To gain a deeper business understanding and improved strategic capabilities, Malin Ernebrant, senior director of Renal Care Solutions R&D at Baxter, will start the Leading IMPACT management program this fall.
Hello, Malin. You’re starting Leading IMPACT in October. What made you decide to join the program?
Sometimes an opportunity just pops up, and the time is right. And that time is now. I’ve been thinking for a long time about an MBA to broaden my leadership skills. I’ve spent my entire career in R&D, and have of course learned a lot about leadership and how to run a business. I took the course EFL Leadership in Organizations a few years ago, and although that was a good start I feel that I need to level up more as a strategic leader.
And why did you choose Leading IMPACT in particular?
Since I already participated in the EFL Partner Mentoring program, both as a mentee and a mentor, and took a course at EFL, I have a lot of confidence in EFL’s ability to deliver great training. Plus, the course set-up is ideal for me.
What are your expectations, and what do you hope to develop during the program?
I hope to learn everything I don’t know. 🙂 I see it as an opportunity to create a solid foundation that will allow me to take a step beyond R&D in the future. I feel I often lack a deeper understanding of the business aspect, so I think that by developing that understanding I can improve my strategic capabilities. I also expect to gain plenty of new perspectives, both from the theory and from our group. And I look forward to mutual development – learning about other people’s challenges while they learn about mine, and experiencing how I myself as well as my classmates translate theory into practice.
Tell us about your position.
I’m the senior director of Renal Care Solutions R&D at Baxter, and part of Renal Care R&D’s management team. I act as development manager for our dialysis fluids in hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis. I’m also responsible for ensuring that all our renal care products are safe from a chemical and microbiological perspective, during both development and life cycle management. I head a global team with direct reports in the U.S., Belgium, India and China.
What qualities are important for succeeding in your role?
My role requires a great deal of openness to cultural differences, lots of communication in all directions, and the ability to lead remotely since we’re spread across the globe. But I’ve also got to be good at seeing the big picture so that I can make decisions about priorities and manage our stakeholders. Generally speaking, I need a focus on solutions and sometimes a magic wand to fix seemingly hopeless challenges.
How would you describe your leadership style?
Inclusive, present and inspiring. I want us to find solutions together, and I often think of Steve Jobs who said he didn’t hire smart people to tell them what to do, but to tell us what to do. And I have to quote Zlatan, who once said “I want to make a difference, by creating opportunities for others and myself” – that’s my guiding principle.
Tell us about your background.
I have an M.S. in chemical engineering and I’ve worked as a research engineer, project manager and group manager with local teams. I’ve been the department head of global teams since 2014, which today is a bigger, completely global organization.