Shifting to a culture of simplicity& customer-centricity

Our client is one of the largest pharmaceutical organisations in the world, providing solutions to address the evolving needs of patients worldwide. It employs over 100,000 people in innovative medicines, bio-similars and surgical and vision care. Following a major restructure, we were engaged to help parts of the group understand the drivers of the culture and address the challenges they faced. Despite some great strengths and longstanding investment in organisational and leadership development, there were some stubborn elements of culture that needed to shift to unlock peak performance.

Bottom line

The culture work resulted in significant improvement in financial performance of the business. Just one example: a clearer focus on two potential blockbuster drugs resulted in increased sales of 53% and 164% in one year.


Stream 1: Manage Culture

  • In-depth culture assessment using Walking the Talk’s Discover methodology and our six cultural archetypes. This helped identify the drivers of the current culture.
  • Identification of the business imperatives for culture with the Executive Team.
  • Target culture definition.
  • Metrics and scorecard design.
  • Culture Plan development for first 2 years.

Stream 2: Lead Culture

  • Culture insights: a bespoke self-assessment and 360 feedback instrument specifically addressing the behaviours required in the new culture.
  • One-on-one coaching to explore executives’ personal relationship with the culture focus areas and realise the impact their own behaviours had on leading the organisation's culture.
  • Intact-team workshops to foster more alignment of the team around the key behaviours and the target culture.
  • Keynote sessions at extended leadership events.
  • Observation of business as usual team meetings to provide feedback on embedding the desired behaviours in the normal operating rhythm.

Stream 3: Functional and regional acceleration

A comprehensive and accelerated change process to create change at functional and regional level, replicating the success of the Lead Culture work at the corporate centre, and also mobilising champions and exemplars, using an innovative and engaging approach to busting bureaucracy.

Results of the retest showed quick and extensive behaviour change:

  • 65% of scores improved, with all leaders improving in at least 1 behaviour.
  • 56% of leaders improved on over 10 behaviours.
  • 53% of leaders rated at the culture role model level in over 5 behaviours.
  • The lowest scoring behaviour from the first- round assessment received the most improved score in the retest.