SSON Podcast: Abbott Lab's John Hopkins on GPO



Seth Adler
12/01/2017

Global Process Ownership

"When you have a global services process ownership centralized...new shared services processes and technologies can be identified and implemented quickly."

John Hopkins joins us and discusses global services process ownership. He’s decidedly from the centralized point of view. John notes that if he were starting a multi-national, global entity today, he would start by defining and assigning global services process roles and make it universally unilateral across all countries, business segments, etc. He would execute that way based on his thought that as long as you have a centralized approach to a services process you can design it and adapt to the marketplace quickly and deliver efficiencies quickly as the market or environment changes. He notes that those that aren’t with his line of thinking are seeing centralized services models going after the quick wins- which is great, but not his complete view of what should happen in centralized services.

 

Seth Adler:                              From Abbott, John Hopkins. First, some supporters to thank, and thank you for listening. This episode is supported by SSON, with over 100,000 members, the Shared Services, and Outsourcing Network is the largest, and most established community of shared services and outsourcing professionals in the world. SSON is a one-stop-shop for shared services professionals, offering industry leading events, reports, surveys, interviews, white papers, videos, editorial infographics, and more. Engage at SSONetwork.com. This episode is also supported by SSON Analytics. Digestible, data driven insights for shared services and outsourcing. SSON Analytics is SSON's global data analytics center. It provides shared services professionals with the global data insights you need, through interactive maps, tools, and charts. Get headline industry statistics sent straight to your inbox. It's that simple. Explore the first layer of industry data for free, now. Start a conversation and find out more. Sign up at SSON-Analytics.com.

John Hopkins joins us, and discusses global services process ownership. He's decidedly from the centralized point of view. John notes that if he were starting a multinational global entity today, he would start by defining and assigning global services processes roles, and make it universally unilateral across all countries, business segments, et cetera. He would execute that way based on his thought that as long as you have a centralized approach to a services process, you can design it, and adapt it to the marketplace quickly, and deliver efficiencies quickly, as the market or environment changes. He notes that those that aren't with his line of thinking are seeing centralized services models going after the quick wins, which is great, but not his complete view of what should happen in centralized services.

Welcome to SSON on B2B IQ, I'm your host Seth Adler. Download episodes on SSONetwork.com, or through our app on iTunes, within the iTunes podcast, Google Play, or wherever you currently get your podcasts. John Hopkins. I mean the first question has to be, John Hopkins, John Hopkins, I mean this has to happen every time, right?

John Hopkins:                      Yes, it does.

Seth Adler:                              Right?

John Hopkins:                      It usually happens with the TSA agents at the airport, they always recognize that name, and they ask me, is it really me?

Seth Adler:                              Right. How are you still around, I guess looking so good I guess? And they don't really ask if it's you, do they?

John Hopkins:                      No, they ask me if it's a real name, actually. "Is that really your name?" I said, "Yes, it's really my name."

Seth Adler:                              But it's John E. Hopkins, so that changes everything.

John Hopkins:                      Yup.

Seth Adler:                              As opposed to John S. Hopkins, then you'd have problems. But do you have a boy?

John Hopkins:                      Yes, I have a son.

Seth Adler:                              Okay. Is his name John S. Hopkins, by any chance?

John Hopkins:                      No.

Seth Adler:                              No, okay.

John Hopkins:                      It's John C. Hopkins.

Seth Adler:                              That's close, that's close. All right. So Abbott Labs, we'll get to that, but you just said to me, before we turned on the microphones, if you were gonna start a company right now, today, this is the way you would do it. And so let's just kinda ... you did a big workshop on GPO, and explain what you mean. Let's start there, and then we'll make our way back.

John Hopkins:                      All right, so as I said earlier, before we turned on the mics, was global process ownership. If I was starting a company today, from ground up, and I knew I wanted to be a multinational global entity, I would start it with assigning and defining a global process role, and to make it universally unilateral across all countries, business segments, across everywhere. And the reason why I say that is because you can design, as long as you have a centralized approach to a process, you can design it, you can adapt to the marketplace quickly, and you can deliver efficiencies very quickly, as the market changes, or the environment changes.

