Galvanising a Pharma leadership team

Galvanising a Pharma leadership team

There is plenty of great knowledge out there about the phases of team formation , key dysfunctions of teams (Patrick Lencioni’s famous book: the 5 dysfuntions of a team), what high performing teams do differently and yet highly engaged and effective teams are still a rarity in organisations. Some of this is down to the leadership, some of this is down to the behaviours and processes and some of this is simply due to factors outside of the team’s control. There is plenty that can be done to support you in any of these cases but we thought it would be useful to share a case study regarding the impact of changes beyond a team’s control and share how this team chose to respond by engaging our support to help them get back on track. Following a re-organisation at a large Pharma company, the team leader of a sizable department realised he needed to create a new sense of purpose and generate alignment...
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Insights, Life Science Leadership
What can we learn from King Alfred about change leadership?

What can we learn from King Alfred about change leadership?

Would you believe that you could learn about transformational change leadership from a Netflix series? No? Well, frankly I am not sure I would have done either, but then I watched The Last Kingdom. This series, which in my view is a majestic tapestry woven from the threads of historical fact and creative fiction by Bernard Cornwell, follows the life of Uhtred Ragnarson during the 9th Century. This was a period when the land was divided by different rulers ; was being ravaged by the Danes, and when only one man (King Alfred of Wessex) had a vision of a united kingdom, called England.  A time of volatility, uncertainty, complexity, ambiguity (VUCA) and transformational change for sure! What can we learn from Alfred about change leadership? As a leader, Alfred had a strong and compelling vision that he articulated repeatedly. He worked hard to make sure he had accurate sources of data to inform his decision making and achieve quick wins. He...
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Insights, Life Science Leadership
Changing the role of Pharma Marketing Execs

Changing the role of Pharma Marketing Execs

Our job roles usually evolve over time. But on occasion, a company will reflect on changes in the external world and realise that a key role needs to be fundamentally altered, quickly. For the job holders this may not be so easy.  Some years ago, a global Pharma company, having been over-comfortable with years of blockbuster drug sales, suddenly woke up to realise that the external healthcare world was changing fast. Concerns at Board level about keeping pace with the evolving commercial environment led to them reaching out to an international consulting firm to review their approach to strategic drug marketing and design a fresh approach that would fit with this emerging situation.  The full conclusions from the consultancy project were developed into an evolved commercialisation process, involving a much more far-reaching  dialogue with regional marketing departments. One of the key conclusions was that US and European head office commercial Execs could no longer dictate an approach to be followed by the rest of the world. Emergent regions were growing in size and sophistication – their views and local expertise had to be taken into account...
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Insights, Life Science Leadership

Associates access page for LSL resources

This page is not part of the Phetairos public web site. It is a private page for Associates to enable you to get quick access to Life Science Leadership (LSL) resources. Help with any lead or contact If you hear of or come into contact with anyone who may benefit from LSL help - check if they would be willing to have a call - contact Claude (for a general intro), or by all means contact John Faulkes or Chris Williams for any specific advice or guidance. Fliers to forward If you hear of or come into contact with a need for improving team effectiveness / cross-function / matrix team working - forward this flier For a contact who is interested in enhancing agility, adaptability, general efficiency of working - forward this flier For a contact who needs to build or influence better relationships - perhaps across the business or to build better interactions with an external partner/alliance - forward this flier. For a contact who is...
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LSL team resources
Changing the Mindset of a Pharma IT Unit

Changing the Mindset of a Pharma IT Unit

Leadership teams frequently aspire to change the ‘mindset’ of the units. They link the degree of productivity, customer responsiveness, urgency to achieve - with (quite rightly) an enthusiastic self-starting, engaged attitude in the staff.  Desiring it to be so is, however, much easier than actually achieving it!  Such was demonstrated at a large Pharma IT Group’s awayday. For most of it there had been a huge buzz. Early on staff mounted ‘stalls’ in a fair, showcasing various internal client projects and possible future technologies to their colleagues. Another innovative activity was a huge group photo taken by drone from far above (when drones were a lot rarer than now). There was a highly enjoyable meal and drinks and then everybody gathered in a hall for some presentations from the podium.  A couple of leadership team members made presentations about the future of the Group, and in particular told everyone that the ‘mindset’ needed to change – especially in the direction of a sense of urgency and responsiveness.   This may have been thought insightful by the leaders, but it was a mistake and did not have any galvanising effect on the audience. So, although...
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Insights, Life Science Leadership
Making Project Management work in a CMO

