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Creating a Growth Mindset Culture to Jumpstart Successful Biopharma Partnerships


A Harvard Business School Healthcare Alumni Association Q&A with Matt Wolf, president of Biopharma Services at Cencora.

Matt Wolf, president of Biopharma Services at Cencora.

Matt Wolf, president of Biopharma Services at Cencora.

Matt Wolf is president of Cencora’s Biopharma Services encompassing digital technologies, patient services, and field services to support end-to-end commercialization needs for the company’s strategic partners. Cencora is currently ranked number 11 on the Fortune 500.

Wolf earned his BS in Pharmacy from Ohio Northern University and MBA from Penn State University. He is a licensed pharmacist in Pennsylvania and Ohio and a member of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists.

Q. Cencora ranks among Fortune’s largest global entities. In your role overseeing Cencora’s biopharma services team, how are you building a culture that energizes Cencora employees to create offerings that existing and prospective clients value?

Matt Wolf: Patients are at the center of everything we do. We partner with pharmaceutical companies and provide critical solutions and support that aim to reduce potential barriers along the treatment journey and enable greater—and accelerated—access to help improve patients' lives.

That patient-centered approach fuels our innovation and growth mindset. In a conversation earlier this year, I referenced our continued focus on leveraging technology solutions, automation, and analytics to enhance our patient services capabilities. I specifically mentioned how we’re using predictive analytics to better understand and identify a patient’s risk for medication nonadherence, and then using those learnings to inform a personalized plan to engage and support patients throughout their journey.

Through the first 90 days of one partnership, we saw 95% of patients self-reported completing their medication dose. While it’s just one specific example, it captures the potential impact we can drive to help improve patients’ lives. As a team, we’re committed to investing in and introducing new solutions that help drive positive outcomes for our partners and the patients they serve.

Q. As readers execute their 2024 playbooks, what are your top three recommendations for leveraging a growth mindset culture to accelerate their topline growth?

Wolf: First, focus and ruthless prioritization should be the mantra! As one of my colleagues previously shared in your Q&A series,1 avoid chasing the shiny new pennies which is a common issue for many Fortune500s. And while employees might believe that their respective areas are of utmost importance to Cencora, at the end of the day given how fast market dynamics change, Cencora’s processes for decision making are agile enough such that we can pivot quickly.

Second, determine the right balance of global and local resource allocations to support your go-to-market efforts. At Cencora, we take a bottoms-up approach to help define local market needs and nuances. But as resources are scarce even for a $262 billion entity, we then take a holistic approach to determine resource allocations that drive value across the entire Cencora ecosystem, and I believe one of our C-suite leaders explained our innovation framework in an earlier Q&A with you.2

Finally, challenge your colleagues around the importance of forging stronger relationships via face-to-face meetings. While digital transformation has provided new engagement models that are effective, people buy from people, and I agree with that Harvard Business Review (HBR) finding where they “...confirmed the ongoing and intrinsic value of meeting face to face. Of the 2,300 HBR subscribers, 79% stated that "in-person meetings are the most effective way to meet new clients to sell business" while 95% of all respondents said that "face-to-face meetings are a key factor in successfully building and maintaining long term relationships."

About the Author

Michael Wong is an emeritus board member of the Harvard Business School Healthcare Alumni Association.


1. Wong, M. Avoiding the Shiny Penny Syndrome of Digital Transformation. PharmExec. November 4, 2021. Accessed April 29, 2024. https://www.pharmexec.com/view/avoiding-the-shiny-penny-syndrome-of-digital-transformation

2. Wong, M. How an Innovation Mindset Fuels Revenue Expansion for a Top 10 Fortune 500 Company. PharmExec. July 29, 2021. Accessed April 29, 2024. https://www.pharmexec.com/view/how-an-innovation-mindset-fuels-revenue-expansion-for-a-top-10-fortune-500-company

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