Seth Adler:                              What I am hearing is that everybody's on board with you. But we're not seeing so much action. What do you think folks are reluctant about.

John Hopkins:                      The business service model, or centralized services model, usually goes after the quick wins. Quick wins is wage arbitrage of either centralizing and outsourcing of activities and processes to continuously improve a process, that is not ... that's a secondary thought in the overall gaining ... I'll say wage arbitrage, and actually efficiencies.

Seth Adler:                              We'll do that too. We'll remind you later. Right? Is that basically-

John Hopkins:                      Exactly. So let's do the quick wins, and get the two million dollar savings, ten million dollar savings, and then we'll go after something later and see if this is ... is there an opportunity to do that? What happens to world is everything's changing so rapidly. Technology's changing, new software, this conference that we're at today, for example, has an RPA topic which everyone's curious to hear about. It's a new thought process.

Seth Adler:                              That would be the bright shiny object in the room, I believe.

John Hopkins:                      Correct. So old traditional processes, a lot of the vendors out there are looking to see how they can implement, and look at the new RPA technology out there. So a lot of things are changing rapidly. And if your company's not geared towards that adaptation to change, then it'll take longer to realize those opportunities, and see those opportunities, and then ultimately implement those opportunities. When you have a global process ownership organization, centrally organized, and the culture in the company is to have decision making at a central level, these things can be identified, looked at, assessed, and is it right for your company, and implement it very quickly.

Seth Adler:                              So a few hundred thousand dollars a year, right? I'm glad to see you're from finance shared services. What is the CEO thinking, when I say, "Listen, it's only gonna cost us 500 grand a year?"

John Hopkins:                      The cost factor, yeah. Again, in my presentation, I did talk about ROI, return on investment. And I think that's critical. People in ... it's a new concept of global process ownership. And the traditional structure does not see, necessarily see the value add. Like will it save me money? Will it improve the process? Will it make my customers, or suppliers happier? They don't see that, in the end, at a global process organization. It's their job, a global process manager, organization, company, CFO, whoever the spearhead ownership is, to really sell it. You gotta sell your why it will add value to the company, and show it, from a financial standpoint. And I think there are a lot of opportunities out there that the GPOs can do it.

                                                      Traditionally, GPOs do not do a good job of recognizing that, and developing a model that shows I do have continuous improvement, we can continually save the company money. It may be different, year, after year, after year. Or in the beginning may be large, and it may be smaller in the end. But it should be there, and the key of it is showing only one piece of it, sometimes they don't capitalize on the full scope of what they can do when it comes to adding value to the company.

Seth Adler:                              You had a bunch of great attendees in there, and actually there was a lot of interactivity. You spoke to ... I know Mars raised his hand, and Johnson and Johnson raised her hand. What did you learn from them, just from their questions?

John Hopkins:                      That it's a journey, and an evolution. Like I said, some people are at the further end of it, and some people are at the beginning of it. They look at only one process in the beginning, they have different reporting lines as to the structure, or the governance of how they're doing it. And then they all ultimately want to do something, but they don't have the buy in yet of the senior management that they really can support this type of organization, and really bring value to the company yet. And it was interesting to see that ... I'll talk about reporting lines, that the structure setup where, traditionally, we're talking about finances fixture and services, at this conference, and it usually reports into a CFO type of organizational structure. Now you've seen trends where they're going to report into the CIO, in the IT arena. Which, again, is that right or wrong? I don't know. The evolution. I look at finance perspective, but IT is a very important element of global process management.

Seth Adler:                              It absolutely is. And how does that strike you, as a finance guy? Do you see that as a potential win? I'm sure you can see the grass is always greener, right? So what do you see as the add-on benefits of reporting up through CIO?

John Hopkins:                      The add-on benefit of a CIO reporting is that they traditionally have a structure in place, or a mindset in place of project management, system analytics, of addressing and finding opportunities, when it comes to IT related type of things. And finance, today, used to be say 90 percent transactional, or not today, historically. And now it's becoming 90 percent automated. So then it's a very huge IT component in there. Especially with our IPA. So that's why I think the IT arena definitely can add some value. They traditionally have a project management structure in place, where they can continuously implement project management initiatives, which is a big part of global process ownership. Of identifying opportunities, and implementing them.

