is of course refreshing to read about Mr. George's values and ethics, as someone on the front lines of healthcare delivery and healthcare policy, his message does not match my everyday experience in the gritty world of the marginalized.
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