Making Project Management work in a CMO

A mid-sized contract manufacturing organisation, based in the UK, was doing okay. It had some lucrative, high-tech contracts with big Pharmas, two well-provided sites and a skilled group of staff, many of whom had years of experience in the sector.  The real business problem was their pipeline of projects in development, which was not as full as it needed to be. We were asked to help, essentially with enhancing ‘project management’. The collaboration across the company that this would provide would address two known problems: firstly the overlong timeline for turning sales leads into finished quotations, and secondly, existing customers’ lack of confidence over promised deadlines.  They had an existing project or strictly client project structure designed to facilitate collaboration between the manufacturing, quality, finance, commercial (and so on) functions, and it clearly wasn’t working in an efficient way. Some training, principally for the project managers, was requested as a solution.  Talking to these guys was interesting. In fact they’d had no shortage of training - they’d been on reputable (and expensive) residential courses. They identified the challenges quite differently. They didn’t feel confident...
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Insights, Life Science Leadership
Transforming a Pharma Sales Team’s performance

Transforming a Pharma Sales Team’s performance

UK Pharma firms that are selling into the primary care market will typically field sales teams in each region. Marketing and sales management use a variety of ways to incentivise sales execs in these teams. A UK affiliate of a European company was reviewing its sales operations, and had sought advice from a consulting firm, in particular to look at sales performance and behaviours.   The company were building new information systems to report on individuals’ sales results within the regions, to target and motivate low performers. In addition, the consultants were advising on the redefinition of each regions sales manager’s role. Key aspects of this in future were to be the  reinforcement of the individual targeting , but also to take more accountability for the teams results. The company maintain a competitive league table of the regions based on recent sales figures.  We were asked to help initially with just a small task in this scheme. One sales manager’s team was struggling near the bottom of the league table and had asked for some help.  Our plan was to talk to the manager initially then to run a whole team session over several days. The manager explained to...
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Insights, Life Science Leadership
Don Miller BSc Physiology & Biochemistry, PMP

Don Miller BSc Physiology & Biochemistry, PMP

Don started his working life in the drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics laboratories but soon moved to build a career focussed on project and change management. Don’s primary interest and focus is building project management capabilities, establishing planning and resource management practices, implementing enterprise systems, and benchmarking project management performance. This is underpinned with a good understanding of the drug development processes and the key drivers of R&D performance through the application of KPIs, metrics and benchmarking. Don applies his analytical skills to assimilate complex data to create meaningful insight, evaluate options and develop practical solutions. Don has a BSc in Physiology and Biochemistry from University of Reading and a Diploma in Managing Medical Product Innovation from Scandinavian International Management Institute. Don is part of the Project and Portfolio Management practice. LinkedIn...
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Associates

Alliances and Outsourced partnerships

Case Study 1 SITUATION A global pharma company came to us to help its Outsourcing function with the development of an enhanced, standard process for managing CRO partnerships. At this time, some partnerships worked well, but others were dysfunctional and hostile. The internal Clinical functions were reacting angrily; relationships both with some CROs, and internally were strained. Long email arguments had flourished rather than straight-talking meetings that would have cleared the air! SERVICE At first we helped Outsourcing build an influencing case for it to gain acceptance of a new process, with the Clinical functions. The key elements to gain agreement to were around committing to thorough and solid internal agreement before engaging with CROs. Secondly, we modelled and facilitated more effective behaviours in update meetings. These were often adversarial, with little listening, and felt like interrogations about progress metrics and apportioning of blame. We helped leaders make these more positive; creating a trust-building and problem solving atmosphere. Thirdly, we designed an easy to use online...
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Case Studies