Seth Adler:                              So you say this whole thing's a journey, right? And just from our short conversation, I know that you've been on somewhat of a journey as well. Somewhat nomadic. Is that fair to say? Right? Where are you from, all the way back? Where were you born?

John Hopkins:                      I was born in actually California, and then moved from Houston to Memphis to Chicago. Let's see, Boston.

Seth Adler:                              Boston's in there.

John Hopkins:                      Now back to Chicago.

Seth Adler:                              Cause I'm looking at ... I don't see a west coast guy, if that makes sense, right? You don't seem like a flip-flop kind of character, right? Is that fair?

John Hopkins:                      Yeah, that's fair. That's fair.

Seth Adler:                              Where do you think most of the formative years were spent? Was that in Massachusetts, was that in Houston? Where do you think the pulp was created, type of thing.

John Hopkins:                      I would say Massachusetts, primarily.

Seth Adler:                              All right. And so north, almost on the border of New Hampshire, right?

John Hopkins:                      Correct.

Seth Adler:                              All right, so what was your dad doing, what was your mom doing that you were jumping from city to city there?

John Hopkins:                      My father worked for General Motors. And he would move around at different locations for the General Motors company, and actually he was in the manufacturing, electronics manufacturing area, to find process improvements.

Seth Adler:                              There you go! It's in the blood!

John Hopkins:                      So that was part of his job.

Seth Adler:                              And we just, you know there was news of Opal being sold off, and the other European unit. What do you think his take would be on where GM is today, versus you guys running through the country in the, I would imagine, roughly '70s, right?

John Hopkins:                      Correct. Well, back then, the mindset was a company of that size and stature would be around for a million years, right? They didn't have a mindset that things would change, like selling off Opal. Oldsmobile, they sold off not too long ago. And they were the decision. They were the leaders in the industry. So they were decision makers. They were the trendsetters. In today's world, like I said, the old companies, and I think-

Seth Adler:                              Yeah, the Fortune 500.

John Hopkins:                      Yeah, how many are left today?

Seth Adler:                              From the initial Fortune 500, was that your, yeah-

John Hopkins:                      So the initial Fortune 500, how many of those are there today. I don't have that exact stat, but you can go through a list of 50-

Seth Adler:                              Not too many.

John Hopkins:                      Less than 50 percent, or 20 percent. There's not ... a lot of companies, multinationals, don't adapt quickly, because of the old culture and mindset.

Seth Adler:                              How quickly is it moving, you know, you're at a pretty big company now, and I do want to go through other places that you've been, so that we kind of get an idea of your insight, but how quickly is it moving now, versus when you entered the workforce, which I would imagine was roughly in the late '80s, or early '90s, right?

John Hopkins:                      Correct. So I've been ... I'll say my career, at least 30 years now. 25 to 30 years.

Seth Adler:                              Yeah, pace of change.

John Hopkins:                      Correct. And that mindset, back in the day, was I'm gonna get hired with a company like a Motorola, which is no longer there, or a Kodak.

Seth Adler:                              Right, sure. That'd be a great job in Rochester, New York, right?

John Hopkins:                      Yes. That'd be a great job, and I'll be set for life. I'll have my 30 year career, then I'll live out my 30 year career there. That was the mindset. Now today's world, you look back at the millennials coming into the marketplace and the work industry, they it's "I'll be there for two years max, at any company, and I gotta move on to another company."

Seth Adler:                              Right.

John Hopkins:                      Totally different mindset, totally different world. But companies that don't adapt to that change, or this time in evolution, they will be dinosaurs, and ultimately not be successful in the future, so it's very important.

Seth Adler:                              Just before you were a millennial, meaning just before you were out in the workforce, where'd you go to school?

John Hopkins:                      Michigan State.

Seth Adler:                              Okay, Spartans. Now you don't, you might remember Magic playing, now? He probably beat you out of there, I'm sure.

John Hopkins:                      Yes, he beat me out of there just shortly.

Seth Adler:                              Yeah, okay. And so what did you study there?

John Hopkins:                      Finance and accounting.

Seth Adler:                              Okay, so then we're in the right place.

John Hopkins:                      Yup.

