In a significant strategic move, a leading global pharmaceutical company was embarking on a major change in its company identity. The company had thoughtfully grown and shifted its product portfolio over the years to build its biopharmaceutical and specialty pharmaceutical market position. But although the product portfolio was being aligned to the needs and opportunities of the current and future market, the company identity and culture were stuck in its past. It was slow-moving, highly cautious, and heavily bureaucratic – not the culture or identity of a successful, future-focused biopharma company.
Many factors contributed to the complexity of this challenge. Internally, the company was confronted with multiple issues about its talent pool and leadership development. The company culture was risk-averse, so there was great reluctance to embrace and champion change. And externally, the company needed to overcome negative perceptions from its customers, the media, and the investment community.
The company leadership team was well-aware of these facets of the challenge. They knew they needed to solve for the big issues well above the brand level. They needed to uncover and pull the levers that would transform the identity of the company and help it achieve its full potential as a diversified specialty biopharmaceutical company.
The company’s leadership convened a 2-day Syntegration with members of its global and US leadership team, who were carefully selected for their knowledge, talent, and influence. The goal of the Syntegration was to identify the critical success factors that would drive a successful company transition as quickly as possible, and then to create a comprehensive, above-brand plan of action to get them where they wanted to go.
The leadership team used the Syntegration approach to take a hard look at the company and at themselves. Through a series of candid, incisive interactions they surfaced the relevant issues and challenges, worked through their options, and decided on the best way forward. They took an exponential leap in their thinking and acknowledged that any changes would need to start with them. They aligned around the actions that it would take to drive real and lasting change at their company and committed to a new way of working together.
Together, the leadership team co-created and implemented a top-to-bottom talent strategy for the company. They used their leadership position to champion a significant culture change across the company – shifting the company mindset from a “not-losing” culture to that of a winning, future-focused culture, intent on delivering maximum value for their patients’ needs, now and in the future. Today, they are a leader in their chosen therapeutic areas, and have nearly doubled their research budgets while realizing increased profit margins.
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