Developing team-leading and managing in a matrix role without organisational / hierarchical authority following rapid growth. Delivered in Switzerland

Delivering more for less, and continuing personal development, in the face of rapid growth. Capitalized on the NASDAQ at over US$ 50bn, our client is a significant global player in the pharmaceutical sector generating revenues in excess of US$ 9bn annually.

Our client wants to deliver truly innovative and life-changing drugs for patients. Its mission is to build a major global biopharmaceutical corporation while focusing on the discovery, development and commercialisation of products for the treatment of cancer and other severe, immune, inflammatory conditions. One of their guiding principles is a total commitment to patient support. They put patients first with industry-leading programmes that provide information, support and access to their innovative therapies.

The Brief

Our client had grown quickly and made a significant impact in its area of specialist pharmaceutical products. However, with that growth came an inevitable pressure on its employees to deliver more for less (in terms of time-to-market and cost), as well as limited opportunity for employees to continue their personal development. In discussion with our client, it became clear that one area of the operation was particularly feeling the pressure from the organisation’s rapid growth: the clinical operations teams – those responsible for overseeing the critical study trials that determine whether new products are ‘fit for purpose’ – could benefit from some development in team-leading and managing in a role without organisational / hierarchical authority. Highly-educated, intelligent and committed, the study trial managers are an essential catalyst in the delivery of new and ground-breaking new products in to the healthcare sector.

Our Solution

After conducting a number of fact-finding interviews within the client, Primeast developed a programme of intensive interventions for 18 members of the Switzerland-based clinical operations team. The objectives were to align the participants with the team’s purpose and vision, to interrogate the reasons for not being able confidently to lead multi-disciplinary teams, and to provide some tools and techniques for more effective team management. Conducted over 5 months, three 2-day experiential workshops were held, each building on each other in terms of skill-development, and flexing to address key issues. These were followed up with a series of one-to-one coaching sessions, designed for participants to reflect on the lessons learned and to plan changes in their leadership style.

The Results

The participants were largely unfamiliar with the tools and techniques that we shared with them, and it took some time for them to embrace the new approaches. During the follow-up coaching sessions, many expressed their belief that they now had some new ways of dealing with difficult team and individual challenges, which would previously have delayed study trials and created non-productive tensions. Our client continues to lead its specialist sector and is a burgeoning star in the Pharmaceutical industry.