Seth Adler:                              And how did you decide that that's what you wanted to do? Did your dad say, "This is what you're doing," or?

John Hopkins:                      No, my wife faults me on this, it was market driven. I said what's the most marketable career path as of that date, and that time, and that career, and it was finance and accounting, was very marketable at the time.

Seth Adler:                              Still not bad, right?

John Hopkins:                      No, still not bad, it's just a whole different skillset, as you look at all of the elements to finance and accounting.

Seth Adler:                              Sure, but I feel like we're always going to have debits and credits, right?

John Hopkins:                      Yes. Yes, that's true.

Seth Adler:                              That stays with us. So where'd you go out of school, what was the first place?

John Hopkins:                      Marriott.

Seth Adler:                              Okay!

John Hopkins:                      Out of school I hired on with Marriott International Hotels and Resorts as a finance controller.

Seth Adler:                              And did you meet the dad and the son?

John Hopkins:                      Let's see, at the time, the son. Yes, I met the son.

Seth Adler:                              Right. Okay, and how was it working for Marriott? That's a very specific organization. Especially then. It was very much still a family organization right?

John Hopkins:                      Family organization. Like you said, very specific. Very specific mindset, background, culture. Very specific culture.

Seth Adler:                              How did reflect in the books? In other words, what was your remit?

John Hopkins:                      As far as the books, they were committed to delivering the financial results, I'll say, to any bottom line, from a financial standpoint. So every hotel had to be profitable. If it wasn't profitable, then it would be removed from the portfolio. So they were very clear on, it's gotta be a profitable endeavor to engage with Marriott.

Seth Adler:                              Removed from the portfolio. I like to say, if you can't change the people, change the people. But I guess you can do that with hotels too, right?

John Hopkins:                      Oh, yeah.

Seth Adler:                              And so you were based in Virginia?

John Hopkins:                      No, the first assignment was at a resort in Missouri, as a controller. Well first I was an assistant controller there. So it's a hundred million dollar resort, annual turnover, so it was a good sized resort in the middle of Missouri, which no one would expect.

Seth Adler:                              Sure.

John Hopkins:                      And so I did a year or two years there, then moved on to a controllership role in Los Angeles, at the Century City Los Angeles.

Seth Adler:                              Look at that, Hollywood!

John Hopkins:                      Yeah, exactly.

Seth Adler:                              That's what we should call you, right?

John Hopkins:                      Yeah, exactly. So I did that for a little while there. And then decided it was time to leave Marriott, and at the time, I decided to start a family, and leave Marriott. And I moved back to-

Seth Adler:                              Which is ironic, by the way, start a family, leaving Marriott, the family-run business, right?

John Hopkins:                      Yes. Well it's a family-run business, but the role was to move every two years.

Seth Adler:                              I gotcha. We need you here, we need you there, we need you there.

John Hopkins:                      To a different location, yes. And at the time I was like, is that what I want to do for the next 20 years is move every two years? My wife and I said no. So we moved to Detroit.

Seth Adler:                              That's learning from old lessons, by the way, from your dad's lessons.

John Hopkins:                      Yeah. That is exactly it. We said that's not what we wanted for the family, at the time. So we moved to Detroit, Michigan, and started working for Ford Motor Company. I did not, my wife did, and I started working for EDS, which is no longer around.

Seth Adler:                              No, they were big.

John Hopkins:                      Exactly. They were a big company, but they're no longer around. And they were kind of purchased by Hewlett Packard, which is still around.

Seth Adler:                              Mm-hmm (affirmative), kinda.

John Hopkins:                      Kind of.

Seth Adler:                              And did you stick around with HP, or?

John Hopkins:                      No, for a little, basically as a consultant. I was on their consultant arm, working with the automobile dealerships, selling software, and hardware, and all sorts of fun stuff to them.

Seth Adler:                              All right. So we got hospitality, we got automotive, next industry was what?

John Hopkins:                      TransUnion, credit reporting.

Seth Adler:                              Look at that! All right.

John Hopkins:                      So a credit reporting agency.

Seth Adler:                              So finance for finance.

John Hopkins:                      Yes. And there, actually, that's where the whole shared business services started. We created a center in Memphis Tennessee, and so we moved to Memphis Tennessee to create that center.

