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Jeff Aronin: How Meaning, Mission, And Purpose Drive Growth And Innovation

Mission-driven companies have a 30% higher level of innovation, 40% higher levels of employee retention and tend to be first or second in their market segment, according to Deloitte.

That’s a very good reason to build teams with a shared sense of mission and purpose.

Paragon Biosciences, led by Chairman and CEO Jeff Aronin, is an example of mission-driven companies that find success. For over two decades, a dedication to mission and purpose has helped Aronin build multiple successful life science companies that have earned FDA drug approvals for high, unmet medical needs.

For Jeff Aronin, purpose is the lifeblood of motivation. “The best advice I’ve received — and now pass along as a mentor — is to build companies of meaning,” Aronin says. Groundbreaking science that tackles some of the world’s toughest health problems requires mission-oriented leaders who can assemble teams with top skills and a shared interest in making “a difference in people’s lives,” Aronin adds.

That approach has worked particularly well for Jeff Aronin’s Paragon Biosciences.

In just two years, propelled by Aronin’s mission-based mindset, Paragon Bioscience’s portfolio companies have reached significant milestones. They include an FDA-approved treatment for excessive daytime sleepiness in adult patients with narcolepsy, clinical progress in potential therapies to treat Tourette Syndrome and stuttering, and further advancement of the first FDA-cleared, artificial intelligence-enabled breast cancer system for radiology.

Experts point to the benefits of a mission-oriented management philosophy like Jeff Aronin’s. Over the past three years, nearly 60% of “companies with a clearly articulated and understood purpose” experienced growth of 10% or more, according to professional services company KPMG.

Mission-driven companies experience other advantages as well, consulting firm Deloitte adds. Such advantages include a 30% higher level of innovation, 40% higher levels of employee retention and a ranking of first or second in their market.

In a separate study, professional social networking site LinkedIn adds that mission-driven companies produce team members who are more fulfilled in their work, more likely to move into leadership roles and more enthusiastic about sharing their positive workplace experience with friends and colleagues. All of these advantages can boost corporate recruitment.

When employers get these cultural elements right, many jobseekers rank them above pay and benefits, according to a recent study by Glassdoor. More than 77% of job candidates told the employment website that they would consider a company’s culture before compensation, with more than half saying that workplace culture is more important than salary for job satisfaction.

Regarding mission, nearly 90% of respondents told Glassdoor that it is important for an employer to have a clear mission and purpose, with nearly 8 in 10 saying they would consider a company’s mission before applying for a job there – another key piece of information for recruiters.

At Jeff Aronin’s Paragon Biosciences, having a clear, shared mission and purpose is vital to persevering through challenges, because drug development is a process that can take many years with no guarantee of success.

“There are still 7,000 severe diseases without FDA-approved treatments, yet an average of only 40-50 new medicines get approved by the FDA each year,” Aronin explains. “The current rate of novel drug development offers scant hope if you’re one of the 30 million Americans living with a rare disease without an approved treatment.” Half of these patients are children.

To stay focused on mission, Aronin adds, “You have to believe that you’re doing something that matters.”

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Young Upstarts is a business and technology blog that champions new ideas, innovation and entrepreneurship. It focuses on highlighting young people and small businesses, celebrating their vision and role in changing the world with their ideas, products and services.

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