Spectranetics Corp– another dramatic turnaround powered by great people and process


Spectranetics Corp. was founded by Robert Glolobic, PhD and Johan Sverdrup in 1984 with a vision to leverage excimer laser technology to treat coronary lesions and restore blood flow to affected areas.  With limited funding and a great deal of persistence, they received FDA approval for treatment of peripheral and coronary arterial disease in 1993.  

The next 15 years, however, would prove challenging as the company survived the death of both founders, a bitter class-action lawsuit and a federal investigation that threatened the firm’s existence. While the promise of the technology was enormous, revenue growth was an ongoing concern for the company.

In 2011 board chair John Fletcher hired Scott Drake as CEO to take Spectranetics to new levels of performance. Scott and his COO Shar Matin believed in the importance of operating through a proven management system and processes based on quality principles. After evaluating a number of potential systems, they selected the High Performance Management System (HPMS) based on its past performance in the med-tech sector. They were further drawn to HPMS based on its ability to provide “wicked” strategic clarity along with a healthy balance on culture and teammate engagement.

“Mission 300”

Shortly after selecting the management system, Scott took his leadership team offsite to take the first steps towards building and implementing his management system. They started the workshop with a “Prescription Vision” exercise, where they were asked to articulate their “Desired State” for Spectranetics in five years in broad strategic terms and, where possible, in objective measures. 

Driven by Scott’s passion to double the size of the business to $300M, an energetic and engaged discussion ensued. The team was further guided and advised to develop a concise and memorable  statement that embodied Scott’s prescriptive revenue target. With all of the above factored in, the team reached consensus on “Mission 300” as their key goal and “rallying cry”. From that point forward, everything in the company would have to align to this aspirational, visible future state.

“That first HPMS offsite meeting was seminal in that it aligned us as a team on peripheral expansion and lead management as our “Vital Few”. Prior to that we were in coronary, peripheral and lead management – with a constant pull and push where to invest.  As ”Mission 300” took hold, it became clear that we could not get there in a reasonable period of time with the resources we had by focusing on all three.” – Shar Matin, COO

Scott and Shar also embraced the system’s structured problem-solving Breakthrough Process™ to solve for key problems and opportunities. The process focused on creating empowered teams to solve problems with facts and data, rather than through political maneuverings. This became clear to the employees when, in some cases, Scott and Shar demanded they see a pareto chart before making any further decisions. Over time, this became a common language within Spectranetics, allowing faster, higher quality decisions and sustainable solutions.


“Mission 300”


Scott’s team at Spectranetics embraced all elements of the High Performance Management system to align his people, culture and resources and achieve $285M in revenue and a $2.2B sale to Royal Phillips in 2017 – a result that may not have been achieved absent the disciplined, data-driven system and processes they embraced.

“HPMS has been a cornerstone of our success and value creation over the past five plus years.  Along with talent management, execution rigor and our focus on culture, HPMS has ensured that we drive the ‘Vital Few’ initiatives that matter most to teammates and customers.” — Scott Drake, CEO Spectranetics (2016)