Seth Adler:                              What was thinking back, and then this is the what, late '90s, maybe early 2000s?

John Hopkins:                      '95-ish. Yeah, '95

Seth Adler:                              Yeah, so what was the thinking when the organization put it together? What were they saying, and thinking, and thinking it would accomplish?

John Hopkins:                      Well that was the new business mindset, and the concepts out there of global shared business services was that every CFO was on the clique, or the new candy of the day. Let's see if a CFO wasn't talking about a shared service environment, then they would not be a CFO. It was like, we had to talk about it. And so they dabbled in it, and then the consulting agencies really starting developing programs around the business service model. Some companies had been doing it 20, 30 years ago. Who knows how long. But it wasn't a generally accepted concept at the time. And so they started dabbling in it, and you started saying "Okay, let's do a little bit here, a little bit there, a little bit accounts payable maybe, a little bit whatever, fixed assets, whatever," different areas. But it was more of dabbling. It wasn't a really strategic, for the company, let's see if we can really save a lot of money, and drive some performance here.

Seth Adler:                              And that is where that started for you though, right?

John Hopkins:                      That started there, yup.

Seth Adler:                              And so what did you, what landscape are you looking at, and what were the kind of initial wins? I know I'm asking some 20 some years ago, but still.

John Hopkins:                      Yeah, like wow. Fixed assets, I would say. We first looked at just fixed assets. How to process and manage fixed assets. Everything from getting an automated module, to implementing it. TransUnion had a sales organization in every major city, at the time. A physical organization that went out and sold the product. Whereas today, they may have a virtual type of program, where people buy the product virtually. And so we'd go to every organization throughout the country, and say we're gonna take this activity only, move it to a central location, and we're gonna save you basically zero, but it was only one transaction. So that's where we started. And then we went and said, "Okay, we're gonna do your accounts receivable, collections," and then we started adding different services to a centralized model. And yes, the business case was that we would reduce the number of headcount doing it, and as a more standardized, harmonized process in the central location in Memphis, Tennessee.

Seth Adler:                              Which of course worked, right?

John Hopkins:                      It did work, yes. It was so ... I'll say, looking back in the history there, it was like sticks and stones compared to what we have today with automation and those type of things. It was purely taking a bad process, and moving it from location A to location B, and continually doing the bad process until you fixed it.

Seth Adler:                              Got it. The tablet version. And by that, I mean stoned.

John Hopkins:                      Yes, correct.

Seth Adler:                              Versus the tablet version, the digital version.

John Hopkins:                      Making it work. And then, again, a lot of automation market, and the technology was not fully there yet, and so it has evolved over time. Also, it was a regionalized thing. At the time, TransUnion was US company base only. So we set up a center on the west coast, east coast, and centrally, just based on time zones only, and then our customer service base was that way. Which today, in the virtual world, it doesn't need to be that way.

Seth Adler:                              No, it does not. Where did you go from there?

John Hopkins:                      All right, let's see. Now I gotta think hard, here. We went from TransUnion ...

Seth Adler:                              Well let's start to work backwards. How long have you been at Abbott?

John Hopkins:                      Two years.

Seth Adler:                              Oh so it's, you're brand new, basically, right?

John Hopkins:                      Brand new.

Seth Adler:                              And when you came into this shared services organization, how did it look compared to what we were just talking about, in 1995, right?

John Hopkins:                      They're a very, I'll say, old company, for 125 plus years, and so they started their shared business service, or finance transformation, probably three years ago. And so their organizational structure, their processes, everything was still in the old way of doing things. So three years ago is when they really started thinking "Oh, we want to do global business services. This is how we want to do it." So we had a model. But the model wasn't 100 percent bought in yet, with the management team. So it's been an evolution and it'll continue to be an evolution. So now we're three years into it, and we've slowly added different things, and changed the model a little bit. We have our S to P, or O to C, and we have R to R. So we have three areas that we're currently focusing on implementing a global business process model.

Seth Adler:                              And how smoothly is it going on the ground, versus kind of at the executive level? In other words, do those two parts of the organization see the same thing?

John Hopkins:                      Not yet. Not yet.

Seth Adler:                              Okay. How so?

