The Opportunity

Our client is one of the top 20 leading pharmaceutical companies in the world. In the UK they run an innovative and successful, research-driven sales and marketing operation. They employ several hundred staff in the UK managing sales of around £500 million.

Like all UK pharmaceutical companies, they were facing significant changes in their UK market. Reforms within the NHS are leading to significant divergences between the markets across England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. Within England the abolishment of the Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) and the creation of Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) are leading to further change and diversification. This opens up opportunities for the most agile pharmaceutical companies.

The client wished now to integrate all the innovative ideas from the eight strategic work streams and the five regional simulations into an integrated organisation redesign and transformation plan.

The challenge was to reorganise the UK operations as a ‘whole system’ to embody the new strategies and ways of working. They had tight timescales for this: three months in the autumn of 2012.

Most importantly, the previous work streams teams had been empowered to innovate and take responsibility for leading change themselves. They wished to adopt an approach and develop an internal capability in organisation design. It was to be their choice and not imposed from above by senior management.

Tricordant were very happy with such an approach to engagement that was highly facilitative and which would enable staff to transform their own organisation themselves. Tricordant would bring their approach, tools and expertise but would not be heavily involved in the actual content of the redesign.

The Tricordant Approach

Tricordant started by delivering a two-day workshop for around 50 staff drawn from across all 8 of the strategic work streams. Tricordant’s whole system organisation design toolset was presented with examples and case studies. People were engaged with the tools by applying them to their own context. But this was a ‘trial only’ to see whether the staff wished to choose to adopt this approach going forward or not.

After the workshop a plan was enthusiastically drawn up to use Tricordant’s approach to integrate the ideas and outputs of all the work streams. A new group was nominated drawing people from across the work streams to apply the Tricordant approach and feedback the emerging results within a limited number of weeks to all staff engaged in the strategy process for approval and then for steering committee sign-off.

The Outcome

The organisational redesign led to significant operational and financial benefits [a 25% increase in pilot account teams] in the UK. The organisation felt their staff had been able to redesign themselves.

The main insight from this project however was the remarkable speed, skill and enthusiasm with which staff adopted the Tricordant approach themselves, having been given freedom to choose whether to or not.

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