A global pharmaceutical company established a goal to grow by expanding into new therapeutic areas and by differentiating themselves in the ways in which they understand and support the patient journey— an aggressive strategy and vision for the next five years. As they looked to get traction with the new strategy and create the organizations and processes needed to successfully implement the strategy, they realized they had a significant gap in leadership—about 45% of their key leaders lacked the skills needed to create and lead teams. Without stronger leadership, the executive team understood, the strategy and vision would never be realized.
A selected cohort of highly technical leaders who managed teams and products across the globe and were key to the success of the strategy. These same leaders were relying too closely on their technical expertise and lacked the skills to do a great job of coaching, developing, holding others accountable, and other key behaviors required of effective team leaders.
The client asked RBL to create a highly interactive module on high performing teams. As we co-created the learning journey for this cohort of leaders, we targeted areas specific to their needs including:
- Setting clear and purposeful roles for team members while understanding the elements and skills involved in creating a high-performing team
- Breaking down issues using coaching to achieve desired results quickly, and develop employees
- Identifying the elements of a successful decision protocol and learning how to make decisions in an effective and expedited manner
- Outlining the elements of accountability and how to establish them with team members
Leaders engaged in targeted development and individual coaching to enhance their leadership capability. The module incorporated hands-on exercises, video vignettes, in-depth discussion on current issues, and a personal leadership challenge to work through. Each participant also received feedback through a 360 assessment to better understand their own strengths and weaknesses. One-on-one coaching allowed every individual a safe space to discuss their challenges and identify the most critical areas to improve.
By focusing on this small cohort of key leaders, the organization was able to increase the number of leaders ready to meet the future vision and strategy by 37%. Additional cohorts of leaders are set to commence the development process virtually once operations settle down post-COVID, where additional gains are expected. Participants from the first cohort shared comments on the journey:
- “I thought the content was highly valuable--both philosophically and methodologically. There is much I can use to develop my team and leadership style.” –Global Product Lead
- “Excellent program. I enjoyed the curriculum and interactions with other Alexion team members.” –Senior Director
- “The facilitators were top notch...they engaged the group very well; they presented the materials in an active and interesting way...I liked the use of the videos to reinforce a topic/concept.” –Global Team Lead