John Hopkins:                      Well, again, as the company has grown, or the CFO, CEO have been within Abbott for 40 plus years, and they've grown, and grown up to be into those positions. And the do understand that a CFO, CEO, that the shared business service model, on a multinational, is the model and way to go. But we don't, I say we. I'll say we, but them, us, executive counsel, doesn't necessarily see at the true end state of what a global business model is about, what it can bring to the company yet, and they're still kind of playing what the future will look like.

Seth Adler:                              But how can you, right, see that if it's not here yet?

John Hopkins:                      And that's a very good question. So what I've done is implemented, or at least had some of the executives, there are best-in-class companies that have really embraced a global business service model, of companies, of how they do it.

Seth Adler:                              For example.

John Hopkins:                      Procter & Gamble, is a big one. Siemens, I actually like their model. So there are a couple out there that are really best-in-class, that have done that, and really embraced it.

Seth Adler:                              What are they doing right? P and G I'm more familiar with than Siemens, but-

John Hopkins:                      All right, so looking back, the beginning of this question was if I started my company today-

Seth Adler:                              There we go.

John Hopkins:                      I want to be a multinational. I want to be in every country, in every segment, and have multiple business divisions, and this is what I would do to set this up right on the front end. So have the central decision making process, the central global business process owners, to define what the process should be in every country, and around the world.

Seth Adler:                              Okay. What about China, specifically, cause we talked about that just before we turned on the microphones, and that's a ... well, that's a specific country, right?

John Hopkins:                      Correct. Well, and that's where, from a global business process, you have to think, on a macro level, and look everything from a macro level, but then you also have to understand some of the local issues and concerns. The emerging markets for any multinational. The emerging markets, China, Brazil, some of the other countries out there, but those are the two big ones.

Seth Adler:                              Well Africa's hitting the map now, I'm seeing.

John Hopkins:                      Yes, Africa. So the emerging markets, they're emerging because maybe they haven't got the structure yet in place, or whatever, you have to take that into consideration. But it doesn't necessarily mean you have to change everything just to revolve around that country specific. But, when it comes to compliance, legalities, and local laws and stuff, you have to make sure you embrace and understand, before you make decisions on different processes on a global level. But it's still viable, from a global process owner to do that. Yes, they need to have a network, establish a network and understand the local business needs and requirements, from a compliance standpoint, but they can make decisions, and process changes and stuff from a global view. And I think we've done it, in my past experience in both with Philips and Abbott.

                                                      At Abbott, we've done that to a certain extent. Now We're playing it cautious in China because that's a wildcard still, for us, as far as things change daily there, sometimes, as far as the government's mandates and changes and stuff, and we still want to be in that market, of course, so we don't want to be asked to leave that market, which can happen, with companies.

Seth Adler:                              You mentioned Philips, what was the key that you took from ... how long were you at Philips?

John Hopkins:                      Philips was my longest tenure. And that was around let's see ... I ended up with 14 years.

Seth Adler:                              14 years, all right. So that's ... you know, you're not a boy, right?

John Hopkins:                      No.

Seth Adler:                              I mean, to wrap up 14 years into one lesson learned, what would it be?

John Hopkins:                      The company's strategic vision has got to be aligned to exactly what, and defined where you want to be, and whatever time period.

Seth Adler:                              That's gotta be strong.

John Hopkins:                      That's gotta be strong. And the corporate culture has to support that, and be that agent to do that. If you don't have that vision, on a CEO, CFO, at the top of the line executive management level in a company, then it would continue to be a struggle to operate in a global business environment.

Seth Adler:                              Culture eats strategy for breakfast. Peter Drucker. I saw that today. That's a pretty good one, right?

John Hopkins:                      Oh you did? Yeah.

Seth Adler:                              Without question. That guy knew what he was talking about, to say the least, right? All right so I've got three final questions. I'll tell you what they are, and then I'll ask you them in order. What has most surprised you at work, what has most surprised you in life? And then, on the soundtrack of John Hopkins' life, one track, one song that's gotta be on there. But first things first. What has most surprised you in work?

John Hopkins:                      Culture. Culture, and people.

Seth Adler:                              How so? We were just talking about it.

