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Last Update: Saturday September 18, 2021

Key Idea: Treat Every Person As An Equal

Host Hattie Bryant witnessed how the founders of Biosite lead by example.

Key Question:


Like the best founders we know, these three treat every person on their team with great respect.

The "red deck" at Biosite is like your back porch. Most Fridays, at the end of the day, everyone is invited to the deck to join the founders to celebrate the week's accomplishments. Beer is served and you can't tell the difference between the executives and the interns.

Q: Why is employee satisfaction so important?

Satisfied or happy workers are productive workers. As business owners, we need to make sure our employees are satisfied as part of taking care of our customers. If the employees are dissatisfied, our customers will not be treated well.

How do we keep our employees level of satisfaction high? We only need to do three things:

  • Follow the golden rule: treat all employees with respect.
  • Provide them with the necessary resources such as capital, financial and human, to meet our expectations and do their jobs well.
  • Compensate them fairly.

If we do these three things, our employees have nothing to worry about. We have established a work environment that optimizes their chances for success and positions us to hold them accountable to the highest standard.

How does a business owner best recognize and reward the valued employees of the business?

Time after time, studies have shown us that we are all motivated by more than money. Sure, compensation and benefits are important, but the recognition and reward initiatives that a company undertakes also have a significant effect on employee morale and loyalty. These initiatives do not have to be costly and generally are not.

They do, however, have to be public. Bringing an employee into your office and telling him or her how much you appreciate them just does not have the same effect as a public demonstration. We see these public demonstrations in a lot of small businesses. The plaques on the wall with the engraved plates for each “Employee of the Month” and the parking space reserved for the special employee are two common examples. Highlighting employees in the company newsletter or website is another effective way of recognition.

Think about it

Would your employees say they work in a worry-free environment? What reward and recognition programs do you have in your business? How do you publicly acknowledge the value your employees bring to your business?

Clip from: Biosite is helping to save healthcare.

San Diego: Early insights by three people, Dr. Gunars Valkirs, Kim Blickenstaff and Dr. Ken Buechler, opened the way to develop devices that are now used virtually every second of a day to aid hundreds of thousands of emergency medical technicians, nurses, doctors and patients to diagnose medical conditions faster and more accurately. In this episode of the show, you will see their little device, Biosite Triage® for rapid diagnostic testing, in action.

When they had the idea, everyone told them, "You're crazy. No way! It'll never work." 

They began their business in 1988. Today, it is a global organization with annual revenues over $250 million. And it is all based on a product line that never ever existed before they created it. The firm's first product, The Triage Drugs of Abuse Panel, was cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1992.

They didn't stop there. They now test for congestive heart failure, heart attack, and a long check list of diseases with very strange names. Beyond their unstoppable energy and passion for continued research and exploration is the belief that their success to date does not begin to scratch the surface of the potential of diagnostics. Here you look into the heart of creativity.  

Editor's Note:  Since this episode was taped, Biosite was purchases by Innverness Medical Innovations.

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Biosite, Inc.

Kenneth Buechler, co-founder, President, Chief Scientific Officer

9975 Summers Ridge Road
888.BIOSITE (Customer Service)
San Diego, CA 92121

Visit our web site:

Office: 858.805.8378

Business Classification:

Year Founded: 1988

Treat Every Person As An Equal

HATTIE: (In the Studio) Kim, Gunars, and Ken are the perfect leaders for the 21st century. They lead by example, and with their intellectual persuasion. They believe high expectations mixed with plenty of fun create an environment where knowledge workers thrive.

The idea to reward someone for making a really big mistake sounds counterintuitive, but it is the way these three encourage everyone at Biosite to stretch through new ideas. Kim, Gunars and Ken know that Biosite is where it is today because they made plenty of mistakes.

Learn from them, corrected their course and kept on in pursuit of what most thought was impossible. These pioneers are obsessed with solving some of the most daunting problems facing people today. They have opened a new door on healthcare. Their Triage technology is all new science. It never existed until these three brought it into the world. The Multi Marker Index system is part of a universal thrust to know more, to go even deeper inside and into mysteries that have existed for all time. It is all about interiority. Truly understanding the intricacies of life itself. What could going inside mean to you and your business?

HATTIE: Where would you be by yourself?

KIM: I'd be nowhere without those guys. I mean absolutely, I can have an idea and if I didn't have them, or somebody else that could have delivered the scientific developments that we had, I'd be nowhere. I'd be a guy talking about an idea that was interesting and somebody else would probably beat us to market. It's the bottom line. We're a partnership of sort of overlapping skills sets. I think all of which were important in making this thing a success.

KEN: We solve problems together. Nobody gets mad at each other, we've never had a shouting contest. We just recognize that we're in the middle of a problem and we have to solve it.


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