A Well-Rounded Leader | Mark Rutledge | World Precision Instruments
President & CEO
Armed with over two decades of experience, Mark Rutledge, President and CEO of World Precision Instruments, has become known as a versatile and inclusive leader who has demonstrated the ability to drive high performance in organizations through setting strategic direction, building high-caliber teams, and mobilizing the organization around key objectives. He has successfully driven needed change in the businesses he’s led by engaging teams to be part of the solutions that drive improved performance. “By allowing teams to have a voice in the ideation and implementation of change, you get greater buy-in to ensure the desired outcomes of the change are realized,” says Mark, who came to World Precision Instruments from Sebia, Inc, where he served as President and CEO of the Americas and led commercial and clinical strategies that expanded use of protein separation technologies in cancer diagnostics. His career spans global executive and commercial leadership roles for many industry leaders, including Roche Diagnostics and GE Healthcare.
Providing the right coaching and guidance enables teams to develop themselves and merge their potential with their actions.
As an authentic leader, Mark can personalize coaching to the differing needs of his leaders and individual contributors. He has a proven ability to build strong teams while at the same time develop existing talent.
Culminating into A People’s Leader
It is pertinent to mention that World Precision Instruments is blessed to have tenured employees who are subject matter experts in their technical areas. The company can leverage its expertise for peer-to-peer training and ongoing education of its early-in-tenure talent, which includes:
- Utilization of learning platforms: Leveraging in-person training and training media, such as eLearning (like MasterClass or Skill Share) and YouTube, can offer differing avenues for transferring learning content.
- Continuing education: Research shows that humans learn best through repetition. When planning their year, World Precision Instruments tries to map out refresher training for their teams throughout the year to stay sharp on industry trends, product knowledge, and new technology pipelines.
Alongside the company, survey results have routinely shown that career growth opportunities, strong leadership, and a sense of purpose in work are the top reasons talent remains with companies or seeks new companies; hence, Mark and his management team are committed to give the employees the best culture and growth opportunities that can enhance the employees not only professionally but also personally.
“While I’ve had many successful experiences in leading organizations, I’m still chasing overall success because in my view I’m still learning and growing and that is what I impart to my team,” elucidates Mark. “My advice to all is to seek growth experiences that will bring new learnings, sharpen skills, and stretch your limits versus solely chasing titles or salary. Those will come. Having a breadth of diverse experiences will make you a well-rounded leader.”
Growing A Great Company
As World Precision Instruments continues to outpace the global Life Sciences market in annual growth, one of the top challenges they face is sourcing talent specifically skilled in the technical and scientific arenas that they play in. This is a challenge across many industries currently, especially in the medical device and Biotech space. “Fortunately, within our executive team, we have several industry veterans which allows us to lean on our network when attracting and sourcing talent,” says Mark. “Additionally, we are blessed to have uniquely low attrition rates. With an attractive work-family balance culture, better-than-industry benefits package, a purpose and passion behind our products and services, and strong people leaders, World Precision Instruments has below industry turnover rates.”
World Precision Instruments’ quality management system (QMS) encompasses functional activities and processes necessary to research, develop, acquire, manufacture, and sell biomedical research equipment and analytical equipment and supplies at the Sarasota, FL location, following ISO 9001:2015. Their Quality Policy incorporates the following principles to ensure continual improvement in efficient business processes and customer satisfaction:
- Cultivate a quality-focused culture that inspires participation and promotion of quality responsibilities among all employees and suppliers through standard processes, regulatory compliance, training, mentoring, effective communications, and well-defined goals.
- Develop meaningful relationships with their customers based on our dedication to designing and developing unique and relevant solutions to their needs and providing products with zero defects.
- Advocate continual improvement in efficient business processes, customer satisfaction, and profitability.
The Life Sciences industry is constantly evolving as new technologies and policy changes evolve how scientists and labs conduct research. Specifically, the Animal Physiology and Drug Discovery segments, where World Precision Instruments is a market leader, are changing rapidly. But, while modeling complexity is vital, 2023 has also seen the passage of the FDA Modernization Act 2.0, which allows for adequate alternatives to animal testing in drug development. Therefore, 2023 has seen the rapid expansion and advancement of complex preclinical assay systems such as 3D cell and tissue models and organ-on-a-chip technology Migration to engineered models versus whole animal physiology for research. World Precision Instruments is developing tech to help drive faster, more efficient drug development to help Pharma Companies get therapies to market more quickly.
For the days to come, World Precision Instruments is partnering with academic and industry laboratories to improve preclinical models, particularly in vitro models, and organs on a chip. “We are integrating our technology to develop, validate, and improve in vitro models of a wide variety of cell and tissue types, modeling hundreds of human diseases to improve drug development,” adds Mark. “TEER has been a technology that WPI has offered for decades. It is a well-validated method to evaluate membrane function and monitor cell confluency to determine whether drugs can penetrate various tissues, which is critical in determining if a therapy is likely to succeed. Our fluidics and sensing technology enhance these models, allowing increased complexity and accuracy of non-animal models.”
World Precision Instruments continues to expand on its mission to partner in drug development, putting the best data at researchers’ fingertips and enabling improvements of preclinical models for the best chance of clinical success. “Developing talent and guiding them to become what they can be in their respective roles and growth path is the most important things leaders do. One of the more rewarding aspects of leadership is watching talent grow from the tools and coaching you offered, which ultimately helps them merge their potential with their actions,” concludes Mark.