John Hopkins:                      Yeah, no and that's a very ... people need to understand different cultures, different things that drive, and motivate people. People management, I would say. That, to me, is probably the biggest gray area, failure of executives, of CEOs, CFOs, to really understand and motivate individuals. Whether it's a country, an age, you have the millennial coming in, you have different age groups. All of that, in order to really get an employee engaged, and focus on a customer, that, to me is probably the biggest area. Cause technically, you can always design something from a technical aspect of manufacturing, or accounting, or finance, but if you can't get people, and the employees to really work and do exactly what you want to do, and how you want to do it, and when you want to do it, it's never gonna work.

Seth Adler:                              Forget about it, right?

John Hopkins:                      Yeah, exactly.

Seth Adler:                              What's most surprised you in life?

John Hopkins:                      Good question. That's a hard-

Seth Adler:                              I like to think of it as the biggest question.

John Hopkins:                      Well, you go through life, and you learn a lot of lessons. Again, I'm gonna go ... I'll go back to people, as far as you learn that life is a journey, of course, and I think that experience in this life, your experience, and the experience that you have with others, is really what life is all about. Of how you experience life, and how you actually go through life and experience things, versus just going through life as a motion. And so the experiences, I think it's the most important thing, I'd say.

Seth Adler:                              Do you think that you have that because your kind of childhood, and upbringing was so nomadic? Are you tapped in in a different way than maybe me, who grew up in the same place for 20 years, before I left, type of thing?

John Hopkins:                      I think I may, but one thing you learn, and our CEO at Abbott said, he goes, "No matter where you go, people are motivated basically by the same thing. Life, and families, and-

Seth Adler:                              Pursuit of happiness?

John Hopkins:                      Pursuit of happiness. And you gotta have food, clothing, shelter, but they're motivated by the same things. But again, how they see that motivation is how you present it, and how you get them to see you're on the page is in the same worldwide is the same, everyone's the same. Every human's the same. They have the same motivation. So that, to me, was interesting, and a life lesson, I would say.

Seth Adler:                              The ends are the same, it's the means that are completely different.

John Hopkins:                      Exactly, and the how you get there. But the thought process, and they're motivated by the same thing. That they want a quality life. They want to have a happy life. They want to have a family. They want to have connections. They want to have all of that.

Seth Adler:                              That's right. And happy wife, happy life, you know about that, right?

John Hopkins:                      Yeah. It's always that way. I've heard the saying, and yeah, sometimes it's hard.

Seth Adler:                              It reigns true, though, I'm pretty sure of it. On the soundtrack of your life, one track, one song that's gotta be on their.

John Hopkins:                      Soundtrack of ... oh geeze. I have a freshman daughter who always grills me on every new song that comes out, and wants me to listen to it.

Seth Adler:                              Sure. I'm not talking about her songs. I'm talking about your songs.

John Hopkins:                      I know, I know, so all of mine have kind of went by the side, and I gotta listen her music today, so yeah.

Seth Adler:                              I see. That's the only thing that's in your brain.

John Hopkins:                      It's ... I was gonna say the ... it necessarily but then again, it's actually, it's the old AC DC type of song-

Seth Adler:                              Sure.

John Hopkins:                      Where you just get the ... if you go to a stadium or a group, and it gets them motivated, and ... it's actually the Hell's Bells song, that just gets everybody just pumped up, like energy, and you don't know why. It's not actually the words, per se, but it's just that sound.

Seth Adler:                              It is. The anticipation is palpable at the beginning of the song, when they start ringing the bells, everybody goes nuts, before even one note is played.

John Hopkins:                      Correct.

Seth Adler:                              I'm with you.

John Hopkins:                      So it's just that song that kinda motivates. But if you actually listen to the words, who knows if it's any good.

Seth Adler:                              Oh, just forget about it, we're just going with the emotion, right?

John Hopkins:                      Yes, exactly.

Seth Adler:                              John Hopkins, thank you so much.

John Hopkins:                      All right, thank you!

Seth Adler:                              Appreciate it. And there you have John Hopkins. When you have a global services process ownership centralized new shared services processes and technologies can be identified and implemented quickly. Very much appreciate John's time. Very much appreciate your time. Stay tuned.