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Leaders of Healthcare: “Remember that no matter who you are, or how you got started, you can do amazing things” with Hope Mueller, VP of Quality at Horizon Pharma

As a part of my series about “The Future of Healthcare” I had the pleasure of interviewing Hope Mueller. Hope Mueller is the Vice President of Quality at Horizon Pharma, and has a unique ability to translate vision into reality. Hope is a dynamic leader in quality, continuous improvement, and has mastered knowledge in pharmaceutical products […]

As a part of my series about “The Future of Healthcare” I had the pleasure of interviewing Hope Mueller. Hope Mueller is the Vice President of Quality at Horizon Pharma, and has a unique ability to translate vision into reality. Hope is a dynamic leader in quality, continuous improvement, and has mastered knowledge in pharmaceutical products and operations. Hope is a Six Sigma Black Belt Certified and International Industry Speaker.

Throughout your career, both personally and professionally, what are some principles or philosophy that has guided your life?

1. Persistence. Have a laser focus on goals. Sometimes, taken to the extreme, it could be a little myopic, and you could lose some of the options. However, if you want something, you have to go after it, and you have to go after it hard. I had my eldest daughter when I was a sophomore in college. I finished my degree, but at the time, when I went back to classes, my roommate was surprised. She didn’t think I was going to go back. And not until she told me that she did not think I was going to go back did the thought even cross my mind. It never occurred to me that I wouldn’t go back. It wasn’t an option or anything I even considered.

2. Run towards change. Change is constant, and as my career has progressed, it is more and more frequent. There are no longer these large, stable, steady firms. That’s why twice in my career I was moved into a continuous improvement roles. I am very comfortable with change and willing to discuss any options. Embrace change and find ways to move forward.

3. Lastly, problem-solving. I have a skill for creating order out of chaos. I believe being open to change creates an ability to solving problems and identifying solutions.

These three principles have given me the ability to do a wide array of exciting things.

How do you create order out of chaos?

Well, first, you define current state. You understand what is real, what is real today.

Then, you step back, and you work with people who do the work, the person actually touching and doing the activity. Work with these people to develop the solutions, they know what the barriers and difficulties of their job are.

You don’t want to sit in a conference room, separate from the people who do the work to find the solutions. The higher your career goes, the less you are actually transacting the activities and tangible work.

And finally, you have to be open to any option, any solution, or any discussion. There is nothing you can’t do within the regulatory boundaries. In our industry, we have a regulatory boundary and we have a business boundary. However, anything inside of those, you can go and build a process, a system, a solution, that addresses and solves the problem.

Great! Thank you. That was fascinating. Earlier, you touched on embracing change and being comfortable with change. How do you do so?

That’s a great question. It is natural for me, so it’s interesting to think about how I can turn it into advice or guidance.

First, set aside your emotions about the change. Try to reflect and look at the change objectively. It’s the ability to acknowledge your emotion “Ok. I might be upset” but then be willing to set that aside and look at the change as subjectively as you could.

Once you have that objectivity, you can assess the change. Is it a valuable change? How does it improve the business? How can I improve and contribute to the change positively?

Is there anything you would like to share?

Two things:

1. Remember that no matter who you are, or how you got started, you can do amazing things. It doesn’t matter if you just started out or if you are in the middle of your career and you feel stuck. If you want to go after something, it’s all there and possible.

2. I am passionate about female in leadership and continuing to see equal numbers on boards, in our government and key decision making roles in firms. It represents our population, and data support diversity leads to better decision making and improves the productivity and profitability of companies. I have four daughters and want to see they have the same opportunities.


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