Making Emotional Intelligence a critical business success factor

Making Emotional Intelligence a critical business success factor.

Novartis is a global healthcare company based in Switzerland that provides solutions to address the evolving needs of patients worldwide. In July 2015, Novartis had a market-cap of around $280 billion, making it the largest healthcare company by this metric. The Oncology division wanted to offer a cross section of their management teams the opportunity to develop a people-oriented approach to the organisation, as well as recognising and developing the concept of Emotional Intelligence (EI) as a critical success factor for their business. Transformational results have been seen amongst Supervisors, Managers and Executives as a result of the introduction of a series of EI focussed programmes which included workshops and 1:1 coaching.

The Brief

Novartis Oncology identified the need to offer a cross section of their management teams the opportunity to look ‘outside the box’ by looking ‘inside the person’, not only acknowledging the obvious need within their business for a people-oriented approach, but to recognise and develop the concept of Emotional Intelligence (EI).

As described by its main instigator, Daniel Goleman, EI is “the capacity for recognising your own feelings and those of others, for motivating ourselves, and for managing emotions well, in ourselves and in our relationships”.

Novartis therefore required the development of a series of workshops to help managers in Europe and the US understand EI as a critical success factor for their business, and how it links with management and leadership competencies in a VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) world.

Our Solution

Primeast initially developed the “Dynamic Management and Leadership” series of workshops delivered in Switzerland and the USA to help leaders understand Emotional Intelligence (EI) and know when they see, feel, hear and experience it. The workshops also linked EI with project, matrix and team management, as well as the Oncology Five Behaviours for Success.

Following the initial success of “Dynamic Management and Leadership”, Primeast designed and delivered a “Building Productive Relationships” programme for team members and technical experts. The ongoing success of these two programmes lead to the development of an “EI for Executives” programme, which represented a high impact and tailored approach in support of the development of senior leaders. The programme took a deeper dive into leadership through the lens of EI, using a 360 version of the EQI diagnostic to gain a wider perspective of an individual’s style and relationships. Participants received 1:1 personalised coaching to support the workshop content, with individualised strategies being identified to develop and grow a broader leadership style in an effective and appropriate manner.

The Result

Novartis Oncology have been delighted with the impact of the introduction of these Emotional Intelligence programmes, with transformational results being seen amongst Supervisors, Managers and Executives. Not only are Novartis’ leaders learning to demonstrate an understanding of themselves and the contributions they make, they are displaying powerful improvements in interpersonal and professional skills, having become stronger, more balanced and aware individuals who are motivated to take their teams to high performance. As empowered individuals, eager to generate new business opportunities, initiatives and challenges, leaders are encouraged to display greater resilience and coping mechanisms through an understanding of how to operate and function more effectively. Organisational benefits include a wider understanding of, and ability to demonstrate, the importance of a people-orientated culture, as well as a true appreciation of people’s contribution and the triggers that can be utilised to bring about positive change, resulting in professional and personal fulfilment. Finally, there is higher self-esteem and confidence in dealing with personal interactions both across the business, and in cross-functional (matrix) projects, with greater influencing skills through positive mirrored behaviour being seen. At all levels of Novartis Oncology, there is now a shared understanding of how powerful an open, communicative approach can be.

For more about EI read: Organisational resilience and the importance of mental toughness