Strategy Execution and Senior Team Alignment with IT: Pharma

Improving Strategy Execution and Senior Team Alignment at a Global Pharma Company

Client Case Study

Situation
Three years before the engagement began, this global pharmaceutical company with $25B+ in annual revenues acquired another large, global pharmaceutical provider, which resulted in a 70% increase in global operations – much of it in Europe. The VP of European Operations was charged with merging the operations of the combined company’s IT systems – and realizing major savings in the process.

Complications

  • Collaboration: The VP recognized that the critical first step in this transformation was to build a strong leadership team. Europe had been organized regionally, with little communication among the various countries. They needed to pull the countries together to explore synergies, while also beginning to link them to the corporate headquarters in the United States.
  • Skepticism:  They faced healthy doses of fear and skepticism among the country leaders – and a tight time-frame dictated by corporate headquarters.
  • Politics: To make matters worse, they were experiencing repeated communication failures with her boss, the CTO.

Approach

The VP of European Operations moved to Europe for one year while she led this transformation.

Her first step: ask her boss if she could have a professional coach, explaining that her Number One goal was to change the state of their relationship by improving their communication. He said yes, and she began working with us on an individual coaching plan that centered on 360-degree feedback from members of her European team. After reviewing and processing the feedback, she stood in front of the team, shared what she had learned and described her action plan. After addressing her shortcomings, she outlined the expectations and goals she had for the team and the organization.

This meeting was followed immediately by the launch of a Senior Team Alignment Process – a series of offsite strategy workshops designed to:

  • Build an effective leadership team
  • Assess and manage operational changes
  • Drive alignment across the region and with corporate

Early in the process, we worked with her and her team to clearly define roles and responsibilities, re-think the organizational structure, and build a culture of openness that would facilitate continuous communication and interaction across the region during the transformation.

To ensure alignment, we walked her and her team through the process of developing a Strategy Communication Map that was linked to corporate IT’s Strategic plan. The European version of the document was designed to help everyone in the organization understand the objectives of the transformation, how the specific changes would contribute to these objectives, and how they changes tied into the company’s overall IT strategy.

Knowing that effective communication was a weak spot, she hired a communications expert to work with each leader on status reports, which are sent to her so that she can keep the CTO apprised of progress in Europe. We also encouraged her to initiate one-on-one meetings with the CTO every two weeks and to form a European advisory council composed of the business and IT leaders from across Europe

Results
In twelve months:

  • $2M in savings from reorganizing Germany and Italy offices
  • $1M in savings from transforming the company’s manufacturing operations in Ireland, France, Italy, Sweden, and the UK
  • $1M in savings from reevaluating and renegotiating a major vendor contract for the Manufacturing group, while greatly improving service
  • $2.7M in savings from reorganizing a key R&D site

Related Information

LSA worked with our Executive Leadership Team to help create strategic clarity and alignment as we look to increase our growth rate and unlock innovation.  They masterfully handled very complex, challenging, and high stakes leaders, decisions, and cultural nuances to help us identify what matters most and move toward one unified direction.

Their practical, straightforward, and client-centric approach was refreshing.  I highly recommend them to any executive team looking to get aligned to create even higher performance.  They are lights out awesome!

Patrick Resk
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LSA’s executive coach based his approach on understanding our business circumstances and strategy, as well as our leadership aspirations. The customized coaching covered all aspects of leadership; it was not simply a touchy-feely endeavor.

In fact, the focus on clear business outcomes and real life circumstances challenged me as a senior leader to develop my thinking and actions related to leading the business.”

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Managing Director

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Having recently completed an acquisition that doubled our size and geographic reach, we needed to redefine our “go forward” plan to address the increasing commoditization of our marketplace.

I was very impressed with the thoughtful and practical way that LSA Global was able to bring our leadership teams together to gain focus, buy-in, and commitment to a compelling strategic plan that we created together.

Jon Troen
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LSA Global really shifted our perspective about strategic clarity and organizational culture.

The 3 C’s approach to workplace culture is very practical and really helps  executive teams – even skeptical ones – ensure that your culture is healthy, high performing, and aligned.

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We got great value from the executive strategy session.  We would not hesitate to use LSA again with our Executive Leadership Team.

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At a time of change in our marketplace, LSA Global did an exceptional job helping our executive team create strategic clarity by helping us to define, clarify, and prioritize our corporate vision, mission, values, differentiation, target clients, strategic priorities, success metrics and key roles.

They beautifully navigated a very difficult and fuzzy situation, respectfully cleared out all of the cultural elephants, and shared impactful insights and leadership development theories along the way. They have transformed our business.

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President & CEO

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The strategy and alignment work with our leadership team was absolutely transformational.  The decisions we made combined with the transparency, communication, and accountability were exactly what we needed.  Thank you!

Dr. Raphael B. Merriman M.D
Medical Director, Liver Transplantation

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I can’t emphasize enough what a huge shift you helped to create for us as an organization. Thanks again for your change management consulting help and guidance.

The clarity, practicality, focus, and accountability are exactly what we needed to make this strategy and major transformation a success from a hearts and minds perspective.

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VP Corporate Strategy

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We consider LSA our true business partner.

From Strategic Facilitation and Planning to Presentation Skills and Management Training, they continue to provide excellent value and extremely high quality solutions that make an impact.

I recommend them to anyone looking for a practical approach to drive true business and people results.

Michelle A. Mitchell
Vice President, Worldwide Human Resources

This was an extremely effective executive strategy session that helped our executive leadership team efficiently navigate through our core strategic objectives. It was exactly what we needed.  The approach was practical and valuable for our specific business and market.

I recommend LSA to anyone looking to push their strategic planning, thinking, and growth to the next level.

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LSA helped us to create the strategic clarity and alignment we needed for our team to thrive.

The practical, no-nonsense, and outcome-oriented approach really helped us all get on the same page and set us up to be a high performing leadership team to focus on what matters most.

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Having taken on a new executive leadership role, one of my first calls was to LSA Global to help my leadership team to design, implement, and cascade clear strategic plans.  First, LSA helped our leadership team identify the strategy, culture, and talent areas that mattered most to create organizational alignment.

Then they helped facilitate the design of a strategic growth plan that is clear, compelling, believable, and implementable. We now have 100% commitment from an aligned leadership team and key stakeholders going forward.

I would recommend LSA to anyone who wants to create high levels of strategic alignment, growth, and performance.

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We recently hired LSA to help us take our client delivery methodology to the next level as we continue to grow and help our clients succeed.

The custom strategy and design session exceeded our expectations. They really understood our business and delivered within tight time frames. They were the best I have seen for this type of complex, visible, and strategic work.

LSA’s ability to get a group of 20+ executives from around the globe on the same page, push their thinking to new heights, and ensure an executable plan was excellent.

I would recommend LSA to anyone looking to take their strategy and strategic execution to the next level.

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LSA has a very unique and powerful methodology regarding learning. Their ability to overcome skepticism, obtain executive support, and create an aligned learning strategy that provides measurable business impact is second to none.

They understand your goals, flex to your needs, and solve problems. They certainly help make my job easier and are a pleasure to work with.

I highly recommend LSA to anyone trying to connect the dots between strategy, skills, knowledge, and results.

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We selected LSA Global over 5 other companies to help our key executives improve their overall communication and executive presentation capabilities. LSA exceeded our expectations.

I highly recommend LSA to any executive team looking to better organize and more effectively deliver key executive-level messages — especially when the stakes are high.

